I was somewhat inspired by Bryan Moyer Suderman's newest album Detectives of Divinity to think about the ways that the biblical witnesses have the clues set before them...and how we do too. So the first Sunday of Easter, I'm starting with Mary Magdalene, witness to the risen Jesus, and having the kids help me look for the clues she found that he was alive.
I'll post the story every week until Pentecost.
Easter Sunday – John 20:1-18
props: trench coat, detective hat, magnifying glass, box for evidence, stone, bandages, figure of Jesus
· Ask if children know what it means to be a witness
o meaning one: to see something with your own eyes
o meaning two: to tell about what you’ve seen
· Often the word ‘witness’ in association with police or detective or the courtroom – like being on the ‘witness stand’ when a witness tells about the crime that they saw.
· Put on costume props and say “Today I’m going to be a detective and you are going to be the witnesses and together we’re going to look for the clues that Jesus is alive – just like in the story from John 20”
o the first clue: a rock – Mary saw the rock rolled away and that was her first clue that Jesus was missing. Talk about where there was a stone out of place in the story.
o the second clue: the cloths that wrapped Jesus’ head and hands – these were left in the tomb but the body wasn’t there. Talk about what the cloths were for and the disciples who saw them.
o the third clue: Jesus himself – Mary thought he was the gardener but she learned that it was Jesus himself. Talk about Jesus’ conversation with Mary.
· Ask: “What did Mary do when she figured out all the clues?” She was a witness who witnessed; she went and told her friends what she had seen: ‘Jesus is alive!’
· Say: “Even though we don’t see Jesus, we do have clues that God is at work in our lives: in the Bible, in the love we feel and receive from our friends and family, in the stories we hear at church and in Sunday school, and in many other way. We just need to keep looking.”