On Sunday, Melissa and I decided to combine our Multiage and Middler classes (we even included the Preschool for a bit!) to share in the dynamic activities planned for our lesson. Following the incredible lesson from last week about Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the dead, we continued the story this week as we recreated, in dramatic style, the celebratory dinner that Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, held for Jesus and his disciples. We assumed it was a thank you dinner for bringing their brother back to life! All the children gathered on the stage while sister Mary (Melissa donned a fabulous disguise for this) invited them to a special supper. Sitting in the middle was Jesus (thanks to Carlin for playing this role!). Instead of serving food to her guests, Mary surprised everyone by pouring out an entire bottle of perfumed anointing oil on Jesus’ feet, then wiping them with her hair! This special oil would have been valued at about $15,000 in today’s terms – so this was a VERY generous gesture! Judas reprimanded Mary for wasting such a resource on Jesus, but Jesus disagreed, reminding his disciples that he will not always be there with them (perhaps a foreshadow of the near future?). Later in our dramatic story, Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem on the back of a donkey with the crowds shouting “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Our lesson ended with Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. When we meet again on Palm Sunday, we will continue teaching the dramatic events of Holy Week.
Lots of activities and explorations populated North Hall on Sunday after our drama was complete, focusing mostly on scents (the perfumed oil that Mary used on Jesus was said to permeate the entire room with its scent!) and special words. The children were invited to scratch away the black surface of letters to reveal a special message that Jesus said; they created their own scented lotion with a variety of essential oils; they participated in a blind scent challenge where they had to guess the items hidden in the boxes using only their sense of smell (vanilla, mint, and onion were the hardest to guess); and they worked with Melissa on the stage to create letters using their bodies to spell out different words in our lesson. It proved to be a fun but challenging task, so we only spelled out “king” and “Jesus,” but we had a great time! Thanks to the preschool for joining us for this part!