Whoa! Busy morning, today!!! As soon as I arrived at church I was swept up in a buzz of activity as baby Olivia was to be dedicated during the Service and a number of visitors would be joining us.
Thus 3 extra children(with their Mum) joined our group so it was good to have 2 helpers in the persons of John and Mike.
The teaching was from Matthew 5:35-48, a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount. We first reviewed some of the parts we have looked at over the past few weeks and then zeroed in on verses 43-47 “Love your Enemies”. After a brief discussion we recreated the scene using our giant felt board. Next a snack (thankfully I had brought plenty of ginger cookies and a LARGE apple!) the a round of Kim’s Game and finally we trooped into the craft room and assembled a giant card to present to Olivia,welcoming her to our church family. We needed to rush a bit as we finished up, since I could hear the Doxology being sung and the children were anxious to give the card to Olivia and her parents before the Service was over. All quite chaotic, but in a good way!
Fortunately it was bright and sunny for the walk home and there is always plenty of time to process and reflect on the morning during a 50 minute hike!
And so the afternoon is winding down. Yes, it is 4pm but the sun is still shining brightly, the days are REALLY get longer!!
On our afternoon walk I spotted what I think is a section of lilac branch which must have broken off in last evening's strong winds. Wil and I dragged it home and I divided it into 4 smaller sections, gave the ends a good whacking with a hammer and, YES, it is "wick"! (Yorkshire dialect for "alive").
At St. Matthew’s, every Ash Wednesday for many years I organized “Ashes to Hope” a special all-ages Program which included a simple Liturgy, a supper and a variety of activities, one of which was the bashing of the ends of seemingly dead branches, only to reveal the living green within.
Taking those branches home and watching them bud and come into leaf in Winter, was exciting to both children and adults alike and is still a vivid illustration of the Hope rising within us as we prepare to enter the Lenten Season.