A child and adult together during 9am worship at Trinity Church

3 Ways Into Sunday’s Stories for Children: Lenten Pilgrims

Third Sunday of Lent

Remember the Season after the Epiphany, when most of the Gospel stories revealed who Jesus was? In this season of Lent, we are hearing stories about how and where people encountered Jesus, in unexpected ways and places.

Last Sunday, we paid attention to our Lenten journeys and how they differed from ordinary travel. People go on special journeys called pilgrimages. These are usually to ancient holy sites. A pilgrimage is different from a historical tour, though. Pilgrims prepare for these journeys by making their hearts ready to be close to God. Our Lenten journeys really are more like pilgrimages. However, the Gospel stories are about people who didn’t realize that they were on pilgrimage.  

We can seek God on purpose. And sometimes we encounter Jesus when we’re not expecting it, or when we don’t think we deserve to be welcomed by God. Where, or in whom, might we encounter Jesus this week? Can we know ahead of time? Maybe Jesus will surprise you.

Print, fold, read, and color the story booklet.

A line drawing of Jesus and the woman at the well

1. Sing and Dance

In the good and hard times, day and night, we can “Rejoice in the Lord Always” ­— with song and dance. (The song ends at 2:54.)

2. Play and Pray

Play Traveling Companion. “Companion” comes from the Latin “to eat bread with.” This is what we do in church with God, each other, and the world in Communion (“being together with”). In the Gospel, Jesus talked about “living water” and food which is the kind that nourishes our spirits.

Pair up with a traveling companion. Draw an outline of a suitcase or backpack. In it, draw pictures or write what spiritual gifts or practices you would take on a pilgrimage (along with the usual things), like: wonder, kindness, generosity, forgiveness, gratitude — things that you can’t run out of. Then exchange yours with your traveling companion. If both of you shared the things you packed with everyone you encountered, and they shared with everyone they encountered, imagine…

Pray: Dear God, thank you for the living water, and for showing us what abundant and eternal love looks like, through your son, Jesus. Amen. 

3. Create

Create a Rube Goldberg machine. Think of the marble, or whatever you use to start the motion, as Jesus’ generous kindness to everyone he met.

Other Lenten activities:

  • Make an ACTS prayer prompt fortune teller.
  • Print this Lenten calendar. Each day, choose one lenten practice for your family to try. Put a sticker on or mark the spaces after you have completed that day’s practice. Feel free to continue that practice throughout Lent and ongoing. (There are 46 days in Lent, but we don’t include Sundays, as they are “little Easters.” It’s up to you if you want to take a break from your lenten practices on Sundays or not.)
  • Make a Paschal candle. Cover or hide it until the Easter Vigil or Easter morning. Then, light it every day or all Sundays during the 50 days of Eastertide.
  • Choose from these weekly practices for Lent or make up your own as a family.

We will have materials for all of these activities and copies of the book Sparrow’s Prayer at Children’s Time, Sundays at 10am on the Mezzanine, for children to take home throughout Lent or while supplies last.

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