Friday, April 11, 2014

Preparing for Palm Sunday

Lately, I've been trying to think of new ways to engage kids at church. As we move from the Old Testament to the New Testament, I find it harder to explain abstract concepts to kindergarteners and 1st graders.
What's redeemed? What's reborn? What's the big fuss about the birth of Jesus Christ, his life full of miracles and teaching, Palm Sunday, Crucifixion, Easter Sunday?
Sure, there are stories to be told. But what's the take-away for the kiddos. Most kids knew the stories by heart and more than half can answer our questions.
But does it mean anything to them?
I always feel a pang of sadness whenever I hear stories of how people "grew out" of their faith. Sunday School was but a thing of childhood, forced on them by their parents.
What happened in the midst of growing up? I thought that was the best time to experience God. You are entering the scariest phase in life where everything is changing. Nobody understands but He does.
Deep inside, I desperately hope that none of the kids will fall away. That they will retain whatever they learned in Sunday School, and use it wisely as they move into more challenging phases of their lives.
Faith is an individual's choice. And I hope they take it.
Back to my job as the channel.
For Palm Sunday, other than making a clothespin donkey and reminding the kids about Jesus' humility as king as he entered into Jerusalem, I want to bring up the significance of the palm leaves - a symbol of triumph and worship for the king.
Supposed to make these crosses with real palm leaves but have done a trial with ribbon and felt. Am also planning to prepare some strings for kids to wear the final product as a pendant. 
While I was feeling a little panicky that I won't be able to find palm leaves in time, an email from a fellow teacher told me that he could check with a florist tomorrow morning.
See, God provides.
[Post-script: Here's what the final product looks like. It's made from half a leaflet (length-wise) and we could tie a string through the loop.]


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