Lent: How Do We Hear God Today?
explain the background to the story.
Samaritan woman met Jesus at a well and He promised that if she trusted
Him then she would never want again. We can't meet Him at a well
today, but during Lent in particular we should still try to find Him.
Where can we look? The children go on a Treasure Hunt in church, for lots
of Bibles that you have previously hidden.
we can seek God in the Bible. This is a good opportunity to
explain about the lectern, if your church has one; about how the Bible is
not just written in English but translated into many different languages;
and that not everyone in the world has access to the Bible. Especially
during Lent we should make time to hear what God has to say to us, by
regularly reading His word.
- Leader to
talk through the teaching.
- As many
Bibles as you can get hold of from members of the congregation.
Make sure that people lending their Bibles for this service know that
they're to be used in a children's Treasure Hunt, so that you don't risk
accidental damage to precious or fragile Bibles. It would be good if you
could include some Bibles in languages other than English for this
activity: the Christian charity No Frontiers is a good source of foreign-language
- You might
like to have available at this service some material from organisations
like the Bible Reading Fellowship, Scripture Union, The Gideons and Open Doors, as you think appropriate.
the service, hide Bibles around the church. Make sure that some
are easily found by smaller children, while others are hidden in
surprising places that will amuse the older ones.
reading: Jesus passed deliberately through Samaria. Although this
was the most direct route from North to South, most Jews at this time
would have gone out of their way to avoid Samaria, because of the
hostility between the two peoples. Jesus deliberately chose to go through
Samaria, to take His word to all peoples. When He spoke to the Samaritan
woman she would have been amazed: a Jewish man speaking to a Samaritan
woman was unheard of in that social context. At first she misunderstood
his reference to "living water", a phrase which at the time was used of
running spring water. But Jesus takes her seriously, valuing her as a
person and giving her credit for being able to understand and respond to
Him, and explains that He is not offering mere spring water but the water
of eternal life.
often in the shape of an eagle, sometimes perched on a ball. There is
dual symbolism here: the eagle as a bird strong and powerful enough to
carry God's word around the world (represented by the ball); the eagle as
the traditional symbol of St John, whose Gospel most clearly witnesses to
Christ's light and divinity. Remind the children that, in the days
before widespread literacy, most people would not be able to read the
Bible for themselves and hearing it read aloud in church, from the
lectern, would have been very important for them.
today there are areas of the world where this is still the case - as well
as areas of the world where owning a Bible is illegal and Christians are
persecuted for their faith. More information about the persecuted
church is available from the Christian charity, Open Doors.