A journey to the Resurrection

P1010078On Good Friday the Parish of Old St Pancras held an Easter Activity morning at St Michael’s School. We had a fantastic turn out or around 35 children, which was almost three times the number on last year! The group traversed a broad age and, interestingly, faith range. In addition we had a fantastic group of volunteers, including two visiting ordinands!P1010088

We started the morning with some crafty activities, we built an Easter garden, made empty tomb biscuits and decorated small crosses to make up one large display.

The main focus of our morning though was the worship. We took the young people through a journey from creation to the resurrection, finishing in the here and now… To help them focus they were invited to build up a story bracelet, the different colours representing different parts of the journey, all held together with a pink thread, representing God’s unconditional love holding it all together. What was wonderful was that, while the worship took around an hour, the children all remained engaged in what was happening, taking part and entering into the story!

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Easter Activity Morning Script

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1 Creation

Green bead

 

 

Light a candle

Person 1 Nothing. No light, no time, no substance, no matter –the Voice was there. Before anything moved, mutated or mated, Jesus, God’s Voice, was there with God from the kick-off. How come? ’Cos Jesus, “God’s Voice”, is God. Before anything began, they had always been. Before there was even anywhere to be, they were there. Jesus got the name “God’s Voice” because he just spoke and stuff started. From nothing to everything, sparked only by the Voice. There’s nothing that doesn’t have the phrase “made by Jesus” stamped on it somewhere. His words were life itself, and they lit up people’s lives –his light could blast its way into the dingiest corner, and yet the people who preferred darkness still missed it.

 

Person 2 Today we are going to hear a story about love. Our pink string reminds us of this love, because pink represents unconditional love, and the green bead reminds us of God’s creation. In the beginning God created everything, the heavens and the earth, the land and the sea, the plants and the animals, and us, people, who He placed in the Garden of Eden. Everything was made out of love, everything was good…

 

2 The Fall

Black bead

 

 

Person 1
You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in—first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. So death, this huge abyss separating us from God, dominated the landscape from Adam to Moses. Even those who didn’t sin precisely as Adam did by disobeying a specific command of God still had to experience this ending of life, this separation from God. But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One who will get us out of it.
Person 2 Then came the Fall, when sin entered the world. The black bead reminds us of that sin.
Adam and Eve were so happy, they could walk through the garden with God, and share in His wonderful creation. God gave them free reign, the only thing they were not allowed to do was eat the apples from the tree at the centre of the garden, and if they did they would die. All was good in the Garden of Eden, until the devil turned up. He pointed to the tree at the centre of the garden and said… Go on, give it a try, what harm is there in a little apple! You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. Instead of leaving right then, they stayed a while. They saw that the fruit on the tree looked very good. And they started thinking how nice it would be to be like God and know everything. But they also knew that God had said not to eat the fruit from that tree. Except now they were starting to think maybe it would be okay anyway. That fruit did look good. And the more they looked at it, the more they wanted it – and the more they forgot what God had said. That is how temptation works. It is when you know something is wrong, but you want to do it anyway. And pretty soon the wrong thing you want to do starts to look good. And you think maybe just this one time it will be okay to go ahead and do it. You think the bad things that always come when you do what is wrong won’t happen this time. But they always do. That’s why things are wrong, because when you do them someone always gets hurt, sooner or later. But they weren’t thinking about that. They were only thinking about how delicious the forbidden fruit looked. So they took a bite… The moment they had eaten they realised they were naked. They made loin-cloths out of fig leaves to hide their nudity from God. They hid amidst the garden trees, Adam could not face God, so stayed hidden. Then God found him, hidden in the trees, because God will always find us, no matter how hard we try to hide. Adam turned away in shame.
We all hide from God, we are all affected by sin. It sometimes feels as though there is no hope, but God had a plan… let’s hear what that plan was…
3 A meal

Dark blue bead

Person 1 Luke 22:14-20
Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory. “He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you.
 

 

 

Break bread and pour wine (juice) and share

Person 2 Sharing a meal is an important part of life. Can you think of any meals that you may have shared with anyone? What about at birthdays? Or a wedding?
Jesus came into the world, born in a stable in Bethlehem. During his ministry as an adult we hear stories about some of the important meals he shared, like the wedding at Cana, the feeding of the 5,000 and going to the hated tax collector, Zacchaeus’s house for tea. But one of the most important meals was the meal he shared with his disciples on Maundy Thursday. It was at this meal that Jesus reminded his disciples to serve one another by washing their feet, it was here he gave them the greatest commandment, to love one another as he loves us, and it is here that first hear about the sharing of the bread and wine. Jesus took bread and blessed it and broke it saying “This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory. “He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you.” We remember this in the Eucharist, something done by millions of Christians around the world for 2,000 years. Our dark blue bead reminds us of this tradition.
4 The garden

Light blue bead

 

 

Person 1 Mark 14:32-34
They came to the garden called Gethsemane. Jesus told his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him. He plunged into a sinkhole of dreadful agony. He told them, “I feel bad enough right now to die. Stay here and keep vigil with me.”
Prayer wall with notelets and envelopes Person 2 Our next bead is the light blue bead, it reminds us of the seriousness of Jesus’ mission here, of the tears shed in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus cried out to God. We return to the garden, the place reminds us of the first people walked with God, the place where Jesus cried out to his Father, saying “Take away this cup of suffering, I don’t want it!” Even Jesus prayed, he was afraid, he was human. He felt pain and fear and worry like you and I do, but he offered it up to God saying “I know there is no other way, that it is not what I want, but what you want, strengthen me” Sometimes we can be weighed down with worries or fear. Let’s take a moment to write down something we want God to help us with. Pop it in the envelope and we’ll pin it up on the board as a symbol of us laying our worries and fears before God, and trusting in Him to strengthen us.

 

5 Condemned by Pilate

Yellow bead

Person 1 Matt 27:24
“Pilate knows he’s getting nowhere and that this is threatening to go up a gear into a full-scale riot. So he sends for a bowl of water and makes some big gestures. The noise dies down and he says, “I’ve tried! My hands are clean. I’ve got none of his blood on my hands. You want it; you take the weight of it!””
Washing of hands Person 2 In the beginning we heard how all that God made was good. We are part of that creation, made in the image of God. We are all good, but we are affected by sin… Pilate was no different to us. Jesus was arrested in the garden after being betrayed by one of his disciples, Judas. Very early in the morning, they led Jesus to Pontius Pilate. They falsely accused Him, telling lies, saying He was worthy to die, but they could not prove a word they spoke. Jesus had done no wrong. He was the perfect Son of God. Pilate knew this for he said, “I find no fault in this man.” But the angry mob was not satisfied.

Pilate listened to the complaints of the people that brought Jesus, but he couldn’t find any reason to punish Him.  Pilate questioned Jesus, but Jesus didn’t stick up for himself (He knew that they wouldn’t listen anyway).  He had done nothing wrong.

Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people. He said to them, “I have talked to Jesus, and I find no reason to kill Him.”
After they heard that, all the people shouted, “We want Jesus!  Release Barabbas instead!”  Barabbas had been in jail because he had killed someone, and the people wanted him to be free, and Jesus to be punished. (It sounds strange but it was like peer pressure.  The chief priests went around telling people lies about Jesus, so that they would be afraid of Him, and would want to kill Him).
Pilate didn’t like this one bit.  He wanted to let Jesus go, so he tried to talk to the people but they didn’t let him.  They just kept shouting, “Crucify Him!  Crucify Him!”
Pilate tried again, yelling, “What has Jesus done wrong?  I can punish Him but then I must let Him go, He doesn’t deserve to die!”  But the people just shouted louder to crucify Jesus and Pilate wanted to please the crowd so he finally gave in. Pilate took a bowl of water and in front of everyone he washed his hands saying “I am not responsible for the death of this man!” So he freed Barabbas and sent Jesus to die.
Pilate gave in to the people, even though he knew it was wrong. Sometimes we do the wrong thing, the wrong thing can be easier, but easy doesn’t make it ok. Sometimes we have to be strong, to stand up for what is right. Our yellow bead reminds us of Pilate’s cowardice, and how we should try to remain strong

 

6 Denied by Peter

Grey bead

Person 1 Matt 26:75
Just then a rooster crowed. Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried.
Paper chains Person 2 Peter panicked, he had promised Jesus that he would never deny him, that he would stand by his side throughout, but when it came down to it, Peter forgot how to trust in God, he tried to do things on his own strength and failed. We all deny God in our lives, at one time or another, we don’t turn to him when we need help, we don’t answer when he calls. When we are unkind we deny him, when we ignore what is right, we deny him. Our grey bead reminds us of this denial. Let’s take a moment to write on the strip of paper how we can recognise God in our lives, and make it into a chain of strength to remind us to be strong and turn to God always.

 

7 Whipped & Mocked

Orange bead

Person 1 Mark15:16-19
The soldiers took Jesus into the palace and called together the entire brigade. They dressed him up in purple and put a crown plaited from a thornbush on his head. Then they began their mockery: “Bravo, King of the Jews!” They banged on his head with a club, spat on him, and knelt down in mock worship.
Person 2 Our orange bead reminds us of aggression and violence. After Pilate had sent Jesus to die, the soldiers dressed him up, they shouted horrible things, they hurt him and beat him. They laughed and called him the ‘so called King of the Jews’.
Sometimes people are cruel and unkind to us, they hurt us, for who we are, for what we believe. Let us take a moment to think of all those people in the world are hurt because of what they believe, because of who they are, or where they live…
8 Nailed to the cross

Red bead

Person 1 Mark 15:23-24
The soldiers brought Jesus to Golgotha, meaning “Skull Hill.” They offered him a mild painkiller (wine mixed with myrrh), but he wouldn’t take it. And they nailed him to the cross. They divided up his clothes and threw dice to see who would get them.
Big cross and pens

And sing verses 1& 2

Person 2 The red bead reminds us of the pain of being nailed to the cross. When they reached the hill where Jesus was to be crucified, they nailed him to the cross. He did this for each of us, for you and me and everyone. Let’s sing while we write our names on the cross. (Verses 1 & 2 of ‘were you there’…)

 

9 It’s Finished

Purple bead

Person 1 John 19:30
Someone put a sponge soaked with the wine on a javelin and lifted it to his mouth. After he took the wine, Jesus said, “It’s done. . . complete.” Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit.
Rip a cloth

 

Person 2 Purple is the colour of royalty, of Jesus, King of heaven, but also of judgment. As Jesus cries out “It is finished!” he is saying that the Judgment for the sins of the world was finished.
Let’s close our eyes and try to imagine that moment. The sky has turned black, Jesus cries out “It is finished” the curtain in the temple rips in two and the earth shakes. The soldier looking on says, “surely he is the Son of God”.
10 Buried in the tomb

Brown bead

Person 1 Matt 27:57-61
A disciple of Jesus, arrived. His name was Joseph. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate granted his request. Joseph took the body and wrapped it in clean linens, put it in his own tomb, a new tomb only recently cut into the rock, and rolled a large stone across the entrance. Then he went off. But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary stayed, sitting in plain view of the tomb.
Sing verse 3 Person 2 Brown is the colour of the earth in which Jesus is placed. Before he is taken down from the cross the soldiers make sure he is dead by piercing his side with a spear.
He is taken down from the cross, his mother nearby weeping for her child. He is wrapped in a linen cloth and placed in the tomb, the tomb is sealed. Let us keep watch with the women while we sing “Were you there…” verse 3
11 In the garden

Gold bead

Person 1 John 20:1-2
Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the entrance. She went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
Sing verse 4 Person 2 We are once again in the garden, this time it’s the garden with Jesus’s tomb. (Read from book) our gold bead is for joy at finding Jesus risen again, it is for celebration and victory! “Were you there…” verse 4

 

12 Letting go

White bead

Person 1 John 3:16
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.
Sing ‘O happy day’ Person 2 Finally we come to now. Everything has changed, Jesus has won a victory over sin and death for all of us!! Love and hope reign!

Being a Christian is like moving to a new country, you can’t live in your old house anymore, because you’re in a new place. Jesus has given us a new place to live, a new life. Sometimes we slip up, sometimes we stumble, but he is always there to help us up, because He is everlasting, and his love knows no end. He has wiped the slate clean. Our white beads remind us that Jesus has washed away our sins and given us eternal life.

 

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