This year, our family is worshipping from home on Sunday mornings with our home congregation. Each Sunday, we prepare Communion, light a candle, grab our coloring sheets and colors, and make our favorite hot beverages before worship. I thought that during Lent, it would be good to dig out a practice from a few years ago, Lent in a Dish, and begin our worship preparation each week by adding something to our dish until we reach the joy of Easter. We will keep it in the living room, where we worship, and it will help us to remember our Lenten journey each time we gather there, no matter the purpose.
You can read more about the original “Lent in a Bag” resource here: http://www.buildfaith.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/in-a-bag-trifold-Cuthbert-4-1.pdf You can read more about the Lenten dish gardens here: http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2013/03/mini-resurrection-garden-easter-craft.html
(Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about a time when you stopped people from taking advantage of the temple. Help our time to be a holy time. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Bible Story: John 2:13-22
Read Jesus’ words about following him in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+2%3A13-22&version=ERV
We used the DK Illustrated Bible for our resource. The story, on page 258, is called “Jesus and the Temple Traders.” You can purchase one here: https://www.dk.com/us/book/9780756602611-the-childrens-illustrated-bible/
Discuss as a family:
Talk about a time when you though that something in your life was unfair. Why was it unfair? What did you do about it?
Talk about something taking place in the world that you think is unfair. Why do you think it is unfair? What steps can you take to do something about it?
Jesus wanted the temple, God’s house, to be a place where everyone could pray and worship. Where do you pray and worship? Is it a place where you think that everyone feels free to come? Why or why not? What steps could you take to make it more fair?
Song: I Want Jesus to Walk with Me
This is my favorite Lent song for kids. It gets the somber mood, but has a way to get the wiggles out. We held hands and walked in place while singing. If you wish to take this song further, think about what else you want Jesus to do with you: pray? sing? sleep? play? Sing an extra verse for each of your ideas.
Activity: Coin in the Sand
Before Lent began, we gathered all of the supplies we needed for the whole Lenten season Lent in a Dish. You can find the supply list here: https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2021/02/11/lent-in-a-dish-2021-preparing-for-lent/
This week, we need the dish, sand, Jesus figure, a small wooden cross, and a coin. The coin reminds us of the traders in the temple who were taking advantage of the people who were coming to worship there. As you place the coin in the sand, remember out loud the places in this world which are unfair, perhaps turning it into a prayer with “God have mercy” after each place you name.
Place the dish in a place where your family can see them over the course of the week. Ours will be in the living room on a shelf, which is where we gather to worship from home.
Bonus Activity: Lost and Found Prayer Bottles
For our bonus activity, we are returning to a meditative practice that we have used before. All you need is a small clear bottle or jar, rice, a coin, and electrical tape. You can find the whole activity here: https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2021/03/04/lost-and-found-prayer-bottles/
As we turn our bottles, we will talk to God about things that are “lost” (unfair) in the world, asking God to help us to “find” the solution with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith! I hope that this time was holy time for you.
(Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to learn that Jesus also thought some things were unfair. When things are unfair in our lives, help us to see which path to take to right those wrongs. In your name we pray, Amen.