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Members Barb Pettus and Amy Crane originally kicked off this topic in our Teachers Lounge.

Rocks will cry out, sing, Luke 19:40, Jesus to the Leaders on Palm Sunday

Barb writes:

I stumbled upon the Rocks Tell Stories website where Patti Rokus demonstrates how she illustrated the rocks she collected for the Bible stories in her He is Risen book/  Telling the story with rocks would fit well with the "Rocks Will Cry Out" ideas and lesson plans fround in the Palm Sunday Art Workshop ideas.  They are amazing and I can't wait to use them this Easter.

Amy added:

Here is the video that goes with the "Even the rocks would cry out" Luke 19:40 Palm Sunday scripture Barbara referred to in her post above:

The Writing Team's Palm Sunday Art lesson also uses rocks! It is part of the Palm Sunday - Jesus Is the One! lesson set.

Patti's "time lapse" video technique is also something students can reproduce with a simple setup that places your cellphone or video camera above the table. See the Writing Team's "Kingdom Parables: Mustard Seed" growing video created with LEGOS!   Depending on your cellphone or camera's time-lapse options. It takes about a 3 minute video to create a 10 second time lapse video.

The rock storytelling idea can also be incorporated into some of these suggested outdoor Lenten activities for families at home or church.

Note: A small number of Patti's "Rock" Bible story videos include references to her Mormon beliefs. Most of her videos are quite non-denominational. As a mainstream Christian resource ministry, is mostly interested in the creative ideas we can learn from others and then adapt them for our own needs and beliefs.


Images (1)
  • Palm Sunday Rocks
Original Post

Here's a copy of Neil's rock post from the Palm Sunday Art Workshop forum...


Luke 19, The rocks will sing

We made "HOSANNA HEY" Rocks with messages on them to lay at the base of the cross we have along the main walk up to our church.

First, we watched and discussed the famous and rousing "Hosanna Hey" entry into Jerusalem scene from Jesus Christ Superstar (the movie).  The kids loved it and its so unexpected!

After talking about the video/song, we had the kids use paint pens to decorate various rocks we had both gathered and purchased -- decorating them with Palm Sunday symbols, verses, and their names. (We also made Hosanna Rocks to share, more about that in a moment.)

We then carried them out to the foot of the cross for some reflection, and invited the congregation to view them on their way out of church and "be a rock."

Extra painted rocks were put aside in a basket with the sign "take one and place it by your front door to share your hosanna with others."

Our discussion focused on two statements made in the video by the song/characters. Here are my recollected notes and some expanded thoughts. Our kids were a broadly graded bunch. Adjust per your needs and ages.

(1) The authorities:  "Tell the rabble to be quiet"

Who was Jesus declaring himself to be and why the authorities opposed him.

The religious authorities sing that they "anticipate a riot" which was a very real concern back then. There were many in Israel hoping the Messiah would come and lead them to war against the Roman army who occupied their land. There were "agitators" called "Zealots" just waiting for an opportunity to start a fight with the Romans. The authorities were afraid Jesus would cause that rebellion and start a war with Rome, so they tried to get rid of him (and did, or so they thought).   

Was Jesus riding into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to lead a war?  (No) What kind of revolution was Jesus trying to lead?  (one of faith, based on forgiveness and acceptance/kindness toward others).  People misunderstood Jesus. They thought his "kingdom" was going to be an earthly one, with a throne and army. What kind of "kingdom" was Jesus ushering in? (The Kingdom of God -- which is where God's will of love and peace and kindness is shown.)

Another problem was that the authorities were afraid of losing their positions of power and privilege. They knew that if Jesus started a rebellion -- and wasn't the real Messiah, they would lose their positions of authority and wealth.   Jesus often complained about these leaders saying things like they were putting themselves first and not helping the people. When Jesus tells them "the rocks will sing" he is saying "it's out of your hands."

The crowds were hoping Jesus would lead them to victory too! (Even today, some Christians hope Jesus will conquer their enemies, rather than forgive them and make peace with them.)

What are some things we should say about Jesus to other people?

Are "warnings" to others or words of judgment what Jesus wants us to sing?  "Singing" is about joy, hope, comfort, not judgment and condemnation, or trying to scare people into believing in Jesus.

What's the best way to "shout" or "sing" about Jesus? With words or deeds?

(2) Jesus:  "The rocks and stones themselves will start to sing"

God wants us to sing his message and not be quiet about it. What does it mean to do that?

Do you think Jesus meant "real" rocks will sing?

Sometimes "a rock" symbolizes strength. However, in this passage, "rock" is probably referring to things that are hard (don't want to change), lifeless (seemingly dead), dense (don't understand), and are often overlooked (don't look that special).

The point is that God can transform rocks!   He can help you change your life, understand more about him, make your faith come alive, make you useful to others, and let you know you are special to him, and not overlooked.

As Jesus Rocks, we need to sing these messages to other rocks!

Let's paint some rocks that share this message with other "rocks" that Jesus is here to forgive them, change their life, help them be more loving and kind, and remind them that they are special to God.

Here are some of the phrases we wrote on the "Rocks to Share" that members and kids could take home:

  • Jesus Rocks!
  • Forgiven
  • Beloved
  • Thankful
  • Child of God

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