High days and Holy Days

Holy Week Celebrations

Worksheets and colouring and videos; oh my!

For Palm Sunday
Worksheet on Luke 19v28-44 Jesus Enters Jerusalem for 8-12’s but could be adapted
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry colouring page for up to 7 years old
This video for 4-11’s God’s Story: Palm Sunday
And A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Jerusalem is a great bit of stand up poetry for teens and grown ups.

For Good Friday
Worksheet on Luke 23v18-56 The Cross for 8-12’s
Jesus carrying the Cross and the Crucifixion colouring pages for 7 year olds or younger
This God’s Story: Easter video for 4-11’s
Either of the Funny Thing videos would work well on Good Friday

For Easter Sunday
Worksheet for 8-12’s on Luke 24v1-12 The Resurrection
Two great empty tomb colouring sheets or puzzle versions of them can be found on Crafting the Word of God
The Easter God’s story video above also covers the resurrection.
And would you know it A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Tomb: If the title sounds unpromising – don’t worry – these poems are both reverential and clever as well as amusing.

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Easter Gifts

There’s more to Easter than eggs
And here are some gifts to help show it

 Kids, in my experience, ask a lot of questions. If you know a child between two and 10 you’re undoubtably answering a lot of questions – and as frustrating as that can be; it’s a fantastic thing! If you find yourself answering a lot of questions about God try  Rob Willoughby’s So, Who Is God? Answers to Real Questions About God.

As the subtitle of Rob’s book suggests this book aims to cover the specific and the theologically challenging from “Does God live in the sky?” to “What is God’s real name?” I really appreciated how the answers include Bible passages, often one OT and one NT, a relevant anecdote from Church history and an application.

You can pull the book of the shelf when a child asks a stumper or you can read your way through; one question a day, and it works equally well. It could be useful at home or for a Sunday School teacher who knows a question is going to come up with this weeks passage and it’d make a great Easter gift for a curious kid.

This book I gave to my 7 year old nephew and would do again. It’s a similar style to the popular Tom Gates series (think an easier to read and more creative Diary of a Wimpy Kid) well-loved by my secondary school reluctant readers as well as primary aged keen beans. Instead of being a fictionalised version of a school kid – it’s the diary of Dr Luke as he investigates the life of Jesus. Luke’s gospel rewritten in a fun, engaging and appropriate manner – what more could you want.

There’s also a £1 snippet of Diary of a Disciple which would make great gifts/prizes for a Sunday School class of 6-10 year olds.

For teens try The Action Bible it’s a comic book style retelling of the Bible, compelling, visually stunning and historically accurate in terms of costume and architecture. Great for full-of-energy-can’t-sit-still-and-read types. There’s also a collaboration with the NIV Study Bible for those who want an actual Bible but one that highlights the awesome and exiting rather than looking serious and stuffy. I’d recommend for girls who want a teen appropriate study Bible without the pink, handbags and ‘hanging out at the mall’ feel.

There’s an Easter Story version that is downloadable as an ebook, at 17 pages long and 99p it would be great for teens that can’t stop looking at their phone/tablet.

Want to give a non-egg but know a book won’t be appreciated? Try some music!
For kids – or church leaders looking for Biblical children’s music – I love Colin Buchanan (you may have noticed) and he’s conveniently compiled his most Easter-y songs into one album Boss of the Cross.

 

Or for an older teen how about the ever hip and enthusiastic Rend Collective. Their latest, Good News, is celebratory and sad, thoughtful and foot-stomping, moving and carries the message.

 

Just so you know; I don’t make money of recommending these to you – I do it ‘cos I love them. Click on the title of each product to be taken to a webpage where you can buy – where I can I’ve used the original publisher’s site or a Christian company to make sure that these people can keep producing excellent products which can help us share the gospel.

New Series!

A Pilgrim’s Progress

and how it helps us realise what it really means to be a Christian

I cried the first time I read it.

When Christian loses his burden in the shadow of the cross: I broke down.  I knew what that felt like and to my embarrassment I knew (and still know) I was picking up that discarded burden again and again; fighting Jesus for the right to carry it. That’s why although PP isn’t one of my favourite books – I really value it as an allegory. There are no perfect Christians here only redeemed sinners struggling along.

I hope that this series, which is a heavily abridged version of the story accompanied by questions to link it to its Biblical inspiration and apply it to our lives, helps your young people. It may prepare them for struggles ahead or help them to realise they’re not trusting Jesus yet.

It’s largely adapted from Geraldine McCaughrean’s retelling of the classic, although I turned to the original for help sometimes. I also used Jason Cockroft’s beautiful pointillist illustrations in my powerpoint where I could (because they’re stunning!) but since I have no rights to them I haven’t shared them. You could buy the book and scan them in as I did. That’s why, in my version, Christian is young and Hopeful is female – it matched the illustrations.

More in this series next week.

Updates:

Dealing with Exam Stress

and more on Parables

So exam stress first: GCSEs started this week which means plenty of stressed out teenagers. Here‘s a study that aims to put exams in their proper place with a bit of Biblical perspective.

I’ve also updated the parables I posted last week. They now have a full complement of games, talk, prayer and songs to go with the dramas I put up already.

Subscribe if you like them as there will be more parables in the coming weeks; and more studies for youth looking at living as a disciple of Jesus in a fallen world.

Jesus meets a poor witness and a good friend

Jesus meets Mary Magdalene

and sadness turns to joy!

While, as a woman, her experience would have counted for nothing in a court of law what Mary Mag saw that day changed the world forever!
I always have this verse (1 Corinthians 15:17) in mind whenever I read/teach about the resurrection:

 if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

He has been raised FACT
Our faith is fruitful FACT
We are free from sin and alive in Christ FACT
And Mary’s testimony tells us just how wonderful that is!

Inspiring Art

Pilate is running late

but I rediscovered some amazing Bible based artwork to share with you instead!

I’ve been a big fan of Graham Kennedy’s art for a long, long time. Not only is it beautifully drawn and specifically designed to accompany Bible stories it’s also incredibly well researched. His desire to draw accurately has led to meticulous research into the cultures, buildings, landscape and traditions written about throughout the Bible.

serpent_in_wilderness_gkHis blog is a fascinating record of this: it covers everything from would the Pharisees have had dark blue or black lines on their prayer shawls to the shape of the stone tablets (probably square!). It’s made me double check a passage to find out if Jesus was talking to a crowd or just the twelve or an unspecified number of disciples in between – things that if I hadn’t considered it from an artist’s perspective I may never have noticed; but which can change the way you apply a passage.

AngelHe also does the best drawings of angels! Unlike the slightly soppy kind that usually adorn my Christmas Cards; you can understand why these angels always have to open every conversation with ‘Don’t be afraid.’
Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Read his blog at bibleillustration.blogspot.co.uk and get a free samples of his work (including pictures for when Jesus met the woman at the well) here. Unfortunately all the links I know of to buy his illustrations are broken: I’ll update you if I find any.
Enjoy and subscribe below so you don’t miss it when Jesus meets Pilate.