A warm welcome – Palm Sunday

Bible base:

Luke 19:28-40

Teaching objectives:

To show that people believed Jesus was a king. But he was a different sort of king. His power was far, far greater than anything people had known (this will become more apparent in subsequent assemblies. If using as a one-off then this will need to be explained!)

You will need:

  • A cardboard crown for the winner of the quiz.
  • Some gold or red fabric to turn a chair into a throne.
  • A velvet dressing gown or red or gold fabric to look like a king’s robe.
  • Large leaves made out of green tissue paper.

Introductory activity:

Choose four pupils to come to the front and take part in a royal quiz. The winner will be crowned King or Queen of the primary school you are in.

  1. Where does the King or Queen of Great Britain live? Buckingham Palace
  2. What does the King or Queen wear on their head on special occasions? A crown
  3. Who is Prince William’s brother? Prince Harry
  4. Who is Queen Elizabeth II’s husband? Prince Philip
  5. How many years has Queen Elizabeth reigned in Great Britain? (NB. 2002 was her 50th year on the throne)
  6. Who is next in line to the throne? Prince Charles
  7. When was the Golden Jubilee? 2002
  8. Does every country have a king or queen? No

When you have a winner for the quiz, ask them to stay at the front of the assembly. Then proceed to ask the pupils how we could make them look more like a king or queen. Start to dress them up as a king/queen:

  1. Put the crown on their head.
  2. Cover a chair with material to pretend it is a throne.
  3. Dress them in a robe.

Ask the pupils to imagine that the assembly hall is actually a very grand palace.

Ask them questions about what they think a king of queen does. How would they travel around? Where would their palace be?

Make the point that in our country, the king or queen does not have very much power any more, but in some countries, and years ago in Britain, the monarch ruled the country. They had the power to make people’s lives better or worse! You may choose to make reference to a film that the children would know that shows a king who has real power, for example, The Lion King or the pharaoh in Prince of Egypt. If you have time, you could show a clip.

In today’s story, we meet someone whom the people treated like a king, but he was not like the sort of king we have just described.

He did not have a crown (remove the crown). He did not have a fine throne to sit on (take the fabric off the seat). He did not have a fine palace to live in. He did not have fine robes (remove the robes). In fact, he had none of the things we have imagined a king should have. He didn’t have a carriage and he didn’t live in the capital city.

However, people thought he was a king because of the things he did. Do you remember that we said that in other countries, and in the old days, kings and queens had lots of power? People thought this man was a king because of the amazing things he did to help them.

Have you guessed who it is yet? This person was Jesus. The Bible says that people had seen the amazing miracles that Jesus did and the way he had made people’s lives better. He wasn’t a king sitting on a throne, with robes and a crown (draw their attention again to the robes and crown that you have taken off your king or queen). They believed that he was a different sort of king, sent from God to help them.

Jesus was coming into the capital city on a donkey rather than in a carriage. The people didn’t go to find him in a palace, they came out on to the streets and shouted and cheered as he went by. They threw palm branches and cloaks on the ground to make a carpet for him, praising God for the amazing things they had seen him do.

Throw the tissue paper leaves and the material used for the king’s cloak and throne on to the ground and ask your ‘king’ or ‘queen’ to walk over them.

Something about Jesus made people believe that he was very special – special enough to be a king, even though he didn’t have the crown or the palace or any of the other things we associate with kings.

The Bible says that Jesus was a King. Put the crown back on the pupil’s head. Rather than being the king who is in charge of a country like our king of queen, he is a King who is in charge of people’s lives. Christians are people who believe that Jesus was someone so special that they want him to be in charge of their lives – like a king!

Optional prayer time:

Thank God that Jesus really cared about people and can make a difference.

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