The teacher seemed gentle and kind to Anna, so she was even more confused about why he had taken her donkey. She overheard someone say, “Some people say he has been blessed by God.”
Then someone else said, “This man says anyone can know God, even gentiles and those who have made mistakes and done bad things. He also says that we do not have to go to the temple to know God. Can you believe that? I’ve heard that the priests are very angry with him.”
Anna was thinking about why the teacher would go into the city where the priests were angry with him when she noticed the crowds were getting larger and many people seemed to be shouting and singing. They were laying palm branches on the road and saying “Hosanna!” They seemed to be celebrating, but she wasn’t sure what or why. She felt her heart beat faster and she almost shouted too, but she didn’t want the men to know she was following the colt.
She moved along with the crowds through the city gates and fought to stay near the colt. The teacher then stopped and got off the donkey. The people were still calling and waving ranches in the air. Anna was surprised to see the teacher look into the donkey’s eyes and say something only the beast could have heard. She was even more surprised to see him stroke the little donkey and tenderly scratch the special spot that only Anna knew about. He looked through the crowds in her direction before walking into the city with his friends.
Anna quickly ran to the donkey and grabbed the rope. The colt nuzzled her side, grateful to see and smell someone familiar. She was almost hoping the teacher would come back, but she turned the donkeys around and started the long walk home before he could return for the animals.
She got home late in the evening, exhausted and hungry. Anna put the donkeys in their stalls and was going to her comfortable bed when the teacher’s face came into her mind. Somehow she knew he wouldn’t head for bed when there was work to do. So Anna made sure her brother’s chores were all done, and she drew water from the well for her mother. Her heart was happy when she went inside.
● Why do you think Jesus went into the city, even though the priests were angry?
● Why do you think Anna was angry about doing her brother’s chores? What changed?
● Have you ever taken care of a young animal?
● What do you think happened after the story ended?
2. Hosanna poster
“Explain to child that the word Hosanna probably came from different words in the Hebrew and Greek language. The Hebrew phrase is found in one solitary place in the whole Old Testament, Psalm 118:25 where it means “Save, please!” It is a cry to God for help. “Hoshiya na” stopped being a cry for help in the ordinary language of the Jews. Instead, it became a shout of hope and exultation. Later, it was used by people when Jesus came into Jerusalem. It meant they were happy and praising God and excited because they believed that Jesus would free them from their troubles. It was very difficult for the Jewish people to live and practice their faith during that time because of the Romans who were in control. Therefore, they were full of hope and joy to see Jesus come, even when the priests did not want him there.” page 191
On a large piece of paper, write the word Hosanna in block letters. Have child decorate the poster. Hang in a prominent place in your house for the week.
3. Closing prayers
Ask child who and what they would like to pray for this week. Add your own as well. If your child knows the Lord’s Prayer, pray this together.