3rd Sunday in Lent
Lent is the long purple section. It is 40 days + 6 Sundays before Easter. It is a time to think about our choices and how we want to do better. It is also a time of prayer and giving.
Today’s story needs a little background: The Temple in Jerusalem was the most special place of worship for all of the Hebrew people, and everyone was expected to come to the Temple at least once in their lives. When they were there, they had to use the special money that only the Temple used, the Shekel, instead of the money they used at home to go shopping and pay bills.
When they arrived at the temple they had to exchange their money from home for the money needed in the Temple. They also needed to buy the animal they wanted to sacrifice at the Temple (Hebrew people practiced animal sacrifices until 70 CE when the Temple was destroyed and they were all kicked out of Jerusalem. This story about how Jesus got angry happened around 40 years before the Temple was destroyed).
Jesus saw that the people selling the animals and changing the money were charging the travellers more than they should. The travellers did not have any other choice to change their money once they arrived at the Temple, so they had to pay the higher exchange rate and cost of animals. We call this Exploitation: when someone takes advantage of someone else, or lies to them or tricks them into paying more money than they should.
Jesus got angry at how the travellers were treated and how the Temple was being used.
What does it feel like when you get angry? Draw a picture of yourselves being angry. Talk about your picture.
The best time to talk about an emotion is when you are not feeling that emotion. Do you ever talk about being angry or do you just feel anger and get in trouble for feeling or acting out your anger?
There are three big kinds of anger: 1. Anger because you are frustrated that something isn’t working. 2. Anger because you are not being treated fairly. and 3. Anger because you are tired and you don’t know what to do with yourself.
Talk about your anger and find examples of all three types of anger. Ask your family what they think about being angry and what examples they have. Can you come up with ways to let your family know when your anger is frustration and you need help? How about when your anger means you believe you were treated unfairly and need them to listen to your thoughts about fairness?