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Complete Lesson Set: Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet by Western Suburbs (Chicago) Rotation Roundtable Group

Here is a complete set of lessons for…

 

JESUS WASHES THE DISCIPLES' FEET

 

A set of workshops written by the Western Suburbs (Chicago) Rotation Roundtable Group, with additional notes provided by Neil MacQueen ("Wormy").

 

 

Summary of all workshops in this Rotation:

  • Storytelling/Drama or Puppet Workshop: Use sock puppets (or perhaps bare feet) to enact the story in an unusual way.
  • Science Workshop: Take a barefoot sensory walk; discuss ways we serve others by putting our best foot forward; create a bag of foot-soaking salts.
  • Missions Workshop: Put together "foot care" kits for special people.
  • Puppets Workshop: Another sock puppet workshop.
  • Art Workshop: Make "treasure jars" with items that remind us of the events of Holy Week and what Jesus did for us.

 

 


Bible Passage: John 13: 1-17

Key/Memory Verse:(several are suggested)

  • I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.(Matthew 25:40)
  • I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. (Romans 10:15)
  • And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! (Romans 10:15)

 

 

The Main Idea
"Serve to Love, Love to Serve"
Jesus wanted to show the disciples how much he loved them, so he gave them an example of how they (and we) should treat one another.


Goals— By the end of this rotation, the students will:

  • Become familiar with the events of the story.
  • Learn the facts of this Bible story and where it is found in the Bible.
  • Understand the importance of serving others.
  • Share God’s love with the recipients of our mission project.
  • Realize that by serving others we are serving Jesus.
  • Know that Jesus cares about even the small details of our lives, like dirty feet.

 

 

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Rotation.org Volunteer Moderator retitled and formatted this post, and provided a summary of workshops in this set.

 
Jesus Washes the Disciples" Feet
Storytelling and/or DRAMA/PUPPET Workshop --using sock puppets!


(Written by Mary H. Part of a lesson set by the Western Suburbs--Chicago--Roundtable Group) Additional material/revisions by Exchange Volunteer.

Main Idea: Jesus used his final meal with his disciples as a time of instruction. Of all the lessons taught that night, one stands out. During the meal Jesus got up from the table, removed his robe, tied a towel around his waist, and with a basin of water went around the table washing the feet of each man present. By doing so, the one they called Son of God gave them a lesson in service no one will forget.

Scripture: John 13:1-17
Key Verse 13:15 “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

Memory Verses: John 13:1-17 “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
Romans 10:15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Overview: The Last Supper was an evening of intense instruction for the disciples. The foot washing is noteworthy, however, because it was a lesson by example. Its impact was so powerful that it has reverberated through the ages. The ritual is still practiced in many churches today, usually on Maundy Thursday, during Holy Week.

Supplies: Make a simple sock puppet. This can be a tube sock, simply stretched over your hand, with an indentation for a mouth. You can decorate it with markers to make eyes, or simply have a “dirty” sock. Just dirt, not smelly…
You may want to pull a clean sock on underneath the dirty sock. When the story relates to clean feet, pull off the dirty sock and reveal your clean version. Or, simply turn the sock inside out . Very symbolic. Jesus enjoyed turning ideas upside down, giving them new meaning.

Lesson: Welcome the children, and tell the story. Copy attached at end of lesson.

Some review thoughts, if you have time.
In the time of Jesus, what did a person do whenever he came in from being outside? Washed his feet
Washing someone's feet was considered a dirty job. Who usually did this job?
Only servants washed people's feet.
No one would volunteer for such a lowly job. What does that tell us about Jesus?

Closing: Lord Jesus, Guide our feet along straight paths. We know some paths cause us to stumble. Protect us and motivate us to serve others. We want to follow your ways in all that we do every day. Guide our feet, Lord Jesus. Amen.


-------------------------------------

Sock/Foot Puppet Show

You can do this with the socks on the kids' hands. Or, you can put them on one of their feet, and have them contort to get their socked-foot up on the "stage" you create. (Definitely need to videotape this.) The sock-puppeteers can focus on doing the action while others do the singing and say the words.

You could also do this with bare feet that the kids have decorated with eyes and a mouth using permanent marker, and maybe a hat and robe. In which case you need to rename this the "FOOT THEATER".

The following script is provisional. It needs improvement.

Foot/Sock People:
Peter
Philip
John (the little foot)
and Jesus foot who just moves, doesn't talk.

Sock puppet script

Open the show with a song:
(Tune: If you're happy and you know it....)
Oh, be careful little feet where you go!
Oh, be careful little feet where you go!
The Father up above..is looking down in love..
so be careful little feet where you go!


Pete: Hey, my name is Peter.
Phil: And I'm Philip Foot. But you can call me Phil Foot.
John: (high pitched voice) And I'm John the young and handsome foot.

Pete: We're the foot disciples of Jesus.

Let me tell you a story so you can understand why we are followers of Jesus. But before we get started, you need to know that foot washing is mentioned 26 times.

Phil: 26 times? That's like 5 feet worth of toes.
John: Plus 1 little toe.

Pete: Yep, Foot Washing was a big deal in the Bible. The priests were supposed to wash their feet before they entered the Tabernacle, and if they didn’t, the Bible says they would die.

Phil: WOW! Who knew Toe Jam could kill?

Pete: The problem wasn't toe jam, it was sin. Dirty was a symbol for sin. Bad smells were a symbol for sin. And no dirty stinky sins were allowed in the Tabernacle OR the Temple.

John: Not allowed in my house either.

Pete: That's right Little John. In Biblical times people wear sandals and walk dusty dirty roads all day long. This is why feet needed to be washed. Their stinky dirt needed to be left outside homes, and should never come inside holy places, like the Temple in Jerusalem or to your dinner table. Does your mom ever complain that your feet are filthy? Or maybe just your socks?

Phil: Yeah, my mom for sure.
John: Mine too. My feet are always a mess, and every night before dinner, I have to wash them. It's gross.

Pete: The night of the Last Supper, we have been walking all over the city of Jerusalem teaching people.

Phil: Lotta donkey poop on those roads. And trash.

Pete: Yep, Jerusalem could be kind of messy, especially with all those people there for the Holy Days of Passover.

So when it came time for dinner with Jesus, we needed to wash our feet. You see, we didn't sit in chairs like you folks do.

John: Nope, we sit on the floor and lean on cushions. And that puts me right next to Phil and Pete's feet, and UG! are they smelly and dirty after a long day.

Pete: Back to our story.... So Jesus walks in the UpperRoom where we were getting ready to eat the Passover meal, we sit down and he starts talking...

John: --and everyone had forgotten to wash their feet!

Pete: Yep. And everyone's feet were sticking here and there right in front of everyone else.

Phil: And that's when Jesus looked around the room for the basin used to our clean feet. Pete jumped up and said, Master! You're too important to do a servant's job. Stop!

But Jesus continued. He tied a towel around his waist, and poured water into the basin, and invited each of us to come have our feet washed by him.

Pete: I was shocked. I told him I would never let him wash my feet. He was too big and important for such a lowly job. And that's when he raised his voice at me and said:

JESUS: Peter, I'm trying to teach you a lesson here. If I'm willing to wash your feet, then you should be willing to wash everyone else's feet!
If you want to follow me, you must become a servant to all. You must be willing to help others.

Pete: I suddenly got it. I shouted: "Then wash me from head to toe too!"

Phil: And Jesus laughed, and said, "just your feet Pete, it is enough." So Jesus washed Pete's feet, and mine, and John's, and everyone else's, including his own.

John: And boy did it suddenly start to smell better in there!

Pete: Yep, suddenly dinner was a lot more appetizing, and our mission as disciples was a lot more clear,

John: BE A SERVANT to others, just as our Lord was willing to serve us.

All: Amen!

-------

Now the Sock/Feet Puppets are going to act out some "foot" Bible verses for the videocamera.

1. He guides our feet: Luke 1:79 says, “the lord has plans to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

2. He directs our feet: Psalm 119:105 God’s Word “is a lamp to our feet” making our “path straight” showing us how to live.

3. He protects our feet: Psalm 56:13 and 116:8 tell us that God can keep our “feet from stumbling.”

4. He secures our feet: Psalm 40:2 says “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set me feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

[Exchange volunteer Neil modified the script.]
 
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Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet
Science Station

(Written by Mary H and Kim H. Part of a lesson set by the Western Suburbs--Chicago--Roundtable Group)

Main Idea: Jesus used his final meal with his disciples as a time of instruction. Of all the lessons taught that night, one stands out. During the meal Jesus got up from the table, removed his robe, tied a towel around his waist, and with a basin of water went around the table washing the feet of each man present. By doing so, the one they called Son of God gave them a lesson in service no one will forget.

Scripture: John 13:1-17
Key Verse 13:15 “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

Memory Verses: John 13:1-17 “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
Romans 10:15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Overview: The Last Supper was an evening of intense instruction for the disciples. The foot washing is noteworthy, however, because it was a lesson by example. Its impact was so powerful that it has reverberated through the ages. The ritual is still practiced in many churches today, usually on Maundy Thursday, during Holy Week.

Supplies: You will need different textures for a “sensory walk.” Suggestions: sand, grass, cotton batting, velvet fabric, netting, talcum powder, shaving cream. Construction paper, markers, paper towels or terry towels to wipe feet.

Supplies for Epsom Salt Foot Soak:
• regular sea salt or Epsom salt, or a blend of the two.
• Several types of essential oil or essential oil blend. Be sure and take heed in the safety data for the oil(s) you choose to use.
• Small Ziploc bags (one per student)
• Labels for the Ziploc bag: Epsom Salts for Foot Soak--Fill tub or basin with warm water. Add a few tablespoons of this to the warm water and mix well. Soak feet in the
mixture. NOT TO BE EATEN!

Lesson: Tell the story:

Peter winced. He thought he had prepared everything just right for the Passover meal. But, in all the excitement of the day – he had forgotten to arrange for a basin of water at the door. Mentally, he kicked himself. Foot washing was necessary in Palestine. The streets were dusty and people wore sandals without socks or stockings. It was a mark of honor for a host to provide a slave to wash a guest’s feet. And it was a breach of hospitality not to provide a basin so guests could wash their own feet. Forgetting to provide for foot washing was a glaring oversight!

It was almost his turn. Peter watched Jesus stoop to wash his friends’ feet. His master was doing the work of a slave. It greatly disturbed him. It just didn’t seem right. When Jesus knelt in front of him with the basin and towel, Peter pulled back in protest. Their eyes met. “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me,” Jesus warned.

The act of foot washing was highly symbolic. Doing the work of a slave demonstrated Jesus’ humility. It was the attitude he expected of all his followers. But even more important, the act foreshadowed the task he was about to complete.

Jesus would wash away the dirt, their “sins.” On the night of his betrayal, Jesus washed his disciples with water. But he knew that the time was at hand when he would cleanse them with so much more.


SENSORY WALK: There are several ways you can do this. You can use a painter’s canvas drop cloth, and set up areas of different textures. You can use poster board, covered with sandpaper, or cloth. Each piece of poster board will be a different texture.

Invite the kid’s remove their shoes and socks. Kids can be blindfolded if you want.
Let another child, and a shepherd, guide them to the textured spots. If you don’t want to blindfold them, simply allow them to text walk the textures with their bare feet. Have them describe the texture…soft, scratchy, cold.

Some ideas for textures; Sand, hay or grass, cotton batting, velvet/velour fabric; talcum powder, shaving cream, water, paper towel, or terry towel.

Don't attempt the shaving cream without several helpers to hold hands while walking. No pressure if a child does not want to do this, or clothing (girls in tights, i.e.) will be ruined.

While, they have their “feet” bare, have them trace around their foot on a piece of construction paper. When the sensory walk activity is over, talk about how we can use our feet for Jesus. Write their comments on their foot paper.

Emphasize that Jesus touches all of us in a different way, because Jesus knows we are each special and different. And, we can serve others in many different ways, by putting our best foot forward. Jesus wants us to love one another, and that’s an instruction that means exactly the same thing today as it did when Jesus first said it.

Epsom Salts for Foot Soak
Explain that each child will make some Epsom salts to use to soak their feet. Place some of the salt in a Ziploc bag. Let them choose which scent they would like to add—add a few drops. Close the bag tightly and roll the salts around to mix the scent in with the salts. Leave the bags tightly closed. Make sure the students do not taste the salt (it can act as a laxative) or the scent. Encourage them to think about the Bible story and what Jesus did for them as they are soaking their feet. Or they could prepare a foot soak for someone in their family and tell them the Bible story.

Students could also make the Epsom salts while they are waiting to take their sensory walk

Closing: Teach us your ways, O Lord and make them known to us. Help us to use our feet in good ways, ways that we can serve others. Amen.


Reference: At Jerusalem’s Gate, Poems of Easter, “The Last Lesson,” by Nikki Grimes
“The King Who Washes Feet,” by Mary Kassian, at http://www.thelife.com/flashbacks/kingwashesfeet.html
Sensory walk ideas from: teachers.net/lessons/posts/2016.html
http://www.kinderart.com/littles/feet.shtml
 
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Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet
Missions Station

(Written by Nancy R and Cathy W. Part of a lesson set by the Western Suburbs--Chicago--Roundtable Group)

Project: Putting together "foot care" kits for special people.

Workshop-specific Goals
• Learn of Jesus’ love for the disciples and us
• Share God’s love with the recipients of our mission project
• Jesus cares about even the small details of our lives, like dirty feet.
• Children will learn that we are to serve others as Jesus served us.
• Service often involves sacrifice through humility or unpleasant work
• Realize that by serving others we are serving Jesus

Preparation
1. Review Background notes.

2. Materials List:
• Bibles (supplied in teaching box)
• Information sheet on the Mission Project
• Supplies needed for mission project will vary depending on what you choose

3. Advance Preparation:
• Refer to schedule and decide how you will make adjustments for the different ages.
• Prepare a bulletin insert about the mission project and ask for specific items to be donated. Make a deadline to receive items that is before your first class session.

Presentation
1. Make sure you have your nametag on. Introduce yourself to the students.

2. Open with a prayer .

3. Introduction & Bible Story:
Please make sure that the students hear and “get” the Bible story as well as the application of that story to their lives. The Bible story is the MOST important part of the lesson—it is much more important than the activity associated with this station!

(For the first part of the month, go ahead and read the story from the Bible. For the latter part of the month—when the children should be familiar with the story—have them tell you the story)

When we think about the love that Jesus has for us, we often think of the biggest thing He did for us—dying on the cross for our sins. But Jesus showed His love in many ways. This month’s Bible story tells of the time that Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. It happened the day before Jesus died—when He was celebrating the Passover Meal (the Last Supper) with His disciples. Have the students open their Bibles to John 13: 1-17. Options for telling the story: having older students read aloud, teacher reads the Bible story, teacher tells the story in own words or from a Children’s Bible.

Review important aspects of the story. The disciples’ feet were covered in mud, sweat, and dust from miles of travel. Jesus was doing the most menial of jobs. Jesus knew Peter would deny Him and Judas would betray Him, but He still washed their feet. Re-read verses 14-15. Do you think that Jesus meant that the disciples should go around washing people’s feet all the time? (no). What did He mean when He said they should “do as I have done for you”? (should serve other people in a variety of ways).

Whose feet should we wash? How do we serve people? What about people greater or less than us (important jobs, less skilled, smaller, bigger, etc)? (We should wash everyone’s feet, or serve everyone. We serve by helping people in any way we can. It doesn’t matter if someone is or isn’t “better” than us, we can and should still serve).


This month in Sunday School, we are going to serve…………… Go on to talk about the mission project that you will be doing and the people that will be receiving your gift. Some examples are
• putting together foot-care packs for the guests of a homeless shelter
• making Easter baskets for children living in a group home
• making Easter baskets for the sick and shut-in of your congregation
• many overseas missions have projects where you can put together hygiene packs or school packs, etc

4. Activities:
The children can spend the rest of class time putting together the items that you are preparing. You may want each class to do the same thing, with each class putting together so many packs. Or you may want older classes to do a more complicated part of the project, and younger classes to do an easier part. The students could make individual cards or bookmarks to include with each gift.

5. Reflect/Closure:
Read the memory verse with the students: “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”-- Matthew 25: 40.

Talk with the class about what this verse means to them.

6. Closing Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the many blessings you have given us. Thank you for the opportunity to share our gifts with___________________. Amen
 
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Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet
Puppet Station

(Written by Michael G and Cathy W. Part of a lesson set written by the Western Suburbs--Chicago--Roundtable Group)

Workshop-specific Goals
• Become familiar with the events of the story.
• Think about the actions of the various characters as they act out the story using sock puppets

Preparation
1. Review Background notes.

2. Materials List:
• Bibles (supplied in teaching box)
• Children’s Bible (optional)
• Socks
• Stiff material to make mouth (cereal box, plastic from milk cartons or poster board)
• Felt in many colors
• Wiggly eyes
• Large buttons
• Fast-drying glue
• Scissors
• Large piece of paper
• Marker
• Rope and blanket to create puppet stage
• Small bowl and towel to be used as props

3. Advance Preparation:
• Refer to schedule and decide how you will make adjustments for the different ages.
• Make the “mouths” beforehand (see diagram at end of lesson--basically an elongated oval which is bent in half)
• You may want to make a sample puppet
• Set up puppet stage before class


Presentation
1. Make sure you have your nametag on. Introduce yourself to the students.

2. Open with a prayer .

3. Introduction & Bible Story:
Please make sure that the students hear and “get” the Bible story as well as the application of that story to their lives. The Bible story is the MOST important part of the lesson—it is much more important than the activity associated with this station!

(For the first part of the month, go ahead and read the story from the Bible. For the latter part of the month—when the children should be familiar with the story—have them tell you the story)

Hand out the Bibles and have the students find John 13:1-17. Options for telling the story include reading the Bible account, having the students read the story aloud, telling the story in your own words, or telling it from a Children’s Bible.

We will be acting out the story later in the class, so lets figure out what the scenes and such will be. Ask the students about the following items and write out the replies on the large piece of paper:
• Who are the characters in this Bible passage?
• Where is the story taking place?
• What is the sequence of events?
• What actions and discussions are taking place (that we would be acting out).

4. Activities:
The main focus of this lesson is NOT the creation of the sock puppets, so do not spend too much time on this. The main emphasis should be acting out the story using the puppets.

Sock Puppets—we will be making sock puppets in order to act out the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. Help the children to quickly make the puppets (you want to leave time to act out the story)
• Socks- use mismatched adult-size socks, or purchase at a dollar store. Crew socks are best. Any color. Must be clean.
• A mouth is needed. The mouth is cut from a pattern (included) and can be made from any stiff material. Cardboard from cereal boxes, plastic from milk cartons, or poster board.
• Have the user put the sock on his/her hand, forming a mouth.
• Turn the sock inside out, holding the place where the mouth belongs.
• Glue the mouth in place using fast-drying glue.
• Decorate the puppet. Wiggly eyes can be purchased at a craft shop or buttons can be glued on for eyes. Yarn or felt can be used for hair or beards.
• The students may take their puppets home after class.

Puppet Play
Have the students act out the story using their puppets. Refer back to the replies that you wrote down earlier. Assign the various parts to the students. The teacher may want to help guide the action of the play by providing some narration (or reminders of what is happening next)—the students can also refer to the replies on the piece of paper.

If there are enough students, have some students be the audience and some the puppeteers. Then switch and present the play again.

5. Reflect/Closure:
How do you think some of the characters felt about what was happening—Jesus, Peter (who protested that Jesus shouldn’t wash his feet), Judas (who knew he would soon betray Jesus). Why might they have felt this way?

Read the memory verse: “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”-- Matthew 25: 40. Have each of the students fill in the blanks of the following statement: When I did _____________________ for _______________, I was also doing this for Jesus.


6. Closing Prayer:

Age Adaptations
1. Older students—They should need minimal assistance in acting out the story—encourage them to create the dialog based on the Bible story

2. Younger students—You may need to assist them with the story by narrating it more extensively.

3. PreSchool students—See notes for younger students. You may want to prep the puppets even more—perhaps attaching the mouth material before class, so that the only construction the students need to do is decorating their puppets. You may also want to prepare hair and beards beforehand so that the students can pick what they like and glue it in place.
 
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Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet
Art 2 Station

(Written by Cathy W. Part of a lesson set written by the Western Suburbs--Chicago--Roundtable Group)

Workshop-specific Goals
• Hear an overview of the events of Holy Week
• Understand Jesus’ role as Lord and servant
• Appreciate the many “treasures” that are ours because of Jesus

Preparation
1. Review Background notes.

2. Materials List:
• Bibles (supplied in teaching box)
• Plastic jars with screw-on lids (one for each student)
• Bowls or bags
• Leafy branches—cut apart fake aquarium plants
• Blue Rice (see Advance Prep)
• Plastic grapes—pulled off the stems
• Red Jewels or Red beads
• Nickels
• Small crosses
• Small stones
• Glitter
• Plastic spoons—several
• Tag listing all the contents of the treasure jar (see Advance Prep)
• Tape
• Pencils

3. Advance Preparation:
• Refer to schedule and decide how you will make adjustments for the different ages.
• Make the blue rice—you will need enough rice to fill each student’s jar about 2/3 full. Place rice in a plastic bag with a drop of two of food color (it doesn’t take much) and shake rice around
• Make a tag listing the contents of the jars that the students can tape to their jars (serve as a memory aid as they use the jar to tell others the story of Holy Week)
• Before class starts, place the various materials for the treasure jars in bags or bowls on the table (except for the glitter)

Presentation
1. Make sure you have your nametag on. Introduce yourself to the students.

2. Open with a prayer .

3. Introduction & Bible Story:
Please make sure that the students hear and “get” the Bible story as well as the application of that story to their lives. The Bible story is the MOST important part of the lesson—it is much more important than the activity associated with this station!

(For the first part of the month, go ahead and read the story from the Bible. For the latter part of the month—when the children should be familiar with the story—have them tell you the story)

This month, our story has been “Jesus washes the feet of the disciples”. This is just one of the events that happened during Holy Week. Have the students open their Bibles to John 13: 1-17. One option is to read the Bible passage. Since this lesson is happening at the end of the rotation and serving as a transition to the Easter story, the students should already be familiar with the story and be able to tell you the story. Either have them go around the room telling you the story bit by bit, or ask them questions about the Bible passage (thereby telling the story with their answers).

4. Activities:
We are going to make treasure jars—everything in it will remind us of the events of Holy Week and what Jesus did for us. There are a bunch of things on the table-wait until we are talking about that item before you put it in your jar. Before telling the class what each item stands for, you could ask them what they think.
• Leafy Branch: this reminds us of Palm Sunday. Do you remember what happened on Palm Sunday? (Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. A large crowd spread branches and cloaks on the road before Jesus. They shouted “Hosanna!”). This fulfilled a prophecy from the Old Testament that said “”See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey”. This is the one time that Jesus allowed the people to treat Him as the king that He really was. Did Jesus come to earth to be a worldly king? (No, although many people thought he would be an earthly king who would defeat the Romans and make Israel a powerful nation again. They didn’t realize then that Jesus came to save us from sin—forever—not just save the Israelites from the Romans). What a treasure to be in God’s kingdom, and not the kingdom of sin.
• Blue Rice (fill each jar about 2/3 full with the rice): this rice is the color of water. It reminds us that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples during the last supper, which happened on a Thursday—you might hear it called Maundy Thursday. What a contrast!—on Palm Sunday, Jesus enters the city as a king, and now He is taking on the role of a lowly servant. In those days of dirt roads and sandals, feet were usually filthy with dirt and mud. Only the lowliest servants got the job of washing these dirty feet. Yet Jesus does this, and He does it to make a point. He is giving them an example of loving service. Jesus washes their feet, even thought He knows that one will betray Him and one will deny Him. What is the ultimate act of service that Jesus performed for all of us ? (died on the cross for our sins). In what ways can we demonstrate service to others?
• Grape: this reminds us the wine (made from grapes) at the Last Supper, when Jesus and his disciples were celebrating the Passover. Do you remember what the Passover was about? (when the Israelites escaped from Egypt. They ate unleavened—flat—bread and painted their doorway with the blood of a lamb so that their first-born would not die). Jesus took some of the symbolic foods of the Passover Meal and changed their meanings—they are now our Holy communion. The unleavened bread is His body. The wine is His blood—which was shed for the forgiveness of sins. When you receive communion (or the blessing at communion) you are receiving the treasure of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit.
• Red Jewel or bead: this stands for blood, but NOT the blood of the cross. After the Last Supper, Jesus and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane. He went there to pray to God, His heavenly Father. Jesus really did not want to suffer the torture that was coming—the beatings and the death on the cross (and who can blame Him). He prays to God: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not MY will but YOURS be done”. Jesus prayed so hard, that His sweat was like drops of blood. Jesus doesn’t want to do this, but He does because God the Father has said that it must be done. God sends an angel to the garden to give Jesus strength for what is coming. Are there things that you do or don’t do (even though it isn’t your first choice) because you know that this is what God wants from you?
• Nickel: this reminds us of the 30 pieces of silver that Judas took as payment for betraying Jesus. While Jesus and his disciples were still in the garden, Judas came with a group of soldiers to arrest Jesus. Judas approached Jesus to kiss him (that was the sign to the soldiers, so they would arrest the right man). Jesus says “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”. Jesus was put on trial—first with the religious leaders (the Pharisees) and then with Pilate, a Roman leader. He was sentenced to death. Was Jesus really guilty of anything? (no) Then why did He have to die? (He died to pay the price for our sins, so that we wouldn’t have to). It wasn’t just Judas or the Roman soldiers who sent Jesus to the cross—it was all of us because of our sins.
• Cross: this reminds us that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He died on Good Friday. What a treasure that was for all of us. That meant that we were no longer separated from God because of our sins—Jesus took away our sins.
• Rock: this reminds us of the stone used to close the tomb. After He died, some of the friends of Jesus took His body down from the cross. The Holy Sabbath was fast approaching, so they didn’t have time to properly prepare His body for burial. They wrapped the body in spices and cloths and placed it in a cave-tomb. Then they closed up the tomb with a huge stone. The women planned to come back on Sunday morning—after the Sabbath was over—to finish preparing His body.
• Glitter (Teacher and guide should go around room and put a spoonful of glitter into each jar): this stands for the joy of the Resurrection. What did the women find when they came to the tomb on Easter Sunday morning? (tomb was empty, angel was there telling them that Jesus was not there because He was risen from the dead). Yet another treasure that Jesus has given us. Because He was raised from the dead, we too will enjoy eternal life with Him in heaven one day.
• Have the students screw the lid onto the jar.

5. Reflect/Closure:
Hand out the jar labels (listing all the contents of the jar) and pencils. Swirl the rice in the jar and try to see the various treasures in the jar. Go through the list of contents and have the students tell you what each of the items stands for. Especially for the older students, have them go beyond just saying the event “The Last Supper” and go into the significance of the event (Jesus instituted Holy Communion, where we receive His body and blood; shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins….) If they like, they students could write down a word or two on their label by each of the items. Tape the labels on the jars. Encourage them to use these jars to tell their families or others about the events of Holy Week


6. Closing Prayer: Dear Jesus. Thank you for the many treasures that you have given us: your love, your presence in our hearts, your forgiveness, and eternal life with you in heaven. Amen.


Guide Information
1. Detailed Summary of Activities: The students will create a treasure jar by placing a number of items into a jar. Each item reminds the students of a different event of Holy Week.

2. How the guide might help (this might be changed by the teacher): Assist students with getting rice and glitter into their jars. Help younger students tighten the lid on their jars.
 
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Thank you for this post!  We are doing the Foot Washing next month and I love your ideas!  I was searching for a movie that shows the foot washing and found that it is portrayed well in the Nest DVD, The Greatest is Least.  

 

 
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Thanks for your ideas. One thought - it's good to stay away from foods like rice when making a non-edible project. When many in our world may only have a bowl of rice to eat, we don't really want to teach children that we can use it in a disposable way.

I have done the treasure jars with rock salt - you can tint rock salt blue with dried tempera paint. 

 
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