City of Jerusalem work with our first through third graders. This is a work most have seen before, some of them many times, and a new work for a few. Unlike many presentations which are offered to small groups, we did this work all together, quietly walking through the last days of Jesus' life, his death and resurrection, using the map of the City of Jerusalem as a touch point.
I've presented this work in this manner for the last few Palm Sundays and I am always moved by the peaceful, serious manner the children bring to it. This year, thoughtful comments and questions peppered the presentation, and the group moved through the work slowly and deliberately.
When we were finished I invited any additional thoughts the children would like to share. No one offered anything and I encouraged them to continue to ponder the work in atrium and in the days ahead. Several children asked to put the work back together and the others returned to other parts of the atrium to finish their own work.
I sat by as two children put the pieces back where they belonged on the topography map. One of the two is a first grader, and I watched as he gently and silently replaced one of the wooden pieces. Then softly, as if he breathed the words, I heard him say "Thank you, Jesus."