Year B, Lent 3: John 2:13-22; March 7, 2021
Young children might not understand why Jesus was so angry at the people selling livestock in the temple, so make it a little more personal; would they want cattle, sheep, and doves in the church with them right now? Why or why not? It might seem fun to have a cow visit the sanctuary, but remind the children that animals are messy eaters… and poopers.
Aaron Blabey’s Pig the Pug books are full of fun lessons for children. Pig just might be the world’s dirtiest dog! Before reading, ask the children to make connections. Have they ever helped bathe a dog? Was the dog happy about it? Did the dog smell a *little* bit better afterwards?
After the story (and after laughing at the stinky bubbles on the last page), see if the children can make the jump from washing a dog to clearing out the Temple in Jerusalem. How is a stinky dog like the livestock in the Temple? Did the Temple need a bath like Pig? Jesus was angry about how people had made his Father’s house dirty. Driving out the animals gave the Temple a good cleaning and fresh start.
Jesus chased out not only the animals but also the people selling them and trying to steal money from worshippers. He wasn’t just cleaning up dirt, but also dishonesty and greed. What can we do to keep our church clean?
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Blabey, Aaron. Pig the Stinker. Scholastic Canada Ltd., 2019.