By FMCSF Youth Group
Note: Our church’s youth group rewrote the Gospel stories for each Sunday of Lent and then presented them as children’s stories during worship.
Palm Sunday, March 25
This is a story that a guy named Mark wrote about Jesus. He wrote the story in a way that highlighted the kind of leader Jesus was. Mark wanted to show the difference between Jesus’ movement and other military and political groups who had power.
In this story Jesus and his friends were on their way to Washington DC to confront the powerful leaders there. They knew it was going to be difficult. They also had to decide how they were going to enter the city. The way that they entered the city would communicate to the people there what their movement was about.
They knew that on the same day they were coming into Washington DC, the leaders in the city had planned a huge military parade. They knew there would be 1,000s of soldiers marching. There would be tanks and missiles rolling through the streets. And the Blue Angels would be flying overhead.
They knew this parade was about intimidating people and showing that the US military was the most powerful force on earth. So Jesus decided the best response to this was to put on a street theater show making fun of the military parade. What kind of vehicle do you think is the opposite of a military tank?
[pause for kids to respond]
Jesus thought a bicycle was a good choice. But Jesus was a poor person and he didn’t even own a bicycle. He asked two of his friends to make a stop on the outskirts of Washington DC to borrow a bike.
He said they would find a bike sitting in a bike rack, unlocked, and they could just take it. But if anyone asked them what they were doing, he said to tell them the poor people’s movement needed it.
And what do you know, when they found the bike and were taking it off the rack, someone walking by said, “What are you doing taking that bike? It’s not yours.” They responded, “We need it for the poor people’s movement. We’ll bring it back.” The person said, “Okay, cool.”
Then they brought the bike to Jesus and he got on it. The parade was ready to begin. Everyone was laughing at how ridiculous it was that this poor guy riding a borrowed bike into Washington DC would be seen as a threat.
Since their parade was coming into town through the poor neighborhood, they put their jackets and sweatshirts in the street to fill the potholes. Some of the children in the neighborhood had made confetti from construction paper and were throwing it in the air as the parade passed by.
The Brass Liberation Orchestra was also there, playing “Hail to the Chief.” And everyone was smiling and chanting, “Here comes the kingdom of God. Here comes our leader on his mighty bicycle! Make way for the movement!”
With this parade Jesus was acting out what his mother, Mary, had said about him before he was born. She said that with him the lowly, the poor people, would be lifted up and the powerful would be brought down from their tanks and thrones. But it wouldn’t be easy. Even though the parade was a lot of fun, Jesus knew difficult times were coming.
As we’ve been talking about during Lent, Jesus was a poor person who was teaching other poor people and together they were creating a movement to change the world. He called the movement the “kingdom of God.”
The movement was about being in healthy relationships with each other and working together for justice. It was about sharing, about everyone having enough food and everyone having a home and being free.