For Monday of Holy Week, we talked about Jesus driving the money changers out of the temple. Lucy had never heard that story before, so it took a little explanation. We talked about how the temple was like our own church, and what would happen if some people put a bunch of things to sell around and were mostly interested in making money instead of being in church. We didn't travel down that road of thought for too long, though if she were older we sure could have. It seems not much has changed in some churches since that time so long ago.
What we really talked about though was that church is to be a house of prayer. It's a special place. That's why we wear special clothes, but more importantly we act like it's a house of prayer. We don't run or scream or hang on the furniture or act like wild orangatuans in general (a moment of parental honesty here: this is a venture with which we've had fair to moderate success so far. But we're working on it.)
A corresponding activity that we could have done together but didn't because I didn't get home from work until 6 and then had to grocery shop (I have got to take this whole week as vacation next year for sure) was make soft pretzels together. This is a typical Lenten snack, and the pretzels (if you tilt your head and squint) resemble arms folded in prayer. I thought about having the girls do that with my mom today while she watches them, but my mom does enough for me without me rocking her world with bread dough, boiling water, a 4-year-old, and a 2-year-old. So, maybe next year!
However, in honor of Jesus cleaning the temple, Holy Week is also the time we spring clean our house. We deep clean from top to bottom, including pulling all the slipcovers off the furniture and laundering them, washing the baseboards, etc. (It takes AT LEAST this week, but we'll try to have it all done by Sunday.)
By the end, we'll have a clean house and hopefully a refreshed idea of church. I have to admit that I occasionally forget that--church is a place to worship, sing, listen to sermons, talk to friends, eat (a key component at the Baptist church I've discovered)--but primarily, it is to be a house of prayer.