In the Bible's gospels of Luke and John, a woman named Mary washed and anointed Jesus' feet as a symbol of her respect for him. In Luke, Mary brought out an alabaster box of ointment and used it and her tears and hair to wash Jesus's feet. In John, Mary used a pound of spikenard ointment and her hair to wash his feet.
Give each child a small ball of air-drying clay. Have them fashion a bowl Mary could use to hold the oil for anointing Jesus's feet. Depending on the children's age, they can roll the ball of clay till it turns into a long rope they can coil into a bowl shape or they can simply press their thumbs into the centre of the ball of clay to make an indention. Once the clay has dried, the children can paint their bowls using acrylic paint.
Paper Stained Glass Collage
The children can create their own stained-glass-like images of Mary washing Jesus' feet on pieces of clear plastic using tissue paper and a Mod Podge mixture. Provide each child with a piece of clear plastic, which can be bought at craft stores, and ripped up pieces of tissue paper of various different colours. Dampen the tissue paper with a mixture of half Mod Podge and half water, and then place the paper on the piece of clear plastic to create a collage image. Once the projects have dried, the children can place them in front of windows to view their very own version of stained glass.
This craft allows the children to create lanyard bracelets with colours meant to signify the message in the story of Mary washing Jesus' feet. Blue could represent the colour of the water used to wash his feet, yellow could represent the humility in Mary's actions, white could represent the holy spirit Mary saw in Jesus and brown could represent Mary's hair. The children can weave the lanyards together in a simple braid or more complex patterns like the heart pattern or the candy stripe (see Resources).
In this activity the children make small figurines of Jesus and Mary so they can act out the scene from the Bible in their own puppet show or diorama. Clothespins are used for the bodies of the puppets. The children can then glue scraps of material to the clothespins to make the clothing and use markers to draw the faces of the Jesus and Mary figures. If the children want to put the clothespin puppets in a diorama, they can paint the inside of an empty shoebox to create a setting for their scene.