Reading through the events of Holy Week

Holy Week

This evening is Palm Sunday, and as always, it feels like this week has snuck up on me. In my ideal world, I would have cleared my calendar for the week; already have Easter baskets done; have the menu for Easter dinner mapped out and a shopping list complete; and be ready to settle in for a week of contemplation and gradual approach to the Cross.

Ever notice that this isn’t an ideal world?

Yet again, we have a busy week (my husband is traveling) and I’m struggling with how to prepare the slam-bang celebration that Easter deserves while keeping my heart focused on the place this week this culminates – namely, Golgotha. What to do?

There’s one rather large thing our family has committed to this week, but I don’t want to share about it until we’re done. I have no idea how it will go, and I want to reflect about and inhabit it before I report on it.

But in an additional effort to sacralize this week, especially for my 5-year-old, I’ve chosen to read through Mark’s passion narrative each night before bed. We started with the triumphal entry tonight. So for the rest of this week, I’ll be sharing our reading selections. I’ve also included some of the questions I might ask my five-year-old; I think they could work with a range of ages (thanks, Jerome Berryman!). Here’s today:

Monday of Holy Week:
Read Mark 11:12-33
Some possible questions:

  • Did anything in the story surprise you? Make you feel something?
  • Can you imagine having enough faith to move a mountain? I wonder what that feels like?
  • Can you imagine being in the temple when Jesus came? I wonder what that felt like for the people selling pigeons? For the people who bought them?
  • I wonder what it felt like to be one of the chief priests or scribes, watching Jesus do all these things?
  • I wonder what it felt like to be one of his disciples?

I find it hard not to overcomplicate things when I’m discussing Scripture with the kids – one of the professional hazards of studying philosophy and theology, I guess. I’m hoping this week to try and hear the story with my daughter’s ears, and try to speak in ways that help her make sense. Keep Scripture perspicuous, as it were. Any and all encouragement in this direction (explaining the withered fig tree, anyone?) is always welcome!

And do let us know how you’ll be marking Holy Week this year. Will you be reading poetry? Using a Lenten wreath? Any tips for walking through the week with children?

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2 thoughts on “Reading through the events of Holy Week

  1. I am writing a series of readings based on the Gospel of John for (last) Wednesday through to Easter–12 days in all, for our little ones. (Mine are both under four!) I have also planned some activities to help us understand the story. The readings leading up to Easter highlight its main themes–just as the Gospel of John does–Jesus makes the blind see, Lazarus is raised (Jesus is more powerful than death), the triumphal entry (Jesus is the king), Jesus is the way, truth, and life. I am hoping that this kind of repetition will be helpful with distractable little ladies. 🙂 I was nervous designing activities–lots of them involve types of reenactment/role play and I didn’t know how this would fit in with “worship” time–would it turn into silly play time? But I have been really delighted so far with how it has gone, my oldest in particular is really listening and the actions make her think about what is happening in a much deeper way.

    Do come and see, Id love your professional opinion!

    Thanks so much for this blog, I love you girls.

  2. Pingback: Reading through Holy Week: Tuesday « The Best Christian Kids Books: Aslan's Library

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