How do you worship God?
As you reflect on the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus, you can only help but desire to worship God in a way that is equivalent to what He has done for you.
However, there is nothing we could ever do to equal the extravagant love He has demonstrated towards us – God knew we couldn’t and still sent Jesus anyway.
Use this youth group game on Palm Sunday, followed by a quick lesson, to teach students that everything you do can become an act of worship.
– Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth
YOUTH GROUP GAME ON PALM SUNDAY
Bible: Luke 19:36-37
Bottom Line: Everything you do can become an act of worship.
- Clothing items (two full sets of various sizes, preferably with a “spring” theme)
- Suggested items: two socks, belt, shirt, pants, hairband, two gloves, a sweater, a pair of shorts, scarf, coat)
- 2 Black garbage bags
- Painter’s/masking tape
Collect two sets of the used clothing items listed above – a great option would be to visit a local thrift store to choose inexpensive, various-sized clothing.
Place each “set” of clothing in a black garbage bag.
Use the painter’s/masking tape to create three, 10-foot long parallel lines on the floor of your gameplay space – you’re creating “lanes” to use for the game.
Divide students into two teams of equal size.
Have half of each team stand at each end of the parallel lines.
Give each team a garbage bag containing the clothing items.
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
Say: Raise your hand if you have ever watched a movie where a gentleman throws his jacket over a puddle so a lady can use it to step onto dry ground.
It’s an honorable gesture, that we will learn a bit later, was not created just for the movies.
But first, we’re going to play a game.
Each of your teams has been given a bag of clothes to use throughout the game.
I would like for each team to choose one person who will dress themselves in the clothes that are used in this game.
When I say, GO, one person from your team will choose two items of clothing – without looking!
Then, you will lay both items on the floor, one in front of the other, and began to travel down your team’s assigned lane.
The goal is to move from one end of your lane to the other end where your teammate is waiting to take the clothing items from you.
You will accomplish this by standing on one clothing item and placing the other clothing item down and stepping onto it.
Then, take the piece of clothing from behind you, put it in front of you, and step onto it.
You will repeat that pattern until you have reached the teammate at the other end.
When you reach your teammate, you will hand the clothing items to them, and they will travel back down your lane using the same pattern.
When they reach the other end, you will pass those two clothing items to the person who was nominated to wear the clothing… the clothing that you have just walked all over.
Another person from your team will then take their turn, and the game will continue until all of the clothing from your bag has been used for the game.
The team who can use all of their clothing to travel up and down the lane and dress one person on their team – wins the game!
After the game is finished, have students place the clothes back into the bags and return to their seats.
Say: That was a lot of fun… and you looked awesome in those “spring” outfits!
Earlier, I mentioned that placing clothing on the ground for someone to walk over isn’t something new.
Let’s read a scripture that tells us how this act has been around for a long time.
Read Luke 19:36-37.
As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him.
When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.
Imagine this scenario, Jesus is riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, and there are crowds of people everywhere.
Historians tell us that is was not unusual for two to three million people to be gathered during the Passover feast – a time to recognize the freedom of the Israelites from the Egyptians.
So, in these crowds were: Jesus’ disciples and followers, those who had traveled for the annual Passover celebration, and undoubtedly, those who were opposed to who Jesus was and what He stood for.
Leading up to this event, Jesus had just performed some pretty spectacular miracles, including raising Lazarus from the dead.
Many people believed in Jesus and recognized Him as the Messiah… and there He was… riding a donkey.
He was going to be their Savior and this wasn’t the welcome He deserved.
So, what could the people do to recognize and honor him?
They welcomed Him and worshipped Him with everything they had… including the clothes off their back.
Think about this… would you want a smelly donkey walking on your clothes, and then you just pick them up and put them back on again?
They were sacrificing something valuable to them to be used for Jesus.
They weren’t tossing gold coins, throwing down royal robes, or anything that could be considered extravagant, they worshipped Jesus with what they had.
Today, I want you to know that you can worship God with anything and everything you have.
That happens by recognizing God in your daily life.
You can see God in the beauty of nature and thank Him for loving you so much that He created a wonderful world for you to live in.
When you enjoy time with your friends and family, be grateful for the people He has placed your life.
The clothes you wear, the food you eat, the talents you possess… everything has been given to you by God and provides an opportunity to use them to worship God.
On Palm Sunday, we remember a time when people waved palm branches and shouted, “Hosanna,” which is the Hebrew word for “Save us.”
But I also want you to remember that the crowds took what they had and used it to worship God.
So, ask yourself this Easter season, and every other day, “how can I worship God with all I have?”
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