It’s very timely to be reflecting key ideas and Scripture leading up to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ in your own space or together with your spouse or family. While there are a variety of traditions and activities to enjoy online or in stores, we are offering a simple focus for you. Please keep in mind that you are welcome to change the questions to fit your children’s or group’s learning style If you are using the PDF’s, you may need to refer to the online versions for some of the links.
We’d appreciate your feedback by emailing Pastor Jim Doyle.
Week 1 - Leading up to Palm Sunday (Days 1-5)
Week One – DAY 1
Eyes on Jesus
Activity: For fun, 0pen up the PDF (below) to find the Jesus symbol. First look at the black symbols only. Then refocus on the white space between the black symbols to see Jesus. (Use with permission by Shari Abbott of reasonsforhopeJesus.com)
Game: Paper Plate Powerball
Paint stir sticks – enough for each family member who plans to play
Heavy-duty paper plates for each player
Stapler (to attach plates to sticks)
A trash can or paint bucket for each player (be creative by using something for the balloons to be hit into for a goal)
5 different colored balloons for each player
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
Remember you can create variations to make it work for you family and environment.
Give each player the paint stir stick with a strong paper plate stapled to it. (Be sure the bottom of the plate is facing outward). This is their paddle.
For the game setup, place 4 trashcans or whatever goal you’re using around the room or at one end of the room if you’re do it as a relay.
Inflate the 5 colored balloons for each player. Be sure to have some extra in case a balloon pops.
When the game begins, each player will use his/her “paddle” to try and hit his/her colored balloon into their trash can, bucket, or whatever it is you are using for the goals.
Every time a player gets a balloon in the bucket or can, they get one point.
After the game, say:
This game was all about getting to the goal, right? Once you had a balloon near your paddle, you stayed focused until you got it into the can! You were determined to get to the goal! Can you imagine having that same determination in keeping your eyes on Jesus, focusing on Him every day.
Read (The Message):
Hebrews 12:2 —- Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.
Matthew 6:22 —- Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light.
- What do you think it means to “keep your eyes on Jesus…” a staring contest, an act of judging Him, or giving Him our full attention or hearts?
- Make a list of ways you can stay focused on Jesus.
- Based on your list, what is one more thing you can do that you’re not already doing or could do better at staying focused on Jesus?
Lord, thank you for loving me so much. Help me to ________________ so that I can keep my eyes on You better. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Week 2 - Leading up to Easter Sunday (Days 6-11)
Week Two – (DAY 6)
Excited to See Jesus – Monday (The Triumphal Entry)
Ice-Breaker: If Jesus were coming over to my home, I would be excited to say _________________ to Him. In a similar way, the crowds, outside of Jerusalem were so excited for Jesus’ triumphant entry and shouted praises to Him.
Craft: (1) Take a 8.5 x 11 piece of white contraction paper and fold it in half. (2) Pre-draw an outline of a donkey. (3) Cut out the donkey outline with the paper folded so that you have two halves shapes of the donkey. (4) Have your kid(s) color their donkey. (5) Glue some black/brown pieces of yarn onto the inside of one of the donkey shapes to make a tail. (5) Glue the two donkey shapes together. (6) Clip two wood/plastic clothespins to create the legs, and now you have a donkey!
Read (The Message): Mark 11:8-10 —- The people gave him a wonderful welcome, some throwing their coats on the street, others spreading out rushes they had cut in the fields. Running ahead and following after, they were calling out,
Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!
Blessed the coming kingdom of our father David!
Hosanna in highest heaven!
- When Jesus came on the donkey into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-13), the crowds were expecting Him to become the next King of Israel. But He desired to be King of their hearts. What do you think Jesus should come as when He returns?
- Does the thought of Jesus coming excite you, scare you, or does it do something else to you?
- How confident are you in being ready for Jesus’ coming? (Read and discuss Roman 6:23; Ephesians 2:9-10)
- How do you want to live as if Jesus was coming today?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for loving me so much. Help me to be ready for Your return. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Week Two (DAY 7)
Worshipping Jesus – Tuesday (Jesus enters and clears the Temple)
Sing-A-Long: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF3Zr3D2UmA (We want to see Jesus lifted high, by Written by Doug Horley, 1993 Thankyou Music.)
Lyrics: We Want To See Jesus Lifted Up
We want to see we want to see We want to see Jesus lifted high We want to see we want to see We want to see Jesus lifted high We want to see Jesus lifted high A banner that flies across this land That all men might see the truth and know He is the way to Heaven We want to see Jesus lifted high A banner that flies across this land That all men might see the truth and know He is the way to Heaven We want to see we want to see We want to see Jesus lifted high We want to see we want to see We want to see Jesus lifted high We want to see Jesus lifted high A banner that flies across this land That all men might see the truth and know He is the way to Heaven We want to see Jesus lifted high A banner that flies across this land That all men might see the truth and know He is the way to Heaven We want to see we want to see We want to see Jesus lifted high We want to see we want to see We want to see Jesus lifted high Step by step we’re moving forward Little by little we’re taking ground Every prayer is a powerful weapon Strongholds come tumbling down And down and down and down We want to see we want to see We want to see Jesus lifted high We want to see we want to see We want to see Jesus lifted high You can finish out the song or turn It off at this time. The chorus repeats Several times.)
Read (The Message): Matthew 21:12-14 —- Jesus went straight to the Temple and threw out everyone who had set up shop, buying and selling. He kicked over the tables of loan sharks and the stalls of dove merchants. He quoted this text: My house was designated a house of prayer; You have made it a hangout for thieves.
1 Corinthians 6:19 —- Didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit?
- Imagine this scene with Jesus and the moneychangers in the temple. What does it look like to you?
- What do you understand about the kind of temple or house of worship it should have been?
- Read I Corinthians 6:19. Since the Lord, through Paul, is saying your body is a sacred place (or temple), both physically and spiritually, how do you think you should live your life?
- What do you think Jesus needs to clean out in your life, or how do you want to live differently so that Jesus is lifted high, as the song says?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for loving me so much. Help me to be live for you daily. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Week Two (DAY 8)
Seeking Jesus – Wednesday (Greeks came looking for Jesus)
Outreach: (Ideas from SignUp Genius, https://www.signupgenius.com/nonprofit/kid-friendly-volunteering.cfm)
Homeless and/or Hungry
Homelessness is a difficult issue to explain to young children, but you can help them learn about helping others less fortunate than them and expose them to volunteer opportunities. This is great for everyone to know and believe that God loves everyone and wants everyone to come to Him.
- Bring your children with you to cook or serve meals at a homeless shelter.
2. Make care packages for the homeless. Include travel-sized toiletries, granola bars, and bottled water. Carry them with you in the car to hand out when you have the opportunity.
3. Donate books or art supplies to a homeless shelter for children.
4. Collect coats and give to a homeless shelter in winter.
5. Sponsor a child through Toys for Tots or the Angel Tree to make sure these children have magical holidays.
6. Check with Bread of Life (O’Side) or Fil-A-Belly to see if young children can assist with setting tables or handing out small fruits like apples and bananas.
7. Shop for a toy to give away, and then have your child give it to a child in need.
8. Gather canned foods to deposit at a local food bank.
9. Have your child sort through old toys they don’t play with anymore and donate them to Goodwill or another local charity group.
Read (The Message): John 12:20-36 —- There were some Greeks in town who had come up to worship at the Feast. They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee: “Sir, we want to see Jesus. Can you help us?”
Galatians 3:28 —- In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ.
- How did you find Jesus?
- How hard is it to like or love someone who is difficult to like or love even though God loves that person as much as He loves you?
- Read Galatians 3:28. What kind of heart do you think Jesus wants you to have toward others, even those who are not like you?
- Make a plan for how you, your family, or your friends could reach out to those in need, especially during this time in our lives.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for loving me so much. Help me to be loving to anyone I meet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Week Two (day 9)
Worshipping Jesus – Maudy Thursday (Jesus washes His disciples’ feet)
Activity: 2 Crafts that teach your kiddos about Jesus’ washing His disciples’ feet: https://childrensministry.com/jesus-washes-the-disciples-feet/. The big idea, of course, is to make the point of having the love, heart and care to serve others.
Read (The Message):
John 13:1-20 —- 1-2 Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to the Father. Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end. It was suppertime. The Devil by now had Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, firmly in his grip, all set for the betrayal.
3-6 Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Master, you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.” 8 Peter persisted, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!” Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.” 9 “Master!” said Peter. “Not only my feet, then. Wash my hands! Wash my head!” 10-12 Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So now you’re clean. But not every one of you.” (He knew who was betraying him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you.”) After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table. 12-17 Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.
John 10:43-45 —- It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served—and then to give away his life
- How would you feel if the principle of your school, your favorite athlete, musician or artist, or even the President of the United States came over to your house to kneel down in front of you and wash your feet?
- Imagine what the scene would have looked like for the disciples seeing Jesus, the Son of the living God, wash their feet?
- What does this tell you personally about Jesus?
- Who would you like to serve this week? What do you plan to do?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for loving me so much. Help me to have a humble heart to serve others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Week Two (DAY 10)
Praying to Jesus – Good Friday (Jesus prays in the garden)
Activity: 2 Kids Prayer Journal Craft Ideas:
Read (The Message):
John 13:1-20 —- 39-40 Leaving there, he went, as he so often did, to Mount Olives. The disciples followed him. When they arrived at the place, he said, “Pray that you don’t give in to temptation.” 41-44 He pulled away from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, remove this cup from me. But please, not what I want. What do you want?” At once an angel from heaven was at his side, strengthening him. He prayed on all the harder. Sweat, wrung from him like drops of blood, poured off his face. 45-46 He got up from prayer, went back to the disciples and found them asleep, drugged by grief. He said, “What business do you have sleeping? Get up. Pray so you won’t give in to temptation.”
- Why do you think Jesus needed to pray just before His death on the cross?
- Why do you think He was so strongly pushing the disciples to be in prayer?
- Why do you think prayer is important?
- Who do you want to pray for, what do you want to pray about this week? (Consider Matthew 6:9-13)
Prayer: Lord, thank you for loving me so much. Help me to make a habit to pray daily. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Week 2 (DAY 11)
Living with Jesus – (Jesus’ Death & Resurrection)
Game: Gospel Treasure Hunt – Supplies: Print pictures of the following items: a cup, a loaf of bread, praying hands, silver coins, an ear, a rooster, a gavel, a leather whip, a crown of thorns, nails, a cross, a sword, and a stone. Split the class into teams for this Easter game. Tell your kiddos that there are pictures hidden around the room, and they are to find them. After the kiddos have found all the pictures, explain how each pictured item relates to Jesus going to the cross and being placed in the tomb. Craft: Cross Bookmark – Supplies: Card stock cutouts, glue, markers, glitter, colored yarn, hole punch Provide your kiddos with a card stock cutout of a cross (or alternately, cut vertical and horizontal rectangles and have the children glue them together to form a cross). The cross should be small enough to fit in a standard bible. If they are old enough your kids can glue, tape, or carefully tie a piece of yarn to the top of the cross. To tie the yarn through the cross, use the punch to make a hole in the top of the cross and gently tie it. Have your kids write a memory verse on the cross and decorate the cross as they choose.
Read (The Message): Matthew 27:27-50 —- 27-31 The soldiers assigned to the governor took Jesus into the governor’s palace and got the entire brigade together for some fun. They stripped him and dressed him in a red toga. They plaited a crown from branches of a thornbush and set it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand for a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mocking reverence: “Bravo, King of the Jews!” they said. “Bravo!” Then they spit on him and hit him on the head with the stick. When they had had their fun, they took off the toga and put his own clothes back on him. Then they proceeded out to the crucifixion. 32-34 Along the way they came on a man from Cyrene named Simon and made him carry Jesus’ cross. Arriving at Golgotha, the place they call “Skull Hill,” they offered him a mild painkiller (a mixture of wine and myrrh), but when he tasted it he wouldn’t drink it. 35-40 After they had finished nailing him to the cross and were waiting for him to die, they whiled away the time by throwing dice for his clothes. Above his head they had posted the criminal charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews. Along with him, they also crucified two criminals, one to his right, the other to his left. People passing along the road jeered, shaking their heads in mock lament: “You bragged that you could tear down the Temple and then rebuild it in three days—so show us your stuff! Save yourself! If you’re really God’s Son, come down from that cross!” 41-44 The high priests, along with the religion scholars and leaders, were right there mixing it up with the rest of them, having a great time poking fun at him: “He saved others—he can’t save himself! King of Israel, is he? Then let him get down from that cross. We’ll all become believers then! He was so sure of God—well, let him rescue his ‘Son’ now—if he wants him! He did claim to be God’s Son, didn’t he?” Even the two criminals crucified next to him joined in the mockery. 45-46 From noon to three, the whole earth was dark. Around midafternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” 47-49 Some bystanders who heard him said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” One of them ran and got a sponge soaked in sour wine and lifted it on a stick so he could drink. The others joked, “Don’t be in such a hurry. Let’s see if Elijah comes and saves him.” 50 But Jesus, again crying out loudly, breathed his last.
Matthew 28:5-6 —- The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.
1. Why do you think Jesus had to die?
2. Why do you believe He died and rose again for you personally?
3. What do you think it means for Jesus to be your Savior?
4. Have you asked Jesus into your life? (Romans 10:9-10)
5. Have you ever told someone that you are a follower of Jesus (if you are)?
6. We’d love to celebrate with you if you recently have prayed to receive Jesus as your Savior. Simply email Pastor Jim Doyle at email@example.com and let him know about your decision to follow Jesus.
7. Check out our New Believers web page at: https://www.northcoastcalvary.org/im-new/new-followers/.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for loving me so much. Help me to live my life for you, Jesus. In Your name, Amen.