Break Chains: Crucifixion (Mark 15:21-41)

For the fourth of five weeks, our parish has been supporting our youth in prayer as they journey to the ELCA National Youth Gathering in Detroit, Michigan.  This is a life-changing experience of worship, service, and reflection for over 30,000 high school youth and adults.  For the next five weeks of Family God Time, we will explore the key Bible stories for each day of the Gathering (If you missed last week, go to https://familygodtime.wordpress.com).

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Supplies:  candle and holder (see “Gathering,” below), My First Hands-On Bible (or other children’s or family Bible), access to the internet, found objects for the activity

Gather:  I was the only adult in the house for this God Time, so I decided to do it right after lunch before my two-year-olds had gotten down from their high chairs.  There was a request to do the activity first, so we did.  We made crosses, sang the song, and then read/discussed the story and prayed.  You can do it however it works for you!

Story:  Read the story of “Jesus Dies on a Cross” in My First Hands-On Bible or another children’s or family Bible.  If you are using the My First Hands-On Bible, feel free to do the activities and questions described there.  If you don’t have a children’s Bible, check out this version:  Mark 15:21-41

Discuss:  How much love do you think it took Jesus to die on the cross for us?  Do you think he was sad?  Angry?  Afraid?  Where do you think Jesus is when we are sad, angry, or afraid?  Do you think that he knows how we feel?

Song:   My family and I like to make up new verses to the song “Were You There.”  Two verses from this lesson are:

Were you there when he loved us all the way?
Were you there when he loved us all the way?
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, sometimes, it cause me to
Tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when he loved us all the way?

Were you there when he broke the chains of death?
Were you there when he broke the chains of death?
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, sometimes, it cause me to
Tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when he broke the chains of death?

Activity:  Making Crosses

The prayer practice of Making Crosses was popular with my confirmation students last year.  It is a combination scavenger hunt, craft, and prayer.  First, you go around the house, or outside, or in a craft store and let everyone find things that they think will make good crosses.  It could be bits and pieces of almost anything, as long as you are willing to sacrifice it for this project (and a good reason to clean out your craft bins!).  Then, you gather together and glue the pieces into a cross shape.  Afterwards, you pray over them and put them in a prominent place in your house for all to see.  My family found a bag of old clothespins and decided to make them out of that.  Each cross was 1 1/2 clothes pins, with the whole clothespin as the upright and the half clothespin as the horizontal piece.  I thought we should decorate them in some way, and my daughter thought we should draw Jesus on them.  Here are some pics of our attempts to decorate them:

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Prayer:  (You can do this all together, or as a “repeat after me” prayer, depending on reading ability) (Everyone lays their hands on your crosses)  Dear Jesus, we thank you that you have broken the chains of death through the cross.  Bless our crosses to be a reminder of your love for us, even as we remember those at the National Youth Gathering who are spreading your love in Detroit.  In your name we pray, Amen.

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