The Bible story is from Luke 19:28-40 and Mark 11:1-10
‘Jesus and his friends were almost at the big city of Jerusalem. Lots of people wanted to see Jesus. But how was Jesus going to arrive in the city? Not in a car or a helicopter (they didn’t have those!) Not on a big, strong horse.
Jesus sent two of his friends to borrow a donkey. They bought it to Jesus and put their cloaks on it and he rode into the big city.
Crowds and crowds of people were there. There were mums and dads, grandmas and grandads and children just like you! They called out ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ as Jesus passed by. They shouted, ‘hosanna!’ (which means ‘God saves’) They waved palm branches and threw their cloaks into the road.
They welcomed Jesus – the King sent from God.’
Some pictures to use to tell the story – you could use the printouts as a craft if telling the story at home or with older children.
Jesus is now in Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. Last time he met Bartimaeus. Now he meets Zacchaeus. Two very different people!
To tell the story… from Luke 19:1-10
Have a tree – you can make one from a pringle container or draw one – and a person to represent Zacchaeus. Place Zacchaeus in a story bag.
Jesus was now getting nearer to Jerusalem. Lots of people wanted to see Jesus as he walked through their town. They had heard a lot about all the amazing things that he had done.
One man really wanted to see Jesus. His name was Zacchaeus (can you say that name?) Let’s say hello to Zacchaeus as he comes out of the story bag.
Now Zacchaeus was very, very rich. He had loads of money. Some of his money he had by taking what wasn’t his! So people didn’t like Zacchaeus.
But that wasn’t all. Zacchaeus was a short man. So when Jesus was coming to his town he had a problem! He couldn’t see past the crowds! The crowds of people didn’t like Zacchaeus so they weren’t going to let him get to the front. Standing on tip toe didn’t help either. So Zacchaeus began to run. He ran to a tree. Then he did something that he hadn’t done for a long, long time. He climbed the tree. Now he could see Jesus.
And there Jesus was, walking along the road. And then Jesus stopped! Right under the tree. ‘Zacchaeus, come down. I’m coming to your house today!’ said Jesus.
Zacchaeus came down the tree. ‘I will give back all the money that isn’t mine and I will give extra money too’ he said.
Zacchaeus was a different person now that he had met Jesus.
Jesus said ‘I came to look for and to save the lost’. All of us are lost without Jesus. He is looking for us and is able to save us.
Next half term at Thursday toddler group we will be travelling along the road to Easter. In the Gospels Jesus meets several people when he is on this last journey to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover for the final time. So four of our stories will be about these people that met Jesus as he was going to Jerusalem. Then we will have the story of the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and in the final week the Death and Resurrection of Jesus.
I’ll be using different props for each story but as we go there will be a paper plate picture for each week that will build a bigger picture..
Our stories will be
The Rich Young Ruler (Luke 18:18-23 and Mark 10:17-22)
Bartimaeus (Luke 18:35-43 and Mark 10:32,33,46-52)
Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10)
Mary anoints Jesus (John 12:1-8)
The Triumphal Entry (Luke 19:28-40)
Death and Resurrection of Jesus (Luke 23:44-24:12)
This is how our big picture will look when we have told all the stories..
These are paper plates covered in tissue paper with people and buildings and trees etc added.
The people are available to download – if you would like to make a contribution to the blog you are very welcome to do so but of course you don’t have to!
There is a lot of cutting out to do beforehand and not loads for children to do – they decorate the baby, add the tissue paper and the star – so you may want to make a paper plate Mary, Joseph or a shepherd as well!
A few weeks ago the children’s talk in church was about prayer. The question was ‘What is prayer?’ The answer came from Psalm 62:8, ‘Pour out your heart to him’.
This seemed to me to be such a simple and straightforward way to think about talking to God. We simply pour our heart out to him. The person who does this in the Bible is Hannah as she prays for a child.
It made me think – ‘what are the things on my heart when it comes to the toddler groups that I either lead or help at each week?’ Sometimes there have been specific health concerns of parents, sometimes we’ve struggled with either too few people coming or too many. Sometimes there haven’t been enough helpers. Sometimes I have felt really nervous about leading the singing.
This June we have (in the UK) a month of prayer for Toddler Groups so I decided to make a visual aid for myself. You are very welcome to download the two ideas. My aim is to pray each day for the things that are on my heart.
The sea is crepe paper strips and cellophane strips. You have to be careful with the cellophane – if you think children might put it in their mouths then don’t use it. I was stationed at the craft table all morning as we had extra helpers.
We last did Jonah at toddler group in 2015 (where does the time go!) Here’s a link to the story and our huge big fish!