"I really liked the Bible story you told us today, Teacher," said Shandy. "I wish I could have been there the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem." She picked up a pair of scissors and carefully began to cut around her paper palm branch.
"Me too!" Christy agreed, as she chose a pink flower to cut out. "I would have picked every one of Mom's roses to toss in front of Him! Especially the peach-colored ones. They are my favorite."
"Yeah, well we don't have any roses at our house," said Kevin. "But the Bible says that the people also put clothes down in front of Jesus." Then he grinned, "I would have even laid my Nike jacket down on the road for Him to walk on!"
Christy laughed and gave him a friendly poke. "Wow! You mean that new one you got for your birthday? I can hardly believe it!"
Kevin nodded. "That's right! Even my new jacket!"
Their Sunday school teacher smiled. "I can tell that all of you would have entered right in. I know just how you feel. It would have been great to have been there! Just think how happy we would be if we heard that Jesus was coming here today. Imagine how excited those people were when they heard He was coming into their city!"
"Well, I sure would have been!" Christy said, waving the pink flower she had just finished. "It would have been so exciting to praise Him and sing 'Hosanna' with all the other kids."
"We can't see Jesus in real life like those people did," her teacher told her, "but we can praise Jesus anyway. Jesus hears your praises just like He heard those of the children in that day. When you sing your Sunday school songs with all your heart, it makes Him so happy! Can you children think of some other ways you can praise Him?"
"I know a way! We can tell our friends about Him," Shandy said, "and invite them to Sunday school and church! Jesus wants everyone to know about Him."
"How about when we pray?" asked Kevin. "Isn't that a time when we praise God? When I pray, I always say, 'Thank You,' for all the good things He does for me."
"That's right, Kevin. Prayer is a very important time for praising God," his teacher agreed. "Christy, can you think of something?"
"We can be good and listen in Sunday school," suggested Christy. "He can see that we are trying to honor Him when we act right."
"That's good too! These are great ideas you children have thought of," their teacher said. "You see, we can praise and honor Jesus in our day too!"
In your time together with your child, discuss the meaning of the word praise. Talk about how the people rejoiced and sang praises to Jesus as He rode triumphantly into Jerusalem.
Explain that although we do not see Jesus in bodily form as those people did, we can still praise Him. Help your child make a list of the ways we can praise God: praying, singing, witnessing, etc.
Post your child's list on the refrigerator or someplace where he will see it often. Whenever he has an opportunity to praise the Lord in one of these ways, color a small star or heart beside the item on the list. At the end of the week, count up the number of stars he has received. Does he think he has praised the Lord enough?