Palm Sunday: Jesus’ Triumphant Return to Jerusalem

Children’s Story

Materials: 

  • Pictures of Jesus
  • OPTIONAL:  Palms to lay on floor
  • OPTIONAL:  Scarves to lay on floor
  • OPTIONAL:  Wallet cards to give to children

Preparations:

  • Prepare any necessary materials.
  • Invite children up to steps of altar.
  • Reader of story sits in a chair with children sitting on floor in front of her.
  • Include children’s story, even if there are no children in your congregation, to welcome families who may come to the service.
  • You can add your own creativity to the stories.  You may feel comfortable using props or presenting them just as they are written.
  • Feel free to adjust the content to fit your time frame.  However, for the spiritual development of the child, we encourage keeping as much of the Ascended Master’s Teachings as possible.

Good morning!  Today is Palm Sunday and I want to wish you a Happy Palm Sunday!  I’m going to tell you a story about Jesus going to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday a long, long time ago.

   Jesus’ Triumphant Return to Jerusalem

         It was spring in the land where Jesus lived.  The air was breezy, flowers were blooming, and all the people were happy because they were going to Jerusalem to celebrate one of the great feasts of the year.

            This year, many people were especially eager to reach Jerusalem because they heard that Jesus was going to be there, and they wanted to be sure to see Him. 

            Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Jerusalem.  Just outside the city Jesus said to two of his disciples, “In the little village of Bethphage you will find a young donkey tied up.  He has never been ridden before, but bring him here for Me to ride into Jerusalem.  If anyone asks you why you are untying him, just say, “The Lord hath need of him.’ And the owners will let him go.

            The two disciples started to walk arrived in the village, and they found everything just as Jesus had said.  The colt was tied outside a house. 

As they were untying the little donkey, his owners happened to see them.  One owner said, “Why are those strangers untying our colt!”  Quickly one of the owners ran out to stop them.  Excitedly he said, “What do you mean by untying our donkey?”

The disciples gave him the answer that Jesus told them to say, “The Lord hath need of him.”

When the donkey’s owner heard that the Lord needed that donkey, he gladly let the disciples take him.  Surely this man must have been one of Jesus’ friends. 

When the disciples brought the donkey to Jesus they threw some of their clothes on the colt’s back to make a saddle.  Jesus rode the rest of the way to Jerusalem on the donkey’s back.

In our country, we think a donkey isn’t a very important animal.  But donkeys were regarded differently in the land where Jesus lived.  There the donkey was considered an honorable animal.  It was the animal on which kings rode when they were about to take over their thrones.

What pride and joy welled up in the disciples’ hearts as they saw Jesus sitting on the donkey!  True, he didn’t look much like a king of the world.  He wore no jeweled crown or royal robes.  Yet there was something about His face that made Him more than kingly.  It was the kindness, goodness, strength of character and love shining there.

So the disciples saw something special in Jesus’ face.  It was shining.  They were able to see and praise “the Christ” in the man “Jesus”.

            (Show picture of Jesus entering Jerusalem.300px-Jesus_entering_jerusalem_on_a_donkey

 

      The people began to crowd the road.  News had reached Jerusalem that Jesus was coming.  The people began to “rejoice greatly” as the prophet had said they would.  Some people honored Jesus by spreading their coats in the road for His donkey to walk over.  Optional: Place scarves on the floor).  They began cutting down big branches from tall palm trees and spread them in the road.  (OptionalPlace some palms down.)  This was their custom—all these things were commonly done to help make a brightly colored path for a king to travel over.

            Boys and girls joined the procession.  They picked flowers and threw them on the road to make a beautiful carpet for Jesus to ride over.  Joyfully they waved their long palm branches.  This is the happy song they sang and shouted:

            “Hosanna to the son of David!  Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!”  

            Do you know what “Hosanna” means?  (Allow children to answer.)  It means something like our expression, “Praise the Lord!”   Jesus knew everyone was glad when they sang Hosanna to Him.

            Children and everyone, please raise your palms and join me in saying 3x:

            “Hosanna!”  (3x)

            “Praise the Lord!” (3x)

            “Praise the Lord I AM THAT I AM, Jesus Christ”!  (3x)

“Blessed Be He that cometh in the name of the Lord!”  (3x)

            “Hosanna in the Highest!”  (3x)

            Many, many people followed Jesus waving palm branches as they, too, cheered him and called out, “Hosanna to the son of David!”  Boys and girls and men and women clapped their hands as they sang praises to the Lord Jesus.  They wanted everybody to know how much they loved the man Jesus who had been so kind and gentle to them.  All were very happy and the children loved to sing to Jesus.  Can you imagine how wonderful this procession must have been?

            The crowds grew larger still.  Then even more people joined in shouting, “Hosanna in the highest, Blessed be he who cometh in the name of the Lord!”

            As the procession neared Jerusalem “all the city was moved, saying, ‘Who is this?’”  And the multitude said, “This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” 

Did you notice that the story mentions that, “all the city was moved”?    That means that everyone in the city felt Jesus’ presence.  Can you tell me what you think the people were feeling when they ran to see Jesus and praised him with Hosannas? (Let children respond—i.e., HAPPY, JOYFUL, EXCITED, LIGHT!)  Mother Mary tells us that Jesus was like a magnet that drew the people to him because he was full of divine love.  He was a magnet of love!   

Some men named Pharisees (A member of the Jewish sect that emphasized strict interpretation and observance of the law). They heard the crowd praising God, and they said to Jesus, “Teacher, why don't you tell these people to stop praising you as if you were God?”

The Pharisees thought that Jesus was getting too much attention from the people.  They wanted to be the most important, but everyone was listening to Jesus instead.

Jesus replied, “If they were quiet now, even the stones would cry out!”   This means that even the rocks in nature that God our Father created and filled with the Holy Spirit would have recognized the Son of God by shouting its praise, even if the people hadn’t.

            It was a great day too for that little donkey.  (Show picture of donkey.)

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            The Lord had need of that little donkey, that humble little animal to fulfill a great prophecy on one of the greatest days of His life.

I want to tell you something very special that Elizabeth Clare Prophet told us about that little donkey.  Do you know that the donkey had a precious elemental embodied in it AND that it was the same elemental that was in the donkey that carried Mother Mary and Jesus to Egypt after Jesus was born, 33 years earlier?  (Show picture of Mother Mary on donkey.

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Can you imagine that?   This elemental was given two very important jobs.

One was to carry Jesus as a baby to Egypt, and the other was to carry Jesus triumphantly through Jerusalem in the procession that we are celebrating today on Palm Sunday (Show picture of entry to Jerusalem.)  Guru Ma gave him the name, ‘precious elemental.’

CONCLUSION:

Wasn’t this an amazing story?  An entire city was able to see and praise the Christ in Jesus on this special day.

(Show picture of Jesus and children.)

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Let’s think about Jesus for a moment and feel his love for us.  Imagine that Jesus is right here with you.  Close your eyes for a moment and feel Jesus’ love for each one of you.  Jesus is sending you love…. Now, let’s give to Jesus the love and joy of our heart, just like the people did in the story when they felt his love and joy… Let’s send Jesus the light and love of our heart.  (pause)  That was beautiful.  I’m sure Jesus felt your love.

Have you ever seen the Christ in your Mommy or Daddy?  Or in your brothers or sisters or in your friends?  Wouldn’t it be great if you could?  I want you to know that you can do this.  And you can do this by seeing Jesus over all of your family—your mom and dad and sister and brother and friends who you talk with or play with.   And then talk or play with them the way you would talk or play with Jesus as if he were with you!

It is as simple as that!  Do you think you can try this today when you go home?  Yes, that’s great.  I’m going to do this too.

OPTIONAL:  And here is a little gift for you of a picture of Jesus to help remind you to see and praise the Christ in everyone you see. (Give each child a wallet card of the Sindelar painting of Jesus).

God bless you children.   And thank you!

Click here for a printable version of the story.

Children’s Spiritual Story Library


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