For all the photos from 2013 month by month click here.
Today was Epiphany in the Church calendar. What’s then then? Epiphany means revealing, or showing, and the familiar story of the wise men taking gifts to Jesus has behind it how God’s son was revealed to the world outside Judea – to Gentiles (not Jews), to ordinary people like us, yet was recognised and worshipped as God’s son – so special that they gave him their most treasured possessions as gifts. The children acted out the story, and followed it up by making gift boxes AND gifts to go in them, and crowns to wear.
Well, here we are, one year’s worth of MYB2 events celebrated today! Our story was all about Simeon and Anna, who saw Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the temple not long after he was born. They both recognised something special about this seemingly ordinary baby – they saw the light he would bring to everyone. We thought about different kinds of lights – to show us the way (like a torch), to mark a celebration (like candles), to make us feel safe (like a night light) and a light to warn us of dangers (like hazard lights. Jesus can be all of these types of light for us.
We stayed with the temple theme, for the Passover visit made by Jesus (age 12), his parents and family. Jesus was not in the returning group, and his parents searched for him everywhere until they found him in the temple, listening and talking to the teachers. A fairly tenuous link saw us having loads of fun involving hidden things! First there was a treasure hunt outside in the churchyard. Then we made peppermint fondants with chocolate hidden inside and we took home origami ‘fortune’ tellers, but with God’s promises hidden inside.
One week post Easter and the story was about a journey that took place after Jesus’ resurrection, on the road to Emmaus. As two of his disciples walked and talked, they were joined by Jesus though they didn’t recognise him straightaway. But, when they thought about it later, they should have known it was him – ‘their hearts burned’, so we made prayers on burning hearts. We made doily angels because the angels had rolled away the stone, but most relevant of all, it was a journey – so we made food for the journey – interesting sandwiches – and feet to signify walking with Jesus. AND decorated eggs to show the new life Easter brings.
On May 5th, we were thinking about Pentecost, which is when the Christian Church was born. It is when the helper that Jesus had promised came, accompanied by wind and flames and the miraculous ability to speak foreign languages—and that helper was called the Holy Spirit. We learnt that the Holy Spirit made the disciples very brave and helped them to talk to other people about all the wonderful things Jesus had done. Difficult stuff! But we had great fun with paper planes propelled by wind power and hot wax pictures of flames, 3D butterflies and of course, no MYB2 would be complete without cake—party cake pops for the church’s birthday!
Zaccheus was a tax collector – a dishonest one, too – and was hated by everyone. He was also a very little man and had to climb a tree to get a look at Jesus. But Jesus invited himself to dinner with Zaccheus and became his friend. Zaccheus changed and gave back all the money he had taken dishonestly. We learnt that God loves us all whatever we have done.
The weather was great so we were outside having a treasure – most of the clues were up or in trees, of course. When we came back in, we had some great fun decorating small biscuits to look like gold or silver coins, and also decorating trees.
What a party! The weather held and we managed to have breakfast outside and pretend we were on a beach, complete with campfire, sand, picnic rugs and a hamper. We listened to our story in the sunshine and heard how Jesus cooked breakfast for his friends on a beach, cooking the fish he had just helped them to catch. Then had some fantastic fun playing games with a fishy theme parachute games left some of us weak with laughing (and the participants just plain weak from exhaustion!) But it all taught us the value of friendship and sharing.
Today we learnt what the Lords Prayer really means, helped by visual aids including hands, a globe, and lots of lego. It seems that prayer is only talking to the best Father we can imagine, asking that the whole world will learn to love him, that he meets all our needs, that he forgives us when we do wrong and that he keeps us safe. We made prayer bracelets and earth and heaven biscuits.
It’s harvest and the story about Ruth, Naomi and Boaz included harvest fields as a part of the story, but essentially it was all about being caring, kind and looking after one another. We made ‘Thinking of you’ cards to give to someone we care about. And the harvest them was catered for by a collage using grains and pulses. Ruth became the wife of Boaz of course, so we made a wedding cake by decorating fairy cakes and stacking them into a tower!
This time, we were thinking about Elijah, who God sent to persuade a very bad King to change his ways. But the King refused to listen. God stopped the rain and there was a terrible drought. Elijah’s life was in danger, but God not only kept him safe from the King, but provided water to drink and ravens to bring him food every day. And when the stream dried up, he led him to a widow whose flour and oil miraculously never ran out. We had great fun with ravens, and pancakes made from Casper’s never ending supply of flour, but we also found that one of the stained glass windows in the church is of Elijah with a raven, so we made some beautiful stained glass pictures.