Thursday, April 02, 2015

The use of Godly play and colour in entering Easter week

At chapel this week, I wanted to offer participants a way to enter Easter week. Our staff and students come from a wide range of churches, and it’s important those places provide the story of Easter Friday and Sunday.

So how to point folk toward Easter, without preemptively telling the story?

So I dragged two resources out of my creativity box.

First, my Holy week in colour resource. I made this last year, for an Easter youth camp. It involves a colour for each day of the week. It provides a useful memory aid to get folk into the story.


  • Green on Palm Sunday, to remember those who waved palms and celebrated Jesus entering a city.
  • Red on Monday, because on Monday (in Mark’s gospel), Jesus got angry, red-faced, in the temple.
  • Brown on Tuesday, to recall Jesus words that unless a seed falls into the ground and dies, it can not produce many seeds.
  • Lavender on Wednesday, to remember perfume, and the extravagant, expensive love of an unnamed woman, who poured what was possibly her family hierloom onto Jesus head.
  • Blue on Thursday, to express the feelings of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, a soul deeply distressed, troubled, overwhelmed.
  • Black on Friday, for on this day God died.
  • Grey on Saturday, for on this day all of creation mourned.
  • Gold leaf, etched with rainbow colours on the Sunday, for on this day life to the full in the here and now was re-defined.
  • As a result, on Monday, I have cut two pathways of response into my board, for on Monday, the events of this week leave us with some choices. How then will we live, in light of the events of this week.

Second, a sort of Godly play experience that I wrote for an all-age service a few years ago.  It involves a symbol for each day of the week. The symbols are placed around the building and people invited to find and bring them.

Third, I wove communion into the worship. By the time people had brought bread and wine, by the time I had told the story of Easter Thursday eve, it just seemed so natural to celebrate together.

For those interested, here is my full script.

Jesus went to Jerusalem for the last time.
It was the time of Passover, a big celebration,
And the city was full of people from many different countries.

They thought Jesus was coming to be king,
They waved palm branches a sign of kings.

Can someone please go and get palm branch and bring it to me please

Jesus wasn’t riding like a king on a great white horse. Instead he was riding on a donkey. And the donkey wasn’t even his. Jesus had borrowed it.

On Monday. And on Tuesday.
And on Wednesday, Jesus went into the temple to teach.

On Monday, when Jesus was teaching in the temple he said “Do you see that old woman over there? She’s going to put some money in the money box.

Can someone please go and get the money box and bring it to me please?

Listen. Did you hear much?

No. She put the smallest, tiniest, littlest coin there is in the box.
That was all the money she had.

Now, here comes a rich man. He has a fancy chariot and a fancy house. He has so much money to put into the box that he needed help to carry it. His money makes a huge clanging and ringing as they pour it into the box.

Now I wonder. I wonder which one really gave the most, the old woman, or the rich man?

And on Tuesday, Jesus found a seed. He placed it gently in his hand. And he showed it those who wanted to listen.

Can someone please go and get a seed and bring it to me please?

You see this seed.

Unless a seed dies, it will never be more than one seed. If this seed goes into the ground and dies, it will produce lots of seeds. This said Jesus, is what needs to happen to me. And to all of us.

And on Wednesday, Jesus was eating. And a woman came in. She was carrying a gift. A very expensive gift of perfume. She broke poured the perfume on Jesus head. Whole room began to smell really nice.

Can someone please go and get the perfume and bring it to me please?

And some people watching got angry. What a waste of perfume. But not for Jesus. He turned to the angry people. She has given what she could. She has prepared my body to die.

And on Thursday, the temple guards, who had listened on Monday and on Tuesday and on Wednesday, said, “Today we will get him”

But on Thursday, they couldn’t find Jesus.

That day, Jesus and his friends hurried through the dark streets to a house. They climbed the stairs to an upper room. Shhhhh. And they shared their last meal together.

After they had everything they wanted to eat, Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it.

Can someone please go and get me the loaf of bread and bring it to me please?

The Gifts of God for the people of God. We receive it with thanks, for the gift of creation, for land, for seasons, for fragile earth.

Then he broke it and said “whenever you break the bread like this and share it, I will be there.” He also took a cup of wine.

Can someone please go and get the bottle and bring it to me please?

The Gifts of God for the people of God. We receive it with thanks, for the gift of the life of Christ. Who gave thanks to God for it, and said “Whenever you share a cup like this, remember me.”

Who lived – taught, healed, preached. Spirit of God, may these elements become for us the presence and power of Christ our Lord

Suddenly one of the friends, Judas, got up and left. Those who stayed behind sung a song and then went to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives.


Now we need to pause and think about this story.

You will talk about what happened after that in the next few days, at your own church service.

As we think about Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; this special story from this most important week of Jesus life. I wonder which part of the story you like best? I wonder if there is any part of the story, and day of Easter, that we could leave out? I wonder which part of this story is about you?

Invite us to share communion.

Posted by steve at 06:24 PM


  1. Glad to see this creative integration… be good to share this more widely…

    Comment by Amelia KB — April 3, 2015 @ 1:09 pm

  2. Thanks Amelia- Tis what I hope Faculty are modelling to students. Re spread more widely – yes, Tis why I blog – creative commons license. And perhaps one day an employer will give me space to write a few e-books to resource the church rather than gum me up in meetings


    Comment by Steve — April 3, 2015 @ 6:40 pm

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