Seeing for the First Time (rerun)

Bulletin for this reflection: Bulletin-03-19-2023 L4 YA

Scripture: John 9:1-41

Let us pray:

Teach us something in this time of Lent, O God. In Christ we pray, Amen.

Part I: Remembering Lent: (Adapted from Lesson 31, Young Children and Worship[1] and Lesson 1, “The Mystery of Easter.”[2])

Feel the story forming in you. Patting the basket next to you, say:

I wonder what’s inside this today.

Lay out the story quilt. You remember my story quilt. My story quilt helps me remember stories from my life – and reminds me to tell stories from our faith. Today we are going to learn another sacred story for Lent. What color do we need for a Lenten story?

Lay out the purple cloth. Purple! Remember it is also a color from Advent, when we are getting ready for Christmas and Jesus’ birth. Why do we use it now? Are we getting g ready for something else?

Sit back and wonder for a minute. Pull out the purple bag of puzzle pieces. You  remember this purple bag. One…Two…Three…Four…Five…Six purple pieces.

Sit back and wonder again. Today is the fourth Sunday in Lent. 

Touch the purple cloth, bag, and pieces. Lent is the time the church gets ready to celebrate the mystery of Easter. There are six Sundays for getting ready.

Touch the six pieces again. I wonder if these six pieces can tell us what Lent is about?

Put pieces together to form the cross. Yes, you remember they form a cross. The cross is where Jesus died when he was all grown up. Lent reminds us of his journey to the cross. Lent is sad. But it is also wonderful. Look what happens.

Turn the pieces over to make a completely white cross. Jesus dies on the cross, but somehow he is still with us. That is why Easter is not just sad.  It is also wonderful.

Show the purple side of a few pieces again. Lent is sad…

Turn them back to white again. Easter is pure celebration.

Reach inside the empty purple bag, take hold of the inside, and turn it inside out.

Easter turns everything inside out and upside down.  The color of getting ready becomes the color of pure celebration.  The sad seriousness and the happiness join together to make joy.

Count the white pieces. Look! You can’t keep Easter in just one Sunday!  It goes on for one, two, three, four five, six weeks!  All the way to Pentecost.

Sit back and thoughtfully consider the mystery.  Slowly turn the pieces back over to purple. We aren’t quite there yet.  We are still getting ready.

I wonder what Jesus did to get ready?

Sit back and ponder for a moment.


Part II: “Seeing for the First Time”

Look in the basket. Here is another story for Lent. You remember Jesus and his disciples were traveling to Jerusalem. They have been on a journey.

Pick up Nicodemus. First, Jesus met Nicodemus. They had a conversation about being born from above, or born of the Spirit. Pause, then put him back in the basket.

Pick up the woman. Then Jesus and some disciples began their long walk to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus talked with the Samaritan woman at the well.  Pause, then put her back in the basket.

Pick up Jesus, some disciples, the blind man, and place them on the cross. Pick up the round light blue felt and place it on an edge of the story space far from Jesus and the disciples. Further along the road, Jesus 1… saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. 4We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, 7saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent).

[Then he went and washed. Pick up the blind man, place him in the blue felt “pool” and bring him back to Jesus. He came back able to see!] 8The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash. ‘Then I went and washed and received my sight.”

Begin with “I wonder” questions, moving to the Art of Asking Questions categories (Informational, Analytical, Personal), putting story pieces away gradually:

Pick up the blind man. I wonder why the blind man never asked to see?

I wonder why his neighbors didn’t recognize him? I wonder, what did it feel like to have mud on his eyes? I wonder, what was it like to see for the first time? Put him back in the basket.

I wonder, who is blind? I wonder, what did the disciples feel when Jesus spit in the mud? I wonder, what did they feel once the blind man could see?

I wonder, where would you be in this story? Put the rest away one by one.

I wonder, have you ever felt blind? I wonder, have you ever felt like you saw for the first time?  I wonder, what about this story do you want to remember? I wonder what your grown-ups want to remember. Why don’t you share with them what you want to remember and ask them what they want to remember? Then we will all pray and sing together.

Put the rest of the materials away during discussion.

Let us pray: We have heard the story read, and seen the story played. Help us to learn what it is you want us to remember and how to apply it in our lives – and in this community. Amen.

[1] Sonja M. Stewart and Jerome W. Berryman, Young Children and Worship (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1989), 176.

[2] Jerome W. Berryman, The Complete guide to Godly Play, Volume 4: An Imaginative Method for presenting Scripture Stories to Children (New York, NY: Morehouse Publishing, 2003)

About Scottrick

Parent ~ Pastor ~ Poet ~ Author
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