Incarnation families are gathering on Sunday mornings at 9:30am in Alcova Heights Park—or at home, or in another lovely natural spot—for a casual time of family prayer and nature exploration. This fall, we’re enjoying art, music, and nature together, and we’re pondering Jesus’ maxims or "great truths." Here's this week's verse:
let your "Yes" mean "Yes," and your "No" mean "No" Matthew 5:37
What do you think this teaching means?
At the time, what did Jesus' listeners think about it?
How is Jesus an example of this great truth?
Who else is a good example of being trustworthy?
What does this maxim tell us about God? About us?
Like just about every other week, there may be more in our scripture discussion for adults to think about than for kids! May our family relationships be trustworthy enough not to require extensive promises and bargaining. (And re: Halloween candy, Lord, let my yes be yes and my no be no.)
With fewer details, you might attempt once again the challenge of setting a timer to look at the painting for one minute, then flipping it over and trying to re-create it, remembering as much as you can!
I've been struck by the rich colors Lawrence used. He worked with tempera paints, also known as "egg tempera." Adventurous art students will enjoy making your own using eggs and food coloring. Please share your results!
Since we all have dining spaces one way or another, A Family might lend itself to re-creation via photo, like these: "People Stuck at Home are Recreating Famous Paintings and It's Awesome." Again: please share results (and we'll share on Incarnation's instagram)!
Paint Jacob Lawrence-style versions of your own dining room or kitchen.
Bonus, because it popped into my head: Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors' "Family." Singing in the kitchen? Count it for family prayer time.
And straight from my own dining room, here's another video to help us make more connections with what we do at "Big Church":
As with our altar tour video, I'm talking more to our 3-6 year olds in this, but it can be a jumping off point for all ages! Parents, if you'd like, you can watch on your own, then share the content with your children. (No obligation; outsourcing is my life right now! Just saying that you're capable of teaching this.)
If kids already know the sign of the cross, or once they've had a chance to practice for awhile, you may want to return to it to let them know there are words that can go along. You can say the words while they do the gesture: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen." Chat about what they know about Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And define "Amen"—it's a one-word prayer meaning "Yes, we agree!"
With our youngest kids, we're keeping things simple (or better, essential) and beginning by focusing on Jesus. But for older kids and adults, we can add another layer: we use three fingers to symbolize the Holy Trinity when we make this sign.
We're making a change to an 11am service on Sundays. If this makes it do-able for your family to attend in person, remember you can sign up each week! There's also the opportunity for families to use the nursery or the atrium during church, if that's helpful. Mention it when you sign up. (Related: we'll make an effort to begin our Wild Wonder prayer time on time!)
Save the date: November 22 is Christ the King Sunday, and our kids and youth will be helping lead the service!
Advent Wonder: Do you have a tradition—a recipe, a craft, a song, a beloved nativity scene—that you'd be willing to share with the church family? Email me for more info.
Let us know if you're up for sharing tables (even outdoor picnic tables?!) for Thanksgiving or Christmas.