In our continuing journey through Lent, it’s time for us to talk about the Last Supper. What a meal this must have been: the disciples with Him must have expected perhaps only a slightly more emotionally charged gathering, coming as it did in the wake of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and then His dramatic cleansing of the Temple. But before the meal is over, Jesus will have shown His friends an example of service that they, and we, are to follow, instituted the Eucharist, identified His betrayer, and revealed to our patron Peter his human weakness. We will create our own Seder meals in Sunday school, talking about the symbolism of each food, sharing a little of the cultural and faith experience of the Jewish people throughout the centuries. We will draw the parallels between the sacrificial lamb of Passover and Jesus, our Lamb. Older kids will talk about betrayal and weakness, and about the difficulty and necessity of forgiving ourselves when we fall short of our own expectations – Peter could never have become such an important leader of the early Church if he had not found the strength to forgive himself for failing Jesus in what must have seemed His moment of greatest need.
All grades together:
- Footprint cross. In order to get to the Symbolic Seder, kids will take off their shoes, step into a pan of paint, then walk along a long piece of butcher paper taped to the (uncarpeted) hallway floor. At the end of the paper, they will step into a pan of water and teachers will help them wash their feet, as Jesus washed the feet of His friends to give them an example of service. When the footprints are dry, teachers will cut the paper into pieces to make a cross to be displayed during Holy Week. This activity will require several adult or older kid helpers. One adult or older kid will walk, off the paper, with each child who is walking on the paper, to help the child keep his or her balance and to carry his or her shoes.
- Symbolic Seder. Two of the three Sunday school classrooms will be set up for a community meal similar to the one Jesus and his friends shared. The traditional, symbolic foods of a seder meal will be present, and a Passover sweet will be served, along with matzot. Leaders will explain the meaning of the symbolic foods and rituals.