31 Mar What stops us from meeting with God?
This month our Messy Church took place on Ash Wednesday, in which we remembered that Christ is always with us, and in Him we can find redemption.
Our numbers seem to have grown with this latest Messy Church, our core group of Messer’s were joined by both old Messer’s and new. It was wonderful to welcome so many into our community here.
Our activities were quite simple, the children really engaged with them and from the sounds of things there were some really wonderful conversations going on as I moved about the room. We made sand pictures creating desert scenes using sand to remind us of Jesus in the wilderness, and where and how we can encounter God in our own lives.
We made scratch art bookmarks, which helped us to think about how God can see through the grime of our daily lives to our beautiful selves who he has created and knows! We also decorated small glass votives with tissue paper and put small candles in them alongside a prayer the messers could decorate and take home. The idea is that they could light their candle each evening with their parents and say the prayer together.
A Prayer for Lent
I know how much you love me.
It’s hard for me to feel it sometimes,
but I know your love is always with me.
Help me to use your love as a way
to keep my lent promises.
I am weak, but I know with your help,
I can use this time to draw closer to you.
Our final activity was making wilderness trail mix from a mixture of seeds, popcorn, dried fruit and other delicious things to nibble on. While they made up their bags of trail mix we talked about Jesus being in the desert for 40 days, and how even though he fasted God was always with him, and gave him everything He needed, and then when the devil tempted Him he did not give in to the temptation.
In our worship we re-enacted story of Adam and Eve being tempted by the serpent, with the help of a couple of our Messers.
They saw that the fruit on the tree looked very good. And they started thinking how nice it would be to be like God and know everything. But she also knew that God had said not to eat the fruit from that tree. Except now she was starting to think maybe it would be okay anyway. That fruit did look good. And the more they looked at it, the more they wanted it – and the more they forgot what God had said.
That is how temptation works. It is when you know something is wrong, but you want to do it anyway. And pretty soon the wrong thing you want to do starts to look good. And you think maybe just this one time it will be okay to go ahead and do it. You think the bad things that always come when you do what is wrong won’t happen this time.
But they always do.
That’s why things are wrong, because when you do them someone always gets hurt, sooner or later. But they weren’t thinking about that. They were only thinking about how delicious the forbidden fruit looked.
We then fast forwarded to Jesus in the desert, acting out the exchange between Jesus and the devil, showing how He did not give in to the temptations. We finally fast forwarded to the here and now. Even here and now, in Camden we are often like Adam, hiding, turning away from God. Sometimes we do things which are not kind, which hurt other people. Sometimes we don’t do the things we should do. When Jesus spent 40 days in the desert He showed us how we can stop hiding from God, how we can turn to Him, and He will make us strong. If we turn towards God, we will receive his mercy and feel his love for us…
the worship ended with a short Ash Wednesday liturgy during which we offered those present the opportunity to receive an ash cross on their foreheads.
“Remember that you are dust, and to dust that you shall return.”