Lent 2021 Stubborn Hope Suffering, Perseverance & God's Relentless Presence in the Midst of Distress
Lent can be a bit intimidating to explain to children and complicated to plan activities for. over the season of Lent we plan to post resources here for children and families which will help you create age appropriate Lenten practices and plan helps reflections and discussions about the season.
Carol Pelkey reading Make Space, a children's book about the season of Lent
Week 1 Take Time for God Symbol: Praying Hands
1. Place one wrist at the bottom of a sheet of paper. Trace that hand. 2. Turn the paper and trace the same hand reaching from the opposite side toward the first traced hand so that the fingers touch. 3. Cut out the hands, leaving them attached at the fingertips. Ask the children, "When you have something to say, how does it feel when the person you want to tell keeps talking and won't let you say anything?" Point out how important it is to listen as well as talk even during times when we're communicating with God. Say: "The praying hands we cut out remind us that during Lent we both talk and listen to God." Children may list on the fingers of one of the hands the times they can talk to God (ex. bedtime prayer, in church and Sunday school, when they wake up in the morning while still in bed, before meals, riding in the car). On the other hand they might list times to listen to God (ex. at church, outside in nature, when they are sad, during naptime, when they are coloring or doing a craft). Spend some class time in quiet: have the children take four deep breaths, one at a time, in and out, and tighten and release from foot to head. Say: "Tighten your feet, then let them relax. Feel your muscles tighten in your legs, then let them rest ... " and so forth. In the stillness, ask for God to be with you. (By practicing silence and breathing we teach children calming techniques but also how to be still in order to hear God. This practice works well with youth and adults too.)
Making Lent More Meaningful to Children is a quick but helpful article that offers some introduction to the symbols of Lent, possible activities, and guidance on age appropriate discussion. We hope this is helpful and invite you to return for more resources as the season progresses.
"as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 2 Cor 6:4
The season of Lent and our new Lenten Sermon series will begin on Ash Wednesday. The new sermon series as noted above is Stubborn Hope - Suffering, Perseverance & God's Relentless Presence in the Midst of Distress For Ash Wednesday we will hear the words of Paul quoted above and reflect on them The sermon is entitled - Distress and Grace, the Full Story of Following Jesus.
We hope you will join us on www.facebook.com/bereanri at 7pm for this service which will culminate in the celebration of the Lord's Supper. We will be singing some old favorites and some new as well; Let Justice Flow, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Lead Me to Calvary & Hosea. Emma will be performing; Lost by Michelle McLaughlin, Let Us Break Bread, & the Long Night also by Michelle McLaughlin
Scripture - 2 Cor 5:20-6:10 Paul writes to the church in Corinth vulnerably voicing the struggles and trials he faces as an follower of Jesus, as well as the gifts of the Spirit he is given to persevere through these difficult times.
Stubborn Hope 2 - God Places the Rainbow in the Sky - Grief, Destruction and Hope
Genesis 9:8-17 - The Story of the New Covenant and the Rainbow after the Great Flood.
This is a much more unsettling and complicated story than we were taught in Sunday School The Image of a God overwhelmed to the point of abandoning creativity and choosing destruction is deeply disturbing. We wrestle with this story today and I suggest a few things God joins us in grief and despair God repents of violence God in the end does not give up on humanity despite overwhelming wickedness Noah doesn't give up on God either
And we will ask ourselves a couple of questions does God find hope in my fidelity? how am i/are we building a ark, a safe space for people to shelter through the storm? how and where do we need to repent of violence?