5th Sunday of Lent (Ages 3-6): Time Out With Jesus
(Adults, the Gospel for this Sunday hardly seems fitting for 3-6 year olds! What is the face of God they need to see? I think it is the face of one who seeks us out and creates the space to be with us.
I would suggest not reading the entire reading to the child who does not need to hear about the potential violence, but let the Word of God speak through the reflection.)
In the Gospel for this Sunday, we hear about someone who has done something she has been told not to do. When this person has been naughty, she is brought to see Jesus. What will Jesus do?
Early in the morning Jesus came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them.
Jesus loves to go to the Temple. The Temple is the most holy place in Jerusalem. In the Temple is the Tabernacle, and in the Tabernacle is the presence of God.
People love to come to see Jesus. In the Temple, in the presence of God, Jesus sits down and teaches them. What does he teach them? We know, of course, that he teaches them who God is.
The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery
Here is the woman who has done something she has been told not to do. We do not know exactly what she has done, but we know she has been naughty. The woman knows it, too.
We know about this woman. Sometimes we do things we have been told not to do. What happens then? Often there is a lot of noise and confusion. Grown-ups do a lot of talking. Sometimes, they shout, too. We do not like all that noise and confusion.
The people make the woman,
stand before all of them
The woman who has done something she has been told not to do, stands in the middle of all these people. It must be very loud. It must be very confusing. The people say to Jesus,
“Now what do you say?”
The people want to know what Jesus will say about the woman who has been naughty. What will he say to her? Will he speak lots of words? Will he shout, too?
Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.
Jesus says nothing. All around him there is lots of noise and confusion. People ask questions, over and over. It must get louder and louder. Everyone talks.
Everyone, except the woman and Jesus. They are silent.
With his finger, Jesus draws in the dirt of the ground. What is he drawing? We do not know. Perhaps this is his prayer. Does the woman watch him draw? Does she watch Jesus pray?
Jesus keeps drawing in silence until,
they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.
Now, the two who have been silent, are alone. They are together in the stillness of the Temple.
Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they?
Now, he looks up. Jesus looks right at the woman. He sees her and she sees him. They are together in the stillness of the presence of God.
When the woman has done something she has been told not to do, Jesus creates stillness. Jesus knows she needs to get away from the noise and the confusion. She needs time alone with God. Jesus creates a quiet space to be with her. And in that space is the presence of God.
How much Jesus must love her!
When we have done something we have been told not to do, we know that Jesus wants to create stillness with us. Jesus knows we needs to get away from the noise and the confusion. We need time alone with God. We can go into a quiet space to be with him. We can draw a prayer, just like Jesus. And in that quiet space is the presence of God.