This year Palm Sunday is 29 March. The story is from Luke 19, Mark 11, John 12 and Matthew 21. It is the beginning of the end of Jesus’ life on the earth. In Mark’s gospel we read that ‘they (Jesus and his disciples and followers) were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who foloowed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was going to happen to him saying, ‘See, we are going to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priestsand the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.’ Mark 10:32-34.
These must have been difficult things for Jesus to talk about. The disciples don’t appear to have really understood – James and John are bothered about where they will get to sit in heaven!
But despite the fact that Jesus knows he is going to Jerusalem to die he stops to help a man who is calling out to him. Bartimaeus is sitting by the roadside and shouting out for help. And Jesus stops and helps.
And then the group arrive at the outskirts of Jerusalem and Jesus sends two disciples to fetch a donkey. He rides into Jerusalem at a time when the place would have been packed with people there to celebrate Passover. They welcome him – laying clothes on the floor and waving palm branches calling Hosanna.
Ideas for telling the story to children
For young children it would be good to ask them to shout ‘Hosanna’ at the right time in the story and wave palm branches that they have made.
If you use a story bag include a toy/model donkey, a cloak to lay on the floor and a palm branch.
For older children make the connection with Old Testament prophecy as highlighted in Matthew’s account. It’s also useful for older children to have a timeline of the Easter events.
A couple of palm leaf crafts – a suncatcher and a collage. Both use paper plates. The sun catcher is a little more tricky and has tacky back and glitter! The palm leaf collage can be cut out and a pipe cleaner attached so it can be waved during the story.
Older children could design a sun catcher and cut out the shape and attach the tacky back etc.
Large+Palm+Leaf – PDF file
Small+Palm+Leaf – PDF file – template for palm leaf sun catcher