Saturday, April 5, 2014

The City of Jerusalem

After the lesson the children can move the pieces of the city from one map to the other.
So far this year in the atrium we have talked about the places Jesus lived while He was on this earth. One of the first presentations to the children was the land and water globe in which we looked at our whole world and saw the small red dot that pointed out Israel, the little country that God chose to have His son live.

A little while later we learned about the land of Israel by touching a relief map and placing symbols on three cities: Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. We talk about those three cities often as we learned more about Jesus' life and teaching. 

This weekend in the atrium we will continue this study of Jesus' life by sharing the city of Jerusalem material. I will talk about the walls that surrounded the city of Jerusalem, the temple where Jesus went often, the Cenacle where Jesus shared the Last Supper, the Mount of Olives where he was arrested, the buildings that he was shifted to and from during his trial, Calvary where he died and the tomb from which he rose from the dead. We finish the presentation by lighting a candle because Jesus is alive and we sing a song.

For children at this young age we keep this presentation very matter of fact. It is mostly a naming lesson. This material is used again in the level II atrium and, like many of the materials, will be expanded upon as the children are developmentally ready to build upon their prior knowledge and spiritual experience. 

As an adult in the atrium experiencing the Bible narrative for the first time using materials, I am often struck by some aspect of the story that I had never before considered. Tonight as I practiced the lesson, it occurred to me that Jesus had to walk around the city quite a bit during his trial. In his compromised physical and emotional state this must have added to the grief of this experience. I had not ever thought much about how many places he was dragged between Holy Thursday evening and Good Friday. 

So often I find my own spiritual walk deepened by the work I do with the children in the atrium. It has been such a blessing to make and work with these materials and also the children this year.