On your marks:
The season of Lent begins and ends with the cross. On Ash Wednesday there is the tradition of receiving the cross of ashes on the forehead to mark the beginning of a six-week period of prayer and reflection before Easter; and on Good Friday, we finally come to the cross of history on the hill outside Jerusalem where Jesus died.
The following outline would provide a link to further work during Lent on crosses that are found in the Barnabas book A-cross the World.
This idea could be used in a variety of ways:
- as material for a Sunday group session with children for the sixth Sunday in Lent
- as a resource for a special event with children and adults during the week
- as part of a special Lenten display.
You will need a copy of A-cross the World from Barnabas This book has information and creative ideas based on 40 different crosses from around the world. It also includes ideas for all-age worship, study sessions, games, outlines for special events, collective worship in school and also for R.E. lessons.
- Palm Sunday– Lent 6 – a Palm Cross
Key Theme: Dying
Make use of the ideas for games and icebreakers on the cross from pages 107 -112 in A-cross the World .
- The story of the Palm Cross is of course ideal for today. You can find this along with craft ideas on page use 34 -35 of A-cross the World.
- The Bible parable for this theme is that of the seed that must die (John 12:20 -26) Jesus tells this short story on Palm Sunday. The idea that death is the only way to new life is the mystery at the heart of the Easter.
Why not make this parable visual by literally planting a seed deep in the soil and then placing alongside it examples of a tiny shoot, a growing plant and a fully-grown flower?
- I wonder what this teaches us about the real meaning of Easter? How does each stage of the sowing and growing relate to the events of the week to come?
- On this Sunday you might also like to show the children how to make a cross of their own from one piece of A4 paper, simply by folding and cutting – which can also be a picture of the dying of the seed. See the instructions for this on page 83 of A-cross the World.
- Each child could make the crosses individually or perhaps there could be one large version made co-operatively by the children and which can then be brought into church for display, building up to the events of Holy Week and Easter morning.
- For this session there are a number of possible ideas for prayers, both formal and creative, in A-cross the World– see pages113 -119 and pages 123 -128.