This summer, Incarnation families are gathering weekly at Alcova Heights Park, or at home, or in another lovely natural spot for a relaxed time of family prayer and nature exploration—read this post for a quick primer. Here are this Sunday’s wonder-worthy scriptures:
Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Matthew 19:1-3, 13-15
Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. […]
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.
Nature focus: YOU
Of course, we humans are part of God’s wonderful creation! On Sunday, at Alcova Heights or at home, we’ll use our imaginations as we read the Matthew 19 story about Jesus welcoming the children. (If you’d like, read a little background about imaginative prayer, AKA Ignatian contemplation.) As we listen to the scripture, we can place ourselves into the scene as one of the children—or their parents—what do we see, smell, hear, feel, taste? What's the expression on Jesus' face? What’s He doing?
I’d also love to hear from you (kids, parents, friends) as we take a moment to close out this summer season, remembering what we’ve learned and noticing how we’ve grown. Bring your dog, or hermit crab. Bring your most beautiful rock, or a great feather. Or share about something you’ve enjoyed exploring this summer:
When I glimpse an especially noteworthy cloud, I can’t help but start singing: “Your love, Oh Lord, reaches to the heavens! . . . “
Jack specifically continues to ask about the mountain badger from Psalm 104! "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."
Wonder all week:
Thank God for each family member. When we sing “God is so good” together at big church, and/or throughout the week, fill in “God gives us ____” with the names of each family member. (E.g. "God gives us Inez, God gives us Mama . . .”) Just be sure to include enough verses to name each person in the room with you!
Give every family member a haircut. (Just kidding, or am I?!) Measure or notice growth in some way.
For discussion: In the timeline of God’s Kingdom, where do we fit in? (Recalling our liturgical calendar: after Easter and Pentecost, we have this longest stretch of green—ordinary time or “growing time.” What is the church’s work, our work, during this time?)
If it makes sense in your household: as you get organized for the school year, the kids can help set up a “prayer table” or shelf at home (or, ahem, clean out and refresh the exisiting one!). More on how to do that in this post. There’s not a wrong way. This can also be a nice display spot for nature treasures as we continue to explore.
If you haven’t already, make melted crayon rocks!