A-B-C’s of Holy Week

How to celebrate Holy Week this year with kids? At Bethlehem Lutheran Church – Twin Cities in Minneapolis, MN, the older elementary students will present the “A-B-C’s of Holy Week!” on Good Friday via zoom. Super simple:

Each child will be assigned a letter to decorate and lines for that letter using the script below. Once done, we will put it together in a video.

The script follows the events of Holy Week in alphabet order:

A is for Alleluia! Jesus is Alive! As followers of Jesus, that is what we believe. So welcome to the story of the A-B-C’s of Holy Week. This is the story of how and why Jesus died and was raised again. So…

A is for Alleluia, Jesus is Alive!

B is for the Baby Jesus and then Boy Jesus, who grew up to become the savior of the world.

C is for Cheer. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the crowd waved their palms branches, cheering “Hip, hip, Hooray! King Jesus is on his way!”

D is for Donkey. Jesus rode a young colt down the streets of Jerusalem all the way to the temple.

E is for Everyone! Jesus rode into Jerusalem for everyone – No one is left out!

F is for Freedom! To see King Jesus on a donkey meant freedom had arrived. Freedom from what? Freedom from sin, oppression, shame and exclusion. Which makes us freedom for what? Freedom for us to love and care for one another.

G is for Garments, and palm branches, and robes that were laid on the road as Jesus trotted down the street.

H is for Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! That was the cheer and cries of the people for Jesus!

I is for I AM – “I AM,” said Jesus, “I AM the bread of life, living water, and the light of the world!” “I AM,” said Jesus, “I AM the true vine, the good shepherd, and the way, the truth, and life!” ” I AM,” said Jesus, “I AM the life and the resurrection.”

J is for Judas Iscariot. He is the one who turned Jesus over to the authorities, and he betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver! 

K is for King. Where is the king riding the stallion who slays the dragon and saves the girl? Fairy tale Jesus does not exist. He is a servant king like no one imagined when he said, “I come to serve and not to be served!” 

L is for the Last Supper. In the upper room, Jesus and his 12 closest friends, the disciples, gathered to celebrate the Passover.

M is for Meal. It’s a meal of bread and wine that Jesus offers us. Jesus said, “This is my body given for you; this is my blood shed for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

N is for nails, cracked heels and the dirty toes of the disciples that Jesus graciously washed as he taught them and us to “Serve one another with love!”

O is for Obedience from Jesus as he prayed, “Is there any other way, God?” But Jesus knew what he must do – that no one can go around, under or over death. The only way is to go through it.

P is for Prayer. That is what Jesus was doing in the Garden of Gethsemane when he was arrested and brought before the Jewish leaders, witnesses, and Pilate.

Q is for Questions. So many questions from leaders, Pilate and Jesus as he was accused: “Who do you say I am?” or “What has this man done?” or “Are you king of the Jewish people?”

R is for Rooster. Peter was warned. Jesus warned Peter that “before the rooster crowed,” he would deny knowing Jesus. Three times. Jesus’ best friend denied him. Then, the rooster crowed, and Peter had done what was warned.

S is for Soldiers. They had the hard task of hoisting Jesus up on cross. Even when the soldiers made fun of Jesus, they didn’t even know what they were doing or that he was the son of God.

T is for Tomb. Jesus died. It’s true. His body was laid into a tomb and stone rolled in front to keep the tomb sealed.

U is for Utter silence, an Unbelievable event, Unimaginable sorrow.

Narrator: (a moment for reflection with the screen growing shade into light) And then, Easter happened.

V is for Victory. Sorrow turned into joy by the rising of the sun. Death could not hold Jesus, neither the tomb nor stone could keep him down, Jesus the victor had risen!

W is for Women. They were the first witnesses to the resurrection event. The stone was rolled away, Jesus’ body was not there, and the angels said, “Do not seek the living among the dead! Christ is risen!”

X marks the Spot of God’s love in this world. It’s why Jesus was born, why Jesus lived, why Jesus died, and now why Jesus was raised again. X marks the spot in You!

Y is for You! Jesus did his job, and now it’s up to you. You can tell others about God’s love in this world. You can be God’s love in this world.

Z is for zappy, zany, and zazzy zeal! This zeal of love is just what the world needs. Because God is love and love is enough! 

Thanks to my ministry colleagues at Bethlehem or on ELCA Youth Ministry Facebook page for their contributions. Holy Week images drawn by Jordan Mesenbourg.

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