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Family faith formation at home for April 5, 2020: Palm Sunday

Welcome

One: Come, let us gather around and see how the Spirit will nurture our faith today.

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Christ, the light of the world.
(Place a candle on a table in your gathering place and light it.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:   The Love of God, who came to meet us in the world.
(Place a cross on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Wisdom of God, who speaks through the Scriptures.
(Place an open Bible on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Grace of God, who proclaims we are children of God.
(Place a symbol of baptism – a bowl of water, a seashell – on a table in your gathering space.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Our risen Lord, who meets us at the table.
(Place a symbol of communion – a plate and cup, a loaf of bread, grapes – on a table in your gathering space.)

One:    We are here, Holy Spirit, ready for your leading.

God sightings and prayer offerings

Invite each person to share where they saw or experienced God this week. Invite each person to share something — a person, community, experience, event, etc. – for which they want to offer prayer. 

Good and gracious God, we thank you for all the ways you were and are present in our lives and in the world. [Invite each person to say aloud the sighting they named earlier.] We bring our prayers to you, prayers for… [invite each person to say aloud the prayer need they named earlier]. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Connecting with Scripture: Matthew 21:1-11

Read the Scripture aloud the first time using the New Revised Standard Version or the Common English Bible.

Ask those gathered to close their eyes and listen to the Scripture read aloud again. Invite them to pick one character from the story and pay attention to that character’s perspective.

  • Who were you? What character did you pick?
  • What did you see/notice?
  • Why did you choose that particular character?

Connecting through story

What the clip below of the ticker tape parade in New York City for the United States Women’s Soccer Team celebrating their second World Cup victory.

  • Who were the people gathered along the parade route?
  • Why were they so excited?
  • How did they celebrate?

Connecting with our lives

Engage in dialogue:

  • In what ways was Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem similar and different from the parade you watched in the clip?
  • What is surprising about how Jesus came into Jerusalem?
  • Why do you think people were excited to see Jesus?
  • If the first Palm Sunday was happening today, how do you think it would happen? Why?
  • Even though Jesus is not physically with us, there are many ways we can still honor and celebrate him. What are ways we can celebrate Jesus even now — today and every day?

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion:

  • “Hosanna” is an expression of joy, praise and adoration.
  • Today is the beginning of Holy Week.
  • Palm Sunday marks the start of a very important week of celebrations.
  • The week starts at a high point with large crowds excited about Jesus arriving.
  • By Thursday, Jesus and his friends are celebrating the Passover Meal that we now know as the Last Supper. Later that night, he was arrested.
  • Then on Friday he was tried, found guilty and crucified. Next Sunday is the celebration of his resurrection.
  • It is important not to rush too quickly from the high of this Sunday to the high of next Sunday.
  • There are important moments to remember throughout the week as we rehearse the story of God’s self-giving love for us in Jesus.

Invite each person to go and find something they would bring to a parade that welcomes Jesus. If you live in a region where there are palm fronds, great! If not, encourage your family to think creatively. Have one person read the Gospel lesson again and invite others to act out the part of the crowd bringing what they gathered.

Prayer

As a part of your closing, invite each person to share the reason they chose what they did to bring to the reenacted parade.

Close your time together by prayer for one another, your neighbor, community and the world.

 

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