Despite the dark foreboding skies I rode down to church on my bike and was very pleased to arrive still dry!
Earlier in the week emails had been exchanged as Steve (who was preaching this morning) suggesting a plan to involve the children in illustrating the Sermon topic-The Prophet Haggai and the rebuilding of the Temple.
Steve had a great idea that the children could construct a Duplo Temple and then the congregation would write their thanksgivings and petitions on post-it notes, bring them forward and stick them on the “Temple” during the time of Prayer.
With 2 visitors this morning our numbers were swelled to 5 and it proved quite a challenge to retell the salient points from Haggai using the trusty felt board while doing a running translation as our visitors were unilingually Francophone!
After the storytime we had a follow-up discussion over our snack and then opened the borrowed bag of Duplo to begin our construction project. Alas! No one had bothered to mention that the Duplo was actually a “Thomas the Tank Engine" set. AGH! It took some persuading to pry the crane and railway tracks away from the visiting 4 year old and to then confine our efforts to covering up the track placements on the base with the plainest of the bricks! But they had a good time and after completing our structure, each of them also worked on an illustration using large sheets of paper and markers.
As these masterpieces were nearing completion, Steve arrived to carry our “Temple” downstairs and we all hurried down to participate in the “sticky note” prayer writing time. It all came together quite well and it was a real joy to see the children so involved in the congregational worship.
This afternoon I have begun the applique work on my eldest Godson’s Birthday Crown. William will be FIVE!! next Sunday and it is really special to assemble a small vignette encompassing the objects of greatest interest to him at this moment in time: - a soccer ball, dinosaur, racing car and a strawberry; all executed in his current favourite colours- blue, red, yellow and purple.
While walking Wil I have been reflecting on just how much I enjoy being with small children. It is so evident why our Lord stood a child before the people and told them that the qualities embodied in that small person were those which they should strive to emulate. Innocent love, naiveté, curiosity and honesty are all character traits which are very hard to hold onto in the adult world and some of them are even scorned by much of society. Once lost they are almost impossible to retrieve; after all these qualities are inherent at birth they are natural, even “wild” and so cannot really be “cultivated”. Instead we should try to nurture the wild and “child-like” places within us and not lose them to cynicism or sarcasm...
“Unless you become like a little child, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven”