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Isaiah 43.16-21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3.4b-14; John 12.1-8

Gather

Bringing people to community

Adult & All Age

A gathering prayer

With all our hearts, we come to worship you

With all our hearts, we come to worship you.
With all our minds, we offer you our praise.
With our whole being, we honour you.
May all that we do, all that we say,
all that we think and all that we feel,
bring glory to you: our creator and redeemer.
Amen.

All-age introduction

A way to begin worship when all ages are present.

Give my best

What can children do better than adults? Ask for a few suggestions that you could test out now. For example: Who can make the most noise? Run around the room the quickest? Be first to open a wrapped parcel? Jump the highest? Ask both the children and the adults to suggest why children are better at some things. Might it be because children are less inhibited? Adults are probably looking to see who is watching first, and thinking, ‘Will I look silly?’ Does it make a difference, at any age, if those watching are friends or strangers? In familiar places, and with people we know, we generally feel more relaxed, more able to be ourselves, more accepted. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus suggests that we can worship God in our own way, giving him our best, whatever our age or circumstances.

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Children & Young People

A gathering prayer for children

Scented oil reminds us of Mary

Circulate cotton cloths with drops of lavender oil on one, and frankincense on the other for people to smell, and water and bread to touch.

Scented oil reminds us of Mary,
kneeling at Jesus’ feet –
preparing him for his journey to the cross.
Frankincense reminds us of the magi,
who knew even at his birth,
that Jesus was God’s rescue plan.
Water reminds us of baptism,
Jesus’ baptism and ours,
cleansing and quenching our thirst.
Bread reminds us that we are invited
to a meal – a celebration of Jesus’ life.
We are on a journey with Jesus,
preparing, remembering, getting ready.
It is good to be here,
to be on this journey together;
a journey towards the cross and beyond it,
into Jesus’ new life.
Amen.

Smell the scent

A quiet way to begin your session.

Pass round a small pot of scented oil, e.g. lavender or other essential oil for the children to smell. (Note: essential oils are very strong so don’t let the children touch them.)

In today’s story, Mary uses oil with a beautiful perfume to do something very special for Jesus.

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Balancing act

An active way to begin your session. 

Use a sturdy coat hanger and attach a plastic cup at each end with string.

Ask a volunteer to hold the coat hanger. Give each child a handful of sweets, e.g. Skittles™. They take turns throwing sweets into the cups but must ensure the cups remain equally balanced. Today’s story is about keeping a balance between worshipping God and helping other people.

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