READ: Easter is so amazing and important, one Sunday is not enough to explore its mystery. We are now in what is called Eastertide, the season of Easter which stretches from Easter Sunday to the day of Pentecost. On the evening of the first Easter after God raised Jesus from the dead, the disciples were together in a house with the doors locked because they were afraid of the soldiers. Someone said, “Peace be with you.” It was Jesus. He said, “As God has sent me, I am sending you.” And then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Thomas had been away that night. When they told him, he said, “I won’t believe Jesus is alive until I can touch his wounds.” And why wouldn’t he have some doubts? Their minds were stretching…stretching to know Jesus in this new way.
The next week, Thomas joined them at the table, and they closed the doors. A voice said,, “Peace be with you.” It was Jesus. He went right up to Thomas and held out his hand, “Touch me.” All Thomas could do was fall on his knees, and he said, “My Lord, and my God.”
Jesus looked at him a long time. “Do you believe because you have seen?” Then he slowly looked around the whole circle and said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (John 20:19-31)
WONDER: I wonder how the disciples felt when Jesus appeared to them in the locked room?
I wonder why Thomas wanted to touch Jesus' wounds?
I wonder how Thomas felt when Jesus said, "Touch me"?
I wonder if you've ever had doubts about anything? I wonder how that feels?
I wonder what is your favorite part of the story?
SAY: In today’s story we find the first disciples learning to know Jesus in a new way after his resurrection.
PRAY: Let’s pray. Dear God, thank you for listening to us when we have questions. And thank you for loving us just as we are. Amen.
READ: Early on Sunday morning, a group of women, all friends of Jesus, came to the tomb where he had been buried in a hurry. They brought spices and scented oils with them to properly finish his burial. But when they got to the tomb, the stone at the opening was rolled away and his body was gone. As they wondered about what had happened, two men in bright shining clothes appeared, saying “Why are you looking for the living in a cemetery? Jesus isn’t dead. Remember he told you that after his death he would rise again?
They did remember, and they went back to the other disciples and told them what they had found in the graveyard. No one believed them.
Peter wanted to check for himself, so he ran to the tomb and saw that it was empty. He went back to the others amazed at what he had heard and seen. (Luke 24:1-12)
WONDER: I wonder what it was like going to the tomb that morning?
I wonder how the women felt when Jesus died?
I wonder how they felt when they saw the tomb was empty?
I wonder what it was like to hear that Jesus was alive, that he had risen?
I wonder what it felt like to tell others that Jesus had risen?
I wonder what it felt like when the other disciples didn’t believe the women?
SAY: In this story we hear the good news that Jesus is alive, that the love of God is stronger than the forces of hatred and fear in our world.
PRAY: Let’s pray. Dear God, thank you for Jesus, for the ways in which he shows us your love. Thank you for the hope you give us, that goodness is stronger than evil and love is stronger than hate. Help us to love as Jesus loved. Amen.
READ: It was the time of year when the people of God went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the Passover, to remember how God saved them and brought them into freedom. Jesus and his disciples were going too. When they were close to the city, Jesus sent two disciples to bring back a colt for him to ride. They brought it to Jesus, and they threw their coats onto the colt’s back to act like a saddle. On the road people gathered to watch Jesus ride by, and they threw their coats onto the road in front of him. Some hoped that Jesus would be their king.
Soon the crowds began to sing and shout, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace and glory!
Some of the religious folk were upset at the rowdy parade, and they said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell your disciples to put a stop to this noise.”
Jesus smiled back and said, “If the crowds were silent, the stones would shout out loud.” (Luke 19:28-40)
WONDER: I wonder what people thought when they saw Jesus riding the colt into Jerusalem?
I wonder how Jesus felt when the crowd wanted him to be their king?
I wonder what kind of king Jesus would be?
I wonder what it would be like to live in Jesus’ kingdom?
I wonder why the religious folk wanted the parade to stop?
I wonder why the people started shouting and singing?
I wonder what makes you want to sing?
SAY: The season of Lent, when we get ready to celebrate the mystery of Easter, is coming to a close. We are watching Jesus as he makes his way to Jerusalem. He is showing us the way God wants us to live. Jesus says even if human beings are silent, the rocks--a part of God’s creation--will speak of God’s love.
PRAY: Let’s pray. Dear God, thank you for music and times of celebration. Teach us to look for beauty and goodness in our world and to share that beauty with others. Amen.
READ: On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus stayed nearby in Bethany with his friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. As Martha was serving dinner to Jesus and his disciples, Mary came over to Jesus. She wanted to do something special for him. So she took a beautiful jar of perfume, poured it all over his hot and dusty feet, and then dried his feet with her hair.
The sweet smell filled the room, and everyone turned to see what had happened. Judas, one of the disciples, was not happy, “Why are you wasting such an expensive perfume? You could have sold it, and given the money to the poor!” Judas wasn’t really concerned about the poor; he wanted the money for himself.
Jesus smiled at Mary and said, “She has done something beautiful. It is like a blessing for me. She has anointed me for my burial to come. Leave her alone.” (John 12:1-8)
WONDER: I wonder how Martha, Lazarus, and Mary felt to have Jesus stay with them? I wonder why Jesus chose to stay with them? I wonder what special meal Martha may have prepared for Jesus? I wonder how Mary felt as she emptied the perfume on Jesus’s feet? I wonder what Jesus thought as Mary poured out the whole bottle? I wonder what the other disciples thought about what Jesus said? I wonder which part of this story you like the best?
SAY: In this story we see Mary showing her great love for Jesus by pouring out her perfume on his feet. She knows he won’t always be there, and she gives the best of what she has to him.
PRAY: Let’s pray. Dear God, thank you for the people around us who give gifts of beauty, love, and kindness to others. Help us to share our gifts with others. Amen.
Weekly Faith Conversations
Use these guides as conversation starters with your family. A short retelling of the scripture passage is offered or you may want to look the story up in your own bible or in a children's bible. The wondering questions are written to open up faith exploration with children and adults.