Categories
Lent 2021

Lent 6

Get Outside in Lent

Finding God in Nature

Week 6 – Birds and Air

Categories
Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the cross

The Stations of the Cross have formed part of Christian devotion at Passiontide for many centuries because they enable us to engage actively with the path of suffering walked by Jesus. They originated when early Christians visited Jerusalem and wanted to follow literally in the footsteps of Jesus, tracing the path from Pilate’s house to Calvary. They would pause for prayer and devotion at various points. Eventually, those pilgrims brought the practice back to their home countries and ever since then Christians of differing traditions have used this form of devotion.

First Station: Arrested and Condemned to Die

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

 Scripture

A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew (26.55-57, 27.22-23,26)

At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered.

Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

Reflection

Who holds the power here? On the surface it is Pontius Pilate. But who really holds the power? Pilate could not know that before him was God’s own Son, the one who holds all of creation in his hand. Nor could he know that by handing him over to be crucified, he was cooperating in God’s plan of salvation. Really it is Pilate who is on trial here. Two thousand years later, Pontius Pilate is alive and well. Such people may think they are in control. But their power is a sham. It cannot last. For one day we will all be judged on our use of power. Real power is to trust in God’s power. 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you were condemned to death for political expediency: be with those who are imprisoned for the convenience of the powerful. You were the victim of unbridled injustice: change the minds and motivations of oppressors and exploiters to your way of peace.

Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.

Stay with me, Remain here with me, Watch and pray,

Watch and pray (repeat)

Second Station: Jesus Takes up his Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Scripture

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark (15.20)

After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

Reflection

There is no easy way of carrying a cross. There is no handle. Its weight is sharp and crushing. Its meaning obvious. But he carried it well. Tramping through the crowded lanes around Jerusalem. It was an additional indignity to be made to carry his own cross. And he carried so many other things as well. Our sins. Our sorrows. And a million disappointments about all the ways that we had got him wrong. And these were heavier still.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you carried the cross through the streets of Jerusalem:

Be with those who are loaded with burdens beyond their strength.

You bore the weight of our sins when you carried the cross:

Help us to realise the extent and the cost of your love for us.

Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Stay with me, 

Remain here with me,

Watch and pray,

Watch and pray

(repeat)

Third Station: The First Fall

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

 Scripture

A reading from the Book of Isaiah (53:4-6)

Surely he has borne our infirmities
    and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
    struck down by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
    crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
    and by his bruises we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.​​

​​​​​

Reflection 

The almighty deprived of strength! The strong God in no condition to do what is required of him, unable to face with pride his executioners. His strength is exhausted. With wavering steps my Saviour hobbles on, untilafter a while hestumbles and falls. There you lie, my God. Could you not be crucified here? Your death is really what is intended. Is it not obvious that you can go no farther? Your executioners are determined that you will go farther and your powerlessness is a new source of annoyance to them. In their eyes your strength is not yet exhausted. They allow you to lie for a while, only to make you stand up again and be driven farther.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, the weight of the cross made you fall to the ground. The weight of our sin, the weight of our arrogance, brought you down.Lord, help us when we fall. Help us to abandon our arrogance and learn from your humility.

Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Stay with me, 

Remain here with me,

Watch and pray,

Watch and pray

(repeat)

Fourth Station: Jesus’ Mother

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Scripture

A reading from the Gospel according to John (19.25-27)

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

Reflection 

Here I saw a part of the compassion of Our Lady Saint Mary: for Christ and she were so made one in love, that the greatness of her loving was the cause of the greatness of her pain. In this, I saw an example of naturallove,strengthened by grace, that creatures have for him; which kind love was most fully and over passingly shown in his sweet Mother. For ever the higher, the mightier, the sweeter that love be, the more sorrow it is to the lover to see that body in pain that is loved

Prayer

Holy Mary, Mother of the Lord, just as you believed when the angel announced to you what was incredible – that you were going to become the mother of the Most High – so too you believed at the hour of his greatest humiliation.  Teach us to believe, and help us so that our faith may become the courage to serve and the gesture of a love which comes to help and knows how to share in suffering.

Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Stay with me, 

Remain here with me,

Watch and pray,

Watch and pray

(repeat)

Fifth Station: Simon Helps 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Scripture

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark (15.21)

They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

Reflection

In many ways, Simon remains an enigmatic figure, with so much about him we cannot know. Marks suggests, however, that this brief encounter with Jesus – forced to carry the cross bar of his cross to the site of his execution – had such an impact on him that years later his sons, Alexander and Rufus, were well known to those who read Mark’s Gospel. We may not know where Simon was coming from, but his encounter with Jesus – brief though it was – changed his future forever. Where he came from, or why, was far less important than who he became.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you were worn down by fatigue:

Be with those from whom life drains all energy.

You needed the help of a passing stranger:

Give us the humility to receive aid from others.

Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Stay with me, 

Remain here with me,

Watch and pray,

Watch and pray

(repeat)

Sixth Station: Veronica Offers her Veil 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Scripture

A reading from the Book of Psalms (27.8-9)

“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
    Your face, Lord, do I seek.
     Do not hide your face from me.

Do not turn your servant away in anger,
    you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
    O God of my salvation!

​​​​​​​​

Reflection 

And I saw in the face of the crucifix that hung before me a part of his passion, and it made me think of the holy veil of Veronica, which is at Rome, which he portrayed with his own blessed face when he bore his hard passion. Of the brownness and blackness and ruefulness of this image many have marvelled how it may be, since he portrayed it with his own blessed face, who is the fairness of heaven and the flower of earth and the fruit of the Virgin’s womb. But it was shown me that it is the image and likeness of our foul black deeds’ shame in which our fair bright blessed Lord God was hid. Blessed may he be.

Prayer

Lord, grant us restless hearts, hearts which seek your face. Keep us from the blindness of heart which sees only the surface of things. Impress your face on our hearts and may we encounter you along the way and show your image to the world.

Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Stay with me, 

Remain here with me,

Watch and pray,

Watch and pray

(repeat)

Seventh Station: The Second Fall

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Scripture

A reading from the Book of Isaiah (53:2-3)

For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by others;
    a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one from whom others hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him of no account.​

​​​​​​​​​

Reflection 

The hard, sharp, stony ground, covered with dust and dirt,
bruises and dirties your hands, knees and feet.
Yet, no pity rises in the hearts of your executioners.
They are not satisfied yet.
They do not realize that this second fall shows
that you are calling on your last reserve of strength
in order to reach Calvary and die for us there.
You also sacrifice your strength, your proud manly strength. 
And then I complain about heavy crosses.
I faint only because I have neither the courage
nor the love to carry them with you.
O Jesus, I do not wish it to be so.
Do not allow my deeds to be at variance with your will.

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, you fall under the weight of human sin and you get up again in order to take it upon yourself and cancel it. Give to us the strength to carry the cross of daily life, and to get up again from our falls, so that we may bring to future generations the Gospel of your saving power.

Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Stay with me, 

Remain here with me,

Watch and pray,

Watch and pray

(repeat)

Eighth Station: The Women of Jerusalem

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

 Scripture

A reading from the Gospel according to Luke (23:28-31)

But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

​​​​​​​​

Reflection 

This is one of the most haunting encounters during Jesus’ journey to the cross. The women wept for what would happen to him, but Jesus, even as the horror of his death loomed near, revealed that they were in even greater need of compassion than he was.What Jesus was saying is that a society that will do anything – even kill – to protect its power, has already set itself on a path to self-destruction. As a result the women of Jerusalem would do well to prepare themselves for the inevitable outcome of such behaviours. How different is our society to theirs?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, the women of Jerusalem wept for you:

Move us to tears at the plight of the broken in our world.

Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Stay with me, 

Remain here with me,

Watch and pray,

Watch and pray

(repeat)

Ninth Station: The Third Fall

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Scripture

A reading from the Book of Lamentations (3:27-32)

It is good for one to bear
    the yoke in youth,
 to sit alone in silence
    when the Lord has imposed it,
to put one’s mouth to the dust
    (there may yet be hope),
to give one’s cheek to the smiter,
    and be filled with insults.

For the Lord will not
    reject forever.
Although he causes grief, he will have compassion
    according to the abundance of his steadfast love;

Reflection 

This is the worst fall of the three. His strength has for a while utterly failed Him, and it is some time before the barbarous soldiers can bring Him to. Ah! it was His anticipation of what was to happen to me. I get worse and worse. He sees the end from the beginning. He was thinking of me all the time He dragged Himself along, up the Hill of Calvary. He saw that I should fall again in spite of all former warnings and former assistance. He saw that I should become secure and self-confident, and that my enemy would then assail me with some new temptation, to which I never thought I should be exposed. I thought my weakness lay all on one particular side which I knew. I had not a dream that I was not strong on the other. And so Satan came down on my unguarded side, and got the better of me from my self-trust and self-satisfaction. I was wanting in humility. I thought no harm would come on me, I thought I had outlived the danger of sinning; I thought it was an easy thing to get to heaven, and I was not watchful. It was my pride, and so I fell a third time.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, we fail so often.

Help us when we continue to stumble and fall.

Come to us when we feel as though our strength has utterly failed us.

Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Stay with me, 

Remain here with me,

Watch and pray,

Watch and pray

(repeat)

Tenth Station: Stripped of his Garments

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Scripture

A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew (27.33-36)

And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him.

Reflection 

My God, it is terrible. Must everything work together to make you suffer? Are human beings not cruel enough that even the insects must come to drink your blood in the sunlight and infect all your wounds? Oh had you at least been left your clothing, to spare you that torturing sorrow and, clothed in your garments as a human person, to hide your frightful mistreatment from the eyes of those who revel in it. But this is only the prelude. Only the sight of you nailed to the cross will begin to appease their cruel desire.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you were stripped of your garments, exposed to shame, cast out of society. You took upon yourself the shame of Adam, and you healed it. Give us a profound respect for man at every stage of his existence, and in all the situations in which we encounter him. Clothe us in the light of your grace.

Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Stay with me, 

Remain here with me,

Watch and pray,

Watch and pray

(repeat)

Eleventh Station: Nailed to the Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Scripture

A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew (27:37-42)

Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”

Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him.

​​​​​​​​​

Reflection 

What is it that “draws” us to the Condemned One in agony on the Cross?
Certainly the sight of such intense suffering stirs compassion. But compassion is not enough to lead us to bind our very life to the One who hangs on the Cross.
How is it that, generation after generation, this appalling sight has drawn countless hosts of people who have made the Cross the hallmark of their faith?
Hosts of men and women who for centuries have lived and given their lives looking to this sign?
From the Cross, Christ draws us by the power of love,
divine Love, which did not recoil from the total gift of self;
infinite Love, which on the tree of the Cross raised up from the earth the weight of Christ’s body, to counterbalance the weight of the first sin;
boundless Love, which has utterly filled every absence of love and allowed humanity to find refuge once more in the arms of the merciful Father.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you bled in pain as the nails were driven into your flesh:

Transform the pain of those who suffer through the mystery of your love.

Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal

have mercy upon us.

Stay with me, 

Remain here with me,

Watch and pray,

Watch and pray

(repeat)

Twelfth Station: Death on the Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Scripture

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark (15:34-37)

At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

Reflection 

One of Jesus’ most well-known quotations from the Psalms is his cry from the cross: “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” This is a quotation from the opening of Psalm 22(v.1). But one of the most remarkable features of Psalm 22 is that, alongside the despair and hopelessness, we find extraordinary confidence and hope in the God who has been there since the Psalmist’s birth (V.9) and whom the Psalmist trusts despite the dire circumstances in which he currently finds himself (vv.27-31). It feels as though Mark was communicating a powerful message by including Psalm 22 behind his telling of Jesus’ death – even in the midst of despair, the Psalmist looked backwards to his birth and forwards in hope. Mark hints that we should do the same: that even on this darkest of dark days, we should, like the Psalmist, look backwards in confidence and forwards in hope.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you died on the cross:

Give courage to those who die at the hands of others.

In death you entered into the darkest place of all:

Illumine our darkness with your glorious presence.

Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Stay with me, 

Remain here with me,

Watch and pray,

Watch and pray

(repeat)

Thirteenth Station: Down from the Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Scripture

A reading from the Gospel according to John (19.38-40)

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 

Reflection

A member of the Sanhedrin also comes along, Nicodemus, to whom Jesus had proclaimed the mystery of rebirth by water and the Spirit. Even in the Sanhedrin, which decreed his death, there is a believer, someone who knows and recognizes Jesus after his death. In this hour of immense grief, of darkness and despair, the light of hope is mysteriously present. The hidden God continues to be the God of life, ever near. Even in the night of death, the Lord continues to be our Lord and Saviour. The Church of Jesus Christ, his new family, begins to take shape.

Prayer

Lord, you descended into the darkness of death but faith has not completely died; the sun has not completely set.  In the hour of darkness, help us to know that you are still there. Do not abandon us when we are tempted to lose heart. Help us not to leave you alone. 

Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Stay with me, 

Remain here with me,

Watch and pray,

Watch and pray

(repeat)

Fourteenth Station: Placed in the Tomb

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Scripture

A reading from the Gospel according to John (19.41-42)

Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Reflection

The intervention of Joseph of Arimathea, meant that not only was Jesus’ body properly buried but it was buried in a new tomb. The significance of this is that families were buried together and their bones stored together in the tomb. An old tomb could have within them the remains of many different people. The new tomb housed only Jesus’ remains, so there could be no doubt after his resurrection, that it was him. Joseph’s intervention may have been mentioned only briefly, but it was vital. Often the most fleeting of contributions are the most important.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, Lord of life, you became as nothing for us:

Be with those who feel worthless and as nothing in the world’s eyes.

You were laid in a cold, dark tomb and hidden from sight:

Be with all who suffer and die in secret.

Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Stay with me, 

Remain here with me,

Watch and pray,

Watch and pray

(repeat)

The Conclusion

Let us pray for the coming of God’s kingdom

In the words our Saviour taught us.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory, for ever and ever.
Amen. 

Most merciful God,

who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ

delivered ad saved the world:

grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross

we may triumph in the power of his victory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

If you would like a copy of the Stations to colour yourself you can download them here

Sources:

Times and Seasons Copyright © Church House Publishing 2006

Walking the Way of the Cross, Stephen Cottrell, Paula Gooder and Philip North Copyright ©The Archbishop’s Council 2019 and reproduced in part by kind permission.

The Stained Glass & Black & White versions of the Stations are by PDQ Patterns.

Categories
Lent 2021

Lent 5

Get Outside in Lent

Finding God in Nature

Week 5 – Insects and Animals

Categories
Lent 2021

Lent 4

Get Outside in Lent

Finding God in Nature

Week 4 – Water

Categories
Lent 2021

Lent 3

Get outside in Lent

Finding God in Nature

Week 3 Soil and Seeds

Categories
Advent 2020

LENT 2

Get outside in Lent

FINDING GOD IN NATURE

WEEK 2 FLOWERS

Categories
Lent 2021

LENT 1

Get outside in Lent

FINDING GOD IN NATURE

WEEK 1 TREES

Categories
Lent 2021

Ash Wednesday

Lent 2021

Here’s some resources for Ash Wednesday

Categories
Lent 2021

Lego Lent

Challenge

LEGO LENT (3 week) CHALLENGE. by Naomi Elliott

A dead body needs respect. Can you build a coffin?

Joseph had been a secret follower of Jesus. When Jesus died he was brave and went to Pilate to ask for Jesus’ body. Most criminals were not given a special burial but Joseph wanted Jesus to be treated with respect. So he wrapped Jesus’ body in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb. The tomb was cut out of rock and was in a garden. Then a large stone was rolled in front of the entrance of the tomb.

Jesus had known he was going to die. He had warned people that he would be killed and he also told people that he would not stay dead but come back to life three days later. The Temple leaders asked Pilate to order some soldiers to guard the tomb. They were worried that Jesus’ disciples might try to steal Jesus’ body and then lie to people, pretending that Jesus had come back to life.

Joseph had to get Jesus’ body ready in a hurry. This was because it was nearly the Sabbath, their day of rest when everyone stops working.

Why is it important to spend time resting?

What would a Lego earthquake look like?

Lots of strange things happened when Jesus died.

One of the criminals dying next to Jesus recognized he was getting what he deserved but that Jesus had done nothing wrong. He asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom. Jesus answered by inviting this criminal to join him in heaven.

At midday, darkness covered the land and it stayed dark for three hours. At about three o’clock in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice and breathed his last breath. At that moment, the ground started shaking and rocks split open. A heavy curtain in the Jerusalem Temple that kept people away from the most special room was ripped into two pieces from top to bottom, and a new way was open to God.

A Roman centurion was there guarding the cross. When he saw what happened and how Jesus died he was terrified. He then praised God, recognising that Jesus had done nothing wrong and wondering if perhaps Jesus really was the Son of God.

I wonder if Jesus really was the Son of God?

A king needs a crown. Design a crown.

The Roman soldiers took Jesus’ clothes off and put a robe on him like a king might wear. They made a crown using sharp thorns and pressed it on his head. They teased Jesus and made fun of him, hurting him with their words. Then they hit him and spat on him, hurting him with their actions.

They took Jesus to Golgotha. Golgotha means “place of the skull” and it was the place where the Romans killed criminals. They killed the criminals in a very painful way by hanging them on wooden crosses. Even though Jesus hadn’t done anything wrong and wasn’t a criminal, they nailed Jesus onto a cross. Jesus said to God, “Father, forgive them.” Two criminals were also being killed that day and were placed each side of Jesus. They hung a sign on Jesus’ cross to let everyone know what he was being punished for. The sign said, “This is the king of the Jews”.

The crowd that had gathered to watch and the Roman soldiers and even one of the criminals teased Jesus, saying if he really was the king sent by God he should be able to save himself.

What surprised you most about this part of the story?

  • What would a Lego earthquake look like?

Build a prison for a criminal.


The Temple leaders and other teachers really wanted to get rid of Jesus. Forever. But they were not allowed to kill anyone. Only the Roman governor had that power. So they took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. They told Pilate that Jesus wanted to be king and that he had followers all over the country.


Pilate questioned Jesus. He didn’t think Jesus was that bad and he definitely didn’t think Jesus should be killed. But the Temple leaders kept arguing with him.


Every year during the Passover festival the Romans would release a prisoner that the people chose. So Pilate asked the crowds if they wanted him to release Jesus, their king. But instead of Jesus, the crowds asked Pilate to release Barabbas. Barabbas was in prison for fighting against the Romans, and he had even killed someone. Pilate was shocked and asked the crowds what he should do with Jesus. “Kill him!” the crowds shouted. “Kill him!”. So Barabbas, a criminal, was released, and Jesus took his place.


When was the last time you said or thought “That’s not fair!”?

It is dark and a campfire is needed. Please create one.

They had taken Jesus away for questioning. Peter, one of Jesus’ friends, decided to secretly follow them. He followed them to a house so he stayed outside.

Outside, a warming fire had been started and a small crowd had gathered around it, so Peter joined them. A girl thought she recognized Peter’s face in the light of the fire and told everyone that he was one of Jesus’ friends. But Peter said no, pretending that he didn’t even know Jesus. Later on, someone else linked him to Jesus. A second time, Peter said no. Another person noticed that Peter wasn’t from that area and said that Peter had definitely been with Jesus. A third time, Peter said no.

While Peter was speaking, a cockerel crowed. Suddenly Peter remembered that after their meal together Jesus had told him that before a cockerel crowed he would have pretended to not know Jesus three times. Peter got up and left, crying.

I wonder if you can think of anything you’ve said or done that you are sorry about

Can you design a weapon?

Jesus and his disciples had gone to the Garden of Gethsemane after their evening meal. Judas knew that Jesus liked to visit this garden and he had made a deal for Jesus to be captured there.

A small crowd appeared holding swords and sticks. Judas had told the crowd to wait for a special signal: a kiss. When Judas came up to Jesus, he greeted Jesus… with a kiss. The crowd stepped forward, grabbed Jesus and arrested him.

One of Jesus’ friends, called Peter, grabbed a sword and cut off someone’s ear. Jesus told Peter to put the sword away. Jesus explained that if he wanted all this to stop his heavenly father, God, could have sent down armies of angels to defend him. But all this needed to happen. So Jesus healed the man’s ear. And Jesus let himself be taken away.

If someone hurts or upsets you, what are some of the different ways that you could respond?

Build a garden.

It was evening. After eating the Passover meal, Jesus and his friends went to the Garden of Gethsemane. This was a large and quiet garden, filled with olive trees. Jesus often visited it.

Jesus asked his disciples to keep watch while he went off on his own to pray. He was feeling a lot of different feelings and was scared about what he knew was going to happen to him. He prayed to God, telling God how he felt. Although he felt scared, he wanted to do what God told him to do. When he had finished praying he found that his disciples had fallen asleep.


Do you have a special place where you like to go to be by yourself?

Design a meal out of Lego.

When it was evening, Jesus and his disciples gathered around the table to eat the Passover meal. Jesus had been looking forward to sharing this meal with his friends. This Passover meal would be his last meal. This is why it is sometimes called ‘The Last Supper’.

Jesus knew one of his friends had secretly turned against him and had made a deal to capture him.

While they were eating, Jesus gave thanks for the bread and broke it to share with his disciples. He said the bread was his body. He then took a cup of wine, gave thanks for it, and shared it with the disciples. He said the wine was his blood, poured out for many.

Jesus knew this was his last supper.

How does it feel when one of your best friends stops being a friend?

Dining room needed! Can you build a table and some chairs?

Lots of people had travelled to the city of Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The Passover festival remembers a time long ago when God used a man called Moses to rescue his people. It is celebrated with a special meal and Jesus needed a place for him and his disciples to have the meal.

Even though Jesus did not have his own home, he told his disciples about a man who had a large upstairs room in a house in the city that would be just right for them to use. The disciples followed Jesus’ instructions and found that Jesus was right about everything. So they started getting ready for Passover.

Do you have a favourite meal, or a favourite memory of a meal?

Can you build a container that can hold water?

While Jesus was at the home of Simon, a woman came with a jar full of very expensive perfume. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over Jesus’ head.

Some of the disciples thought this was a waste of good perfume and told the woman off. It was such expensive perfume!
But Jesus stopped them, saying that the woman had done a beautiful thing. He explained that she had been getting his body ready for being buried. Perfumes were poured on dead bodies to hide the smell of death. And Jesus knew he was going to die soon.

One of Jesus’ disciples, called Judas, secretly decided he didn’t want to be Jesus’ friend or follower any more. He went off to make a deal with the Temple leaders. He agreed to lead them to Jesus and they agreed to give him some money. Together they set a trap to catch Jesus.

  1. Jesus needs a place to stay. Create a home for him.

Jesus didn’t have a home of his own. He had spent the last three years traveling around the country, teaching people about God and doing wonderful miracles like making people better and feeding people. Because Jesus was always on the move, he would stay at different people’s homes. He depended on other people being kind to him.

During the Passover festival Jesus was staying just outside of the busy city. He was with his disciples – twelve of his friends who followed him everywhere, learning from him. They had all been welcomed into the home of Simon the Leper.


What things in your life are you thankful for?

  1. There are too many poorly people. Design an ambulance.

Jesus spent time at the Temple teaching people about God. Poorly people came to him – people who couldn’t walk very well or who couldn’t see – and Jesus made them better! Children were shouting happily in the Temple. “Hosanna!” they were saying, treating Jesus like a king.

When the other teachers and Temple leaders saw all that was happening in the Temple – how Jesus had treated the shopkeepers and how he was welcoming all kinds of people – they were worried. And when they saw how much the crowds liked Jesus they were afraid of Jesus. And they started to plan a way to get rid of Jesus. They decided they needed to arrest Jesus in secret and then kill him. But they would wait until the Passover festival had finished so that they did not annoy the crowds.


Imagine if Jesus visited where you live today: which people do you think he would help and spend time with?

Build something safe to store money in

Even though the Temple looked grand and impressive, Jesus was sad at how dirty it had become. Not with mud or actual dirt; it was what some people were doing in the Temple that was messing it up. The people needed to buy sacrifices or gifts to give to God but the shop keepers in the Temple were cheating these people out of their money and stealing money for themselves. This was stopping people from using the Temple properly – the Temple was meant to help people worship God and pray to him. And the Temple leaders were letting this bad behaviour happen.


Jesus got angry about this. Very angry. He pushed the tables and chairs of the shop keepers over. Then he chased the shopkeepers away. Jesus spoke out, reminding the people that God had wanted the Temple to be a house of prayer, but they had made it into a den of robbers. This was Jesus’ way of cleaning things up.

I wonder what surprised you about this story?

This is a 3 week interactive challenge (keeping Sundays a rest day) engaging with the events of Holy Week

You’ve entered a tower building competition. Will you win?

The day after Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, he went to the Temple. The Temple was a bit like a church, although it was a lot bigger than most churches we might know and there was only one Temple in the whole country!

Many old church buildings have towers. Towers are easy to spot, making the church easy to find. Some church towers also have bells inside which when rung used to call people to come and pray. Towers were also a bit like a pointing finger, pointing people to look upwards towards heaven and remember God.

The Jerusalem Temple didn’t have a tower but it was built on top of a rocky hill. The Temple was built to help people remember God and worship him. The Bible says that God is as solid as a rock. This can mean that God is always there for us and that we can trust him. The Bible also says that God is like a fortress – a safe place that can protect you – and that his name is like a strong tower.

When you think of God, what words help you understand him better?

3. It’s nearly party time! How many Lego people can you gather or build to fit in one place?

Lots of people were traveling to the city of Jerusalem for a festival. The Passover festival remembers a time long ago when God used a man called Moses to rescue his people. So the city was filling up with visitors and also with Roman soldiers who wanted to keep things safe. There was excitement in the air.


As the crowds noticed Jesus riding the colt into Jerusalem, they started to spread their coats on the floor to make a road for him to ride on. They also cut down some branches to add to their road. This was their way of rolling out the red carpet – treating Jesus as someone famous or treating Jesus like a king. The crowd had been singing their festival songs and were now shouting out these songs even louder, cheering Jesus on. “Hosanna!”, they shouted. “Hosanna! Save us!”


Do you have a favourite song? How does your song make you feel?

2. The walled city needs a new gateway. Can you build a grand new entrance?

Jerusalem was an old and important city. It had a big wall to protect the people inside. It also had lots of gateways to let people in and out. These entrances had interesting names: Golden Gate, Jaffa Gate, Dung Gate! Does your gateway have a name?


People were proud of their city and put a lot of hope in it. Jesus had reminded people that God is really the only thing that won’t let us down. Jesus warned people not to put their trust in things by making those things too important. Some people might have lots of money… but it might get stolen. Some people might wear nice clothes… but these will become old and get holes. Jesus even warned that the important city of Jerusalem that the people liked so much would in the future get broken down and destroyed.


I wonder what things are most important to you?

1. The king needs to get to the capital city. DESIGN A VEHICLE FIT FOR A KING!

Two thousand years ago there were no cars or planes, limousines or spaceships. 2000 years ago in Israel (the country Jesus came from) the fastest way to travel was probably horse and chariot and sailing ships. Horses were used by soldiers and army generals and people used donkeys and camels to carry them as well as to carry their things for them. Most people walked everywhere. But what about a king?


Jesus travelled to the capital city on… a donkey! Actually, a donkey’s colt – a young donkey that had not even been ridden before. This was the way the ancient kings of Israel had entered the city. Israel hadn’t had a proper king for ages and another country – the Romans – had taken over their country. Jesus wanted people to know that he was the king they had been waiting for.


Imagine if Jesus came to visit you today: how do you think he would travel to get to you?”

Today’s challenge is to design a mode of transport Jesus could use today. When you have completed the challenge share a photo on our St Bartholomew‘s Church Old Whittington Facebook page.

Categories
Lent 2021

Lent 2021

Shrove Tuesday or ‘Pancake Day’ is the day before Lent. In the same way that Advent is a time for us to prepare our hearts for Christmas, Lent is our time of preparation for Easter.

Here is a resource for you to use as you prepare your Lenten journey