Saturday, April 7, 2012

Palm Sunday with My Foster Boys

by John and Diane

I take my foster boys to church every Sunday, I never really know how much they get out of it, but we prayer every day, and I know they absorb some of what the bible, and I am trying to teach them.  On Palm Sunday I took them to church wondering if they knew the meaning of this special day.

We got in the van and headed off to church. The boys all sat nicely and one asked, “What are the palms for Dad?”
I tell them, “ Later they will hand them out to us so when the Priest walks by we will hold them up.”
“What for?” they pondered.
“You will see,” I said, thinking the Palm Sunday mass is a long one, and they have read all the bible stories around the day so they will understand by the time they leave.

Getting into the van after Mass they all had the palms in hand and they were playing with them, thinking they were playing with a new toy the Church had just given them. 
I asked,” So, Why do you think they were giving the palms?”
“What do you mean?” they asked in chorus.
“What are they supposed to remind us of?” I asked again.
One boy answered, “The Creation story, right John?”

I smiled, as they all know the Creation story very well.  I said, “Well, the plants came first, yes, but No, anyone else?”

Now, I know they were not paying attention in Church, so I told them the short version of the story. I said to them:
“Okay, this is why:

When Jesus came in to the city riding on a donkey, they city treated him like a King. The people laid their coats down in front of Jesus so the donkey could walk over the covered street and it showed how much the people loved Jesus. 

 They also laid cut palms down on the dusty road and even held them up to cover Jesus. They were so happy to have him in their city that they yelled and screamed in the streets “he is Our King he has come to save us!”  So, that is why when the Priest walks around the church it was like he was Jesus and we were the people who were so happy for see him come.  That is why we held up the palms.” I remembered the odd looks I got from the boys when I told them to do so.

 I said, “This was the happy time. They were going to have the last supper in this city and this was when Jesus tells them he would be giving up his body for them but they didn’t understand that he was going to be nailed to the cross soon.”

I add that Father blessed the palms and they needed to take care of them or we could just put them on the table for now to remember what Palm Sunday was about. They all handed me the palms to keep in the front seat of the van and now they lay in the middle of the table as part of the Easter centerpiece.

This incident reminded me that every moment with your kids, foster, adopted or otherwise is an opportunity to teach them something. Although I was teaching them a bible story and the meaning of Palm Sunday, I was also teaching them to be respectful of traditions, and about the love and sacrifice of Jesus. 

Image: flickr:  License
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  1. I, too, am trying to find those moments in my day when I can be teaching my little ones. Thank you for the reminder. Have a good day John. -Matt

  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment Matt, Hope you have a great weekend, and congrats on the new bundle of joy coming!~ John