Joan Coulter
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It is difficult to imagine that Palm Sunday is already upon us. When our lives changed early in Lent, and our physical distancing and isolation began, Holy Week seemed far away. 

For children, as for adults, the past weeks have been difficult in ways that many of us could never have imagined. We miss those who are separated from us and can be contacted only by phone or video conference. We sometimes tire of, or become frustrated with those with whom we are spending long periods of time in small spaces. We worry about the coming weeks of continued isolation and the impacts that they will have on everyone around us and far away.

At the same time, many have found ways to reach out to others -- positive messages posted in windows; letters or calls to people from whom we are separated; thank yous to first responders, health care workers and others who continue to serve through difficult times.

Perhaps our current difficulties will give us a new perspective on Holy Week, and the trials that Jesus experienced on the road to the cross. Jesus also experienced isolation, abandonment and fear beyond what many of us could ever imagine.

The Sunday School materials this week provide daily readings and reflections to lead us through Jesus’ days from Palm Sunday to his death on the cross. They also include suggestions for stations of the cross that your family could set up and experience together each day in your home. In past years we have used similar materials to walk the children through the stations of the cross during Sunday School on Palm Sunday; your child(ren) may remember doing this in the past, and be interested in setting up the stations themselves. If you don’t have the exact materials that are suggested, be creative with whatever you can find around your house!

Before we begin the difficult walk to the cross, however, we need to feel the joy of Palm Sunday by shouting “Hosanna!” and waving palm branches! Make some paper palm branches at home, and reenact this joyous occasion with your family. You can create palm branches by cutting and glueing green paper, or drawing and cutting out a palm branch.

Best wishes for a hosanna-filled Palm Sunday!  We will keep in touch throughout Holy Week as we read, pray and reflect, and as we wait together for Easter morning.