6 – 9 Lesson

Easter – It’s a Season not a Day

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Lent is past and Easter has arrived.  We now have seven Sundays until Pentecost. The second feast celebrated in the early church.

Isn’t it interesting that the Ascension does not merit its own seasonal break – we don’t change liturgical colors or service themes.

408591_8207546_lzDuring Eastertide we celebrate the ways in which the Kingdom of God is breaking into our world.  We look for ways that God is overwhelming the rules of the prince of this world – selfishness, fear, greed, racism, injustice, hopelessness, poverty-  and putting in place the blessings of His kingdom – love, justice, mercy, reconciliation, generosity.  Where Lent is inwardly focused on rooting out and replacing the qualities of sinfulness in ourselves, Eastertide is outward focused on celebrating the changes that the Kingdom brings to our communities.

There is an inkling of sadness and overwhelmingness that is found during the celebration.  When one begins to look, one doesn’t see a new heaven and a new earth transformed into the Kingdom of God in the midst of this present world. We only see hints and glimmers and a call to continue transforming others as we ourselves are transformed.

That leads us to Pentecost and the need for the Holy Spirit’s aid and guidance as we walk the Kingdom of God out to our communities.



6-12 Year-olds – Holy Saturday

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The_Denial_of_Saint_Peter-Caravaggio_(1610)Matthew  26: 69-74

We begin today with Jesus being taken to the High Priest’s House.  Peter, unlike the other disciples, has followed and is pretending to be a servant of one of the other religious leaders.

Narrator: Peter was sitting in the courtyard with some servants. One of the servant girls came up to him.

Servant Girl: You were with Jesus the Galilean, weren’t you?

NarratorAnd just as Jesus had predicted, Peter denied it before everyone.

Peter: Not me! I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Narrator: He went out to stand by the gate. And as he walked past, another servant girl recognized him.

Another Servant Girl (speaking to those standing around): That man over there—he was here with Jesus the Nazarene!

Narrator: Again, just as Jesus had predicted, Peter denied it, swearing an oath.

Peter: I don’t know Him!

6a00d8341bffb053ef0133ec634d93970b-640wiNarrator: Peter then went to chat with a few of the servants. A little while later, some other servants approached him:

Other Servants: Look, we know that you must be one of Jesus’ followers. You speak like you are from the same area as His followers. You’ve got that tell-tale Galilean accent.

JLPDJWPNarrator: Cursing and swearing, Peter denied Him again.

Peter: I do not know Him!

Narrator: As the exclamation left his mouth, a cock crowed.  And Peter remembered. He remembered that Jesus had looked at him with something like pity and said, “This very night, before the cock crows in the morning, you will deny Me three times.” And Peter went outside, sat down on the ground, and wept.


I wonder if Peter was scared to be at Caiaphas’ house?

petukhI wonder how the second girl knew Peter was one of the disciples?

I wonder if Peter and Jesus ever talked about it?

I wonder if there is a time you lied because you were scared?


6 to 9 year-olds – Good Friday

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jesus_gethsemane-unknownParent Notes:  This is designed to not focus on the horrors of death but on the people who surround Jesus and their humanity.  This helps the children figure out how people behave and how to react to others when they don’t behave well.  It is helpful to down play the guilt “can’t you even watch with me.”  Jesus is sad and hurt, disappointed that the disciples haven’t really understood all the things that he had been trying to tell them during the week.  That is different than angry and accusatory.  If your child is always “sorry” for things, this may be important to discuss.


il_570xN.548563098_570yGood Friday

Matthew 26: 31-58

Jesus: Scripture says,  I shall strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will scatter. Just so, each of you will stumble tonight, stumble and fall, on account of Me. Afterward I will be raised up. And I will go before you to Galilee.

Peter: Lord, maybe everyone else will trip and fall tonight, but I will not. I’ll be beside You. I won’t falter.

Jesus: If only that were true. In fact, this very night, before the cock crows in the morning, you will deny Me three times.

Peter:  No! I won’t deny You. Even if that means I have to die with You!

Narrator: And each of the disciples echoed Peter.  At that, Jesus led His disciples to the place called Gethsemane.

Ki-chang Woonbo Kim, "Christ in Gethsemane," 1952-53Jesus: I am going over there to pray. You sit here while I’m at prayer.

Narrator:  Then He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with Him, and He grew sorrowful and deeply distressed.

Jesus:  My soul is overwhelmed with grief, to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.

Narrator: He walked a little farther and finally fell prostrate and prayed.

Jesus: Father, this is the last thing I want. If there is any way, please take this bitter cup from Me. Not My will, but Yours be done.

Narrator:  When He came back to the disciples, He saw that they were asleep. Peter awoke a little less confident and slightly chagrined.

Jesus (to Peter): So you couldn’t keep watch with Me for just one short hour? Now maybe you’re learning: the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Watch and pray and take care that you are not pulled down during a time of testing.

Narrator: With that, Jesus returned to His secluded spot to pray again.

Jesus: Father, if there is no other way for this cup to pass without My drinking it—then not My will, but Yours be done.

Narrator: Again Jesus returned to His disciples and found them asleep. Their eyes were heavy-lidded. So Jesus left them again and returned to prayer, praying the same sentiments with the same words. Again He returned to His disciples.

Jesus: Well, you are still sleeping; are you getting a good long rest? Now the time has come; the Son of Man is just about to be given over to the betrayers and the sinners. Get up; we have to be going. Look, here comes the one who’s going to betray Me.

090803_r18679_p233Narrator:  There he was, Judas, one of the twelve leading a crowd of people from the chief priests and elders with swords and clubs; the chief priests and the elders were right there, ready to arrest Jesus. And Judas, the one who intended to betray Him, had said to the elders and the chief priests that he would give them a sign.

Judas Iscariot: I’ll greet Him with a kiss. And you will know that the one I kiss is the one you should arrest.

Narrator:  So at once, he went up to Jesus.

Judas Iscariot: Greetings, Teacher.

Narrator: He kisses Him.

Jesus:  My friend, do what you have come to do.

jesus-condemned-by-michael-obrianNarrator: And at that, the company came and seized Him. One of the men with Jesus grabbed his sword and swung toward the high priest’s slave, slicing off his ear.

Jesus: Put your sword back. People who live by the sword die by the sword. Surely you realize that if I called on My Father, He would send 12 legions of messengers to rescue Me. But if I were to do that, I would be thwarting the scriptural story, wouldn’t I? And we must allow the story of God’s kingdom to unfold. (to the crowds) Why did you bring these weapons, these clubs and bats? Did you think I would fight you? That I would try to dodge and escape like a common criminal? You could have arrested Me any day when I was teaching in the temple, but you didn’t.

Narrator:  This scene has come together just so, so that the prophecies in the sacred Scripture could be fulfilled. And at that, all the disciples ran away and abandoned Him.  The crowd that had arrested Jesus took Him to Caiaphas, the high priest. The scribes and elders had gathered at Caiaphas’s house and were waiting for Jesus to be delivered.  Peter followed Jesus (though at some distance so as not to be seen). He slipped into Caiaphas’s house and attached himself to a group of servants. And he sat watching, waiting to see how things would unfold.


I wonder what is the hardest part of this story?

I wonder why the crowd brought clubs and weapons?

I wonder if Peter will learn that we all can fail even if we don’t want to?

I wonder why it was a kiss that betrayed Jesus?

I wonder if Judas was sad about what he did? 

6-12 year-olds – Maundy Thursday

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22_upper-roomA few parent notes:

1. Maundy is a real word that some countries use in their daily life.  When that happens, the church day is called Holy Thursday.

2.  Maundy comes from the Latin –  Mandatum.  Mandatum means covenant and is derived from this phrase: “Mandatum novum do obis ut diligatis invicem sicut dildxi vos” (“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you.”

3.  We are discussing the Eucharist today.  This is the gift of Jesus to the Church,  and it is a holy thing about which we are learning.  The narration starts out right into the meat of betrayal and moves on from there.  One of my personal questions was what tone of voice does Jesus use when he answers Judas’ question.


Jacopo_Tintoretto_-_The_Last_Supper_-_WGA22649Matthew 26: 21-30

Jesus: I tell you this: one of you here will betray Me.

Narrator: The disciples, of course, were horrified.

A Disciple: Not me!

Another Disciple: It’s not me, Master, is it?

Jesus: It’s the one who shared this dish of food with Me. That is the one who will betray Me. Just as our sacred Scripture has taught, the Son of Man is on His way. But there will be nothing but misery for he who hands Him over. That man will wish he had never been born.

Narrator: At that, Judas, who was indeed planning to betray Him, said,

Judas Iscariot: It’s not me, Master, is it?

Jesus: I believe you’ve just answered your own question.

Upper-RoomNarrator:  As they were eating, Jesus took some bread. He offered a blessing over the bread, and then He broke it and gave it to His disciples.

Jesus: Take this and eat; it is My body.

Narrator: And then He took the cup of wine, He made a blessing over it, and He passed it around the table.

Jesus: Take this and drink, all of you:  this is My blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  But I tell you: I will not drink of the fruit of the vine again until I am with you once more, drinking in the kingdom of My Father.

Narrator: The meal concluded. Together, all the men sang a hymn of praise and thanksgiving, and then they took a late evening walk to the Mount of Olives.


OK712I wonder if it was hard for Jesus to sing a song of praise knowing Judas would betray him?

I wonder if you recognize some of the things Jesus says?

I wonder why it was so important for Jesus to give the gift of bread and wine to his disciples?

I wonder what happens next?


6-12 year-old – Jesus washing his friend’s feet

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pgls-2John 13: 13-22

Narrator: Before the Passover festival began, Jesus was keenly aware that His hour had come to depart from this world and to return to the Father. From beginning to end, Jesus’ days were marked by His love for His people. Before Jesus and His disciples gathered for dinner, the adversary filled Judas Iscariot’s heart with plans of deceit and betrayal.

Jesus, knowing that He had come from God and was going away to God,  stood up from dinner and removed His outer garments.

He then wrapped Himself in a towel,  poured water in a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with His towel.

Simon Peter (as Jesus approaches):  Lord, are You going to wash my feet?

Jesus:  Peter, you don’t realize what I am doing, but you will understand later.

Peter:  You will not wash my feet, now or ever!

Jesus: If I don’t wash you, you will have nothing to do with Me.

Peter:  Then wash me but don’t stop with my feet. Cleanse my hands and head as well.

Jesus:  Listen, anyone who has bathed is clean all over except for the feet. But I tell you this, not all of you are clean.

6a00d8341bffb053ef0133f4b1a99c970b-500wiNarrator: He knew the one with plans of betraying Him, which is why He said, “not all of you are clean.”  After washing their feet and picking up His garments, He reclined at the table again.

Jesus: Do you understand what I have done to you?  You call Me Teacher and Lord, and truly, that is who I am.

So if your Lord and Teacher washes your feet, then you should wash one another’s feet.  I am your example; keep doing what I do.  I tell you the truth: a servant is not greater than the master. Those who are sent are not greater than the one who sends them.If you know these things, and if you put them into practice, you will find happiness. I am not speaking about all of you.

I know whom I have chosen, but let the Hebrew Scripture be fulfilled that says, “The very same man who eats My bread with Me will stab Me in the back.” Assuredly, I tell you these truths before they happen so that when it all transpires, you will believe that I am.  I tell you the truth: anyone who accepts the ones I send accepts Me. In turn, the ones who accept Me also accept the One who sent Me.

KENDALL-Dinah Rose_Jesus washing his disciples feetNarrator: Jesus was becoming visibly distressed.

Jesus: I tell you the truth: one of you will betray Me.


I wonder what made Peter so reluctant to let Jesus wash his feet?

I wonder why Jesus allowed the betrayer to come to dinner and even washed his feet?

I wonder why it took the disciples so long to understand that one of them would betray Jesus?


6-12 year-olds – Map of Jerusalem

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This is the original work created for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
This is the original work created for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  This work is 50 years old and is not historically accurate due to new archaeology.  

Calling all LEGO fans!   In our quest to help children ground their faith in an historical context, today we look at the city of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus.  This work is a precise work and requires concentration.  It is also an extremely fun work.  The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a Montessori approach to learning about Jesus, has created a way for children to recognize the historic placement of Jesus during the gift of the Eucharist and  Triennium.

I’ve created an underlay map of the city of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus for you to print out and tape together*.  Map of Jerusalem

Gather LEGOs, blocks, or cardboard and start building the city walls, the temple, and the places where Jesus frequented (or to which he was drug).


1. There are lots and lots of gates in the city of Jerusalem – we don’t depict even half of them.  I just chose the main ones.

2. During the time of Herod the Great he also built walls that doubled the city size and they extended wide around Golgotha and the tomb.  Another set was being built to the south of the tomb.  The first set encompassed a large market area with many businesses.

Fascinating site and Source:  http://www.welcometohosanna.com/JERUSALEM_TOUR/firstrevolt.htm

3. The city was divided into the upper and lower cities due to geography.  There is a rock escarpment that divides the two.  The lower city held poorer residents and the upper city contained very wealthy residents.

4.  The water gate is called this because a spring can be found just outside of it.

5. It is about 1/3 of a mile from the Praetorium to Golgotha.  (Walk or bike that distance.)

6.  An aqueduct carried water under Jerusalem.

7.  People lived in the walls.  Herod the Great actually built a huge palace into the walls and the Roman Antonia Fortress (Pilate’s home) is as well.




instructions*Open the PDF document and choose print. Look for the words “page scaling” and change that to say “tile large pages” or “tile all pages.”  Four pieces of paper should print out.  Trim the edges and tape together.

3-6, 6-9 year olds – Map of Israel during Jesus’ time.

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Today we add a very important piece to the mind of the child.  We add place.  We remind the child that Jesus isn’t a

Three dimensional map of Israel - the next step after the regions are learned.
Three dimensional map of Israel – the next step after the regions are learned.

fairy tale because he lived in real places in the world.  He did real things in real places in our world.  Today we introduce the child to The Map of Israel at the time of Jesus.

FYI: the little green dots are other important areas in Jesus life and teaching.


  1. Print out the master map (the color one)8.5 x 11 Map of Israel in Jesus’ Time Colored
  2. Print out the child’s map (the outline form) (enough for the whole family)Map of Israel in Jesus’ Time 8.5 x 11
  3. Print out the map of the world. map of worldcharleston
  4. Glue or tape
  5. Pencil
  6. Colored pencils or crayons
  7. Scissors


Invite the child to the table.

Today we have an important thing to discuss.  It isn’t a story of the Faces of Easter but it holds the stories of the Faces of Easter – and many, many more.

When God chooses to be far out in space and looks down on the Earth he can see the whole world at one time.  If God decided to draw what he sees from waaaaay up high that would be a map.  Would you like to see the how the Earth looks from wwwwaaaaaaayyyyy up high?

Bring out the map of the world.

This is called a map.  It shows us an outline of the world.  Do you want to know where we live?

Point to the North American star.  (Be prepared for questions about where relatives live.)

Do you want to know where Jesus lived?

Point to the Middle Eastern star.

He lived in a tiny place. It is so small that it is hidden under our star.

If we are going to talk about where Jesus lived we might need a magnifying glass.  But even with that it would be hard to see.  Hmm.  I know we need a better map.  A map of just Israel.  A map of what is covered up by that tiny star.  A map like this.

Bring out the master map of Israel during the time of Jesus.  Maps are a tricky thing to explain.  Don’t get caught up in it.

Point to the blue on the map.  (Yes, there are sharks occasionally in the Mediterranean Sea.)

There are several blue places on our map. This big, big blue place is called the Mediterranean Sea.  It is huge.  This other large blue place is called the Dead Sea.  I wonder why it is called the Dead Sea?

Wait for some thinking.

I read that it is called the Dead Sea because no animals can live in it and no plants can live near it.  It has so much salt in it that it kills anything near it.  Everything near it is a wilderness.  Do you remember what Jesus did in the wilderness?

Wait for it.  (The child may want to go get the pictures of the Faces of Easter – this is great.)

Trace your finger up the Jordan River to the Sea of Galilee.

This lake is called the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus spent lots of time here.  The river that connects the to seas is called the Jordan River.

Do you remember what is special about the Jordan River?

Wait for it.

The light tan area is called Decapolis and it was not part of Israel during Jesus’ time.  Jesus still visited there quite a bit.

The yellow, red, green and orange areas were part of Israel during Jesus’ time.  These four areas were controlled by a guy named Pontius Pilate.  The people who lived in each area were very different from one another.

The red one is called Galilee after the Sea of Galilee.  This is the area where Mary lived when the Angel Gabriel told her she would be having baby Jesus.  It is also the area where Jesus did most of his growing up.  The city that Mary lived in was called Nazareth.

Can you touch the green dot next to the word that begins with a “N.”

The blue one is called Samaria. Jesus spent time here, too.

The yellow one is called Petra.  This is where Jesus’ closest friends lived.  This is where Jesus healed the blind man.  He lived in a city called Bethany.

Can you touch the green dot next to the word that begins with a “B” that is inside the yellow area.

The orange section is called Judea.  This is where lots of Jesus’ life is told.  He was born in Bethlehem.  He went to the temple when he was 12.  He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. On  Thursday we are going to see a great gift that he gives to us.  He gave it to us in Jerusalem.

Can you touch the green dot next to Jerusalem?  Jerusalem?

See how the Jordan River comes between Bethany and Jerusalem?  See that green dot?  That is where Jesus was baptized. And this green dot next to the Dead Sea is the area where Jesus spent time in the wilderness.

You may need to stop here.  The rest of the lesson can be at a separate time.

The black and white coloring map is designed for various ages.  3 year olds may do well with just shading in the areas and maybe  gluing down the  Annunciation, Birth, and Crucifixion tickets.

An older child who is learning to write may choose to write the names of the regions of Israel or the Seas, or the Cities – or all of them.

Other children may want to cut the tickets off of the edge and match the tickets to the areas where the event happened.

Invite the child to do the work themselves while you do one yourself.  

Cleaning up is just as important as doing the work.  Do not clean up all by yourself.