Mar 14

“Pet Rocks Don’t Talk” – a lesson for Palm Sunday

Objects needed: If possible, a “pet rock” decorated with eyes, mouth, etc. If not a “pet rock,” then just any old rock will do!

Theme/Main Idea: Jesus wants us to use our words and actions to show that we know He is God’s Son and our

Gary Dahl's pet rock "invention" made him a millionaire!

Gary Dahl’s pet rock “invention” made him a millionaire!


“Good morning, boys and girls! I have a question for you before I show you what is in my box. Here it is… How many of you have a pet?

[Kids raise hands, possibly offering the kids of pets they have and their names, etc. Let the children answer, but cut the responses short if it goes more than 20-30 secs. One way to involve all the children is to take a “poll” and have kids raise hands for different kinds of pets they might have: dogs, cats, birds, turtles, etc.]

Well, my pet is here in this box. It is very well behaved. Would you like to see it?

[Take rock out of the box you brought it in, or bag, or your pocket… whatever.]

What is it? [A rock!]

What do you think of my pet? [Kids might think it is silly, funny, dumb…]

Some of you don’t seem to appreciate my pet. But let me tell you something:

In 1975… ancient history for all of you kids, I know… in 1975, a man named Gary Dahl was talking with his friends who were all complaining about their pets. They complained about feeding, paying vet bills, cleaning up after them… all sorts of things. Gary joked about a rock being the perfect pet, and a few months later he started selling pet rocks! You may think the idea is silly, but he sold enough of them that he became a millionaire. Wow! Apparently a lot of people thought a rock would make a great pet, too.

But, let me ask you… can a rock play with you? [NO.]

Can it fetch a stick or roll over? [NO].

Is it fun to cuddle with? [NO!]

Okay… one last question… does a rock make any noise? Like, can it talk or bark or sing or say anything? [NO!!!]

What if I were to tell you that there was one time in history when the rocks almost could have shouted and sung out? Do you know when that was? [children respond]

Yes! It was Palm Sunday. The day Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. When Jesus was told to tell his followers to be quiet and to stop praising him as the Messiah, the son of David… the one who had come in the name of the Lord, well… Jesus told them that he couldn’t tell them to be silent. And, here’s the kicker… even if he could have made them silent, Jesus said the rocks on the ground and all around them would have started to shout and sing his praises!

Wow! It almost makes me wish the people would have been quiet. It would have been really cool to see a rock sing!

But, as it is… well, my pet rock doesn’t do much of anything. And, I guess that’s okay.

I’d hate for my rock to start praising God for Jesus because I wasn’t willing to. How about you? Wouldn’t you rather sing and praise Jesus yourself than count on the rocks to do it? Yes, me too.

Will you pray with me?

“God, we thank you that the rocks don’t need to cry out on our behalf. We praise you for filling out hearts with joy and causing us to sing and shout your praises. Our joy is so great, we can’t keep it to ourselves. We want to share this joy with everyone, and especially with the children of Intermountain. Bless our efforts, and bless our Change for Children cans, that as we fill them with our gifts, You might fill us with your love, grace, and peace. Amen.”

Key Text: Luke 19:37-40, (NIrV)
37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”