TWO SIMPLE WORDS
by Abigail Wortman, West Long Branch, New Jersey
On the first day of first grade, I stood by the front door with butterflies in my stomach. I voiced my biggest concern to my mother: “How will I make friends?” Crouching in front of me, she handed me advice I carry with me to this day: “Be Switzerland.” Be friends with everyone. Treat everyone equally and fairly. For all of my 20 years, I have lived by these words. Soon I will graduate and become a part of the real world. And on that first day, nervously facing new responsibilities, I know I will whisper two words to myself: “Be Switzerland.”
Listen carefully to this story.
Rachel and Simon are friends in grade 5. On the bus ride home after school they watched a classmate struggling to read her homework. They laughed and whispered “she should be able to read.” Do you think what they said was true…yes probably, do you think it was kind or necessary?….no
Now again listen carefully.
Rachel and Simon are friends in grade 5. On the bus ride home after school they watched a classmate struggle to read his homework. They whispered to each other “isn’t it sad that he has trouble reading”. Do you think what they said was true…yes, do you think it was kind? …yes. But was it necessary?…no.
Okay now just one more time.
Rachel and Simon are friends in grade 5. On the bus ride home after school they watched a classmate struggle to read his homework. They put their heads together and said “he’s having trouble reading, let’s help him”.
Today I want you to remember to ask God to help you to always speak the truth and to consider…is it true…is it kind….is it necessary.
Jesus is the way, the truth, the life…. AND DON’T FORGET TO PRAY.
Before we began our Lenten stories, about eight weeks ago, we were talking about Godly Play. We talked about Sacred Stories and Parables. Last Sunday I talked about the sacred work we do to help us remember the stories of the Children of God (that is you and me and all people who choose to love God.)
Today I want to remind you of the FEAST that we enjoy in the classroom. I know if we were together today you would tell me that the Godly Play feast isn‘t what we would normally consider a feast. We usually think of a feast as a big dining table loaded with all sorts of delicious food and most likely some friends and family would join us.
But the “Godly Play” feast mimics our church communion. A small amount of bread and juice (or crackers and water) is all we need to remember Jesus sacrifice. The sacrifice he made, on the cross. He shed his blood, symbolized by the juice and gave up his earthly body, symbolized in the bread, so that he could take our place in death. We can live together with him for eternity.
Right now we are asked not to gather for a big feast with friends or family that live outside our home. But we can still FEAST, show Jesus we love him and that we remember his sacrifice. Today when you have a meal with those you live with, take turns serving each other and…..
DON’T FORGET TO PRAY.
I have a wondering question for you. I wonder what you do when you play. Do you think Jesus played? The painters of these pictures did.
When you go out to church school some of you go to the Godly Play classroom. Your storyteller tells you a bible story with the baskets or parable boxes and then you get to respond with your sacred work. No one tells you what to do, you choose what to use to help you remember the stories.
What are some of your options for responding to the story?
You can retell a sacred or parable story, paint, draw and make clay sculptures. You may run your hands through sand or follow the finger labyrinth while you think about the story.
You may go to the book shelf and choose a story there. What you use is not as important as what helps you remember.
Ask someone to read you a story from the bible, or read one yourself and then use what you have at home to do your work, sacred work that will help you remember the story. Remember your Godly Play is serious work!
AND DON’T FORGET TO PRAY.