The children of our Godly Play class move towards the Mystery of Easter by taking 7 classes to hear the stories of Jesus’ journey to the cross and resurrection. Using 7 pictures of Christ (from Godly Play), it all begins…
Jesus’ Birth & Grown (I)
In the beginning a baby was born. God chose Mary to be his mother. And the Mother Mary & Father Joseph kept the baby close and gave that baby everything he needed to grow.
Jesus is Lost & Found (II)
The baby grew and became a boy. When Jesus was around 12, he accompanied Mary & Joseph and many others from Nazareth to Jerusalem for one of the high holy days. After the celebration, the Nazareans went home through the great high gate, but Jesus was not there. Mary & Joseph searched for him & finally found him in the temple with the rabbis/priests. "Didn't you know I would be in my father's house?"
Jesus’ Baptism & Blessing by God (III)
Jesus grew and became a man, and around the age of 30 was baptized in the river Jordan by his cousin, John. He didn’t want to, but Jesus persuaded him and as he came out of the waters, they saw a dove and heard a voice, "this is the beloved." Jesus then went into the desert, where he stayed 40 days & nights to learn more about who he was and what his work is going to be.
Jesus’ Desert & Discovery Experience (IV)
In the desert there was little to eat or drink and there he was tempted: stones to bread, jump to test God, King over all kingdoms. Jesus said, No to all the temptations. After this, he went back across the Jordan to do his work.
Jesus as Healer & Parable-Maker (V)
His work was to come close to people, especially those no one else wanted to come close to. Healing the blind man. When Jesus came close to people, they changed, they became well. He also told parables to the people.
Jesus offers the Bread & Wine (VI)
Jesus went to Jerusalem one last time. As he rode a humble donkey, he was greeted by people waving palm branches, laying down branches and their garments on the road. In an upper room, the disciples and Jesus shared a last meal. Jesus took some bread and wine and gave it to them, each time telling them whenever they gather, to break bread and drink wine, to do it in remembrance of him.
The One who was Easter & Still Is (VII)
After supper, Jesus went with his disciples to Gethsemane, there he was betrayed, arrested and taken to Jerusalem for his trial. That next day, outside the city walls, Jesus was crucified. Afterwards, he was laid in a tomb. On Sunday, they went to the tomb, found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. Jesus who died on the cross, had arisen, and was still with them, esp. in the bread and wine.
One side of the picture is Easter, the other crucifixion. You cannot take them apart, you cannot have one without the other and that is the mystery of Easter.
And that is where the story remembers Thomas, doubting Thomas. Always the last to know. But Thomas is important for you and me. He wants to experience Jesus. The others had, they had seen Jesus, experienced him after the cross. Thomas would not believe until he has own experience. A second time, Jesus appears to the disciples, the doors are shut (a week before they were locked) but there Jesus is with them. He shows Thomas his hands and his sides. Touch ‘em. Don’t doubt but believe. Jesus says. My Lord and my God, says Thomas.
In this Eastertide, as we experience Spring bursting forth, let us remember Christ who burst from the tomb, who entered into a room through locked and shut doors, all to help others know that he is arisen. At every Eucharist we gather together, Christ is here with us and we know him in the breaking of the bread and in the Scriptures from his birth, through his life, death and resurrection. Christ is Risen. Alleluia! Amen.