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:
"do to others as you would have them do to you" Matthew 7:12
Have you heard this teaching before? It's rather famous! Here are some questions to get a discussion started:
First of all: what does this verse mean?
What would Jesus' listeners have thought about this teaching?
What do we think about it? When does it seem easy to treat others that way we want to be treated?
When is it a challenge to treat others the way we want to be treated?
Can you think of someone who's a good example of this?
Why do you think this maxim is named the Golden Rule?
Liz's sermon last week reminded us that practicing Sabbath not only benefits us, but makes room for others to thrive. Practice Sabbath in these Bible study discussions with your kids; i.e. leave room for their voices. It may give them space to thrive!
This month's painting by Jacob Lawrence is, again, full of interesting details, colors, and shapes. And again, it tells a story:
Look together at this painting and notice favorite details. (I love the star. One of my kids loves the squirrel; one the snake; and one—I was so glad—pointed out Harriet's painted nails!)
Notice favorite colors and color combinations. The pink and yellow, to me, are *chef's kiss*. And that makes me notice how distinct Harriet's red cloak is.
Notice the perspective: Harriet's large left hand in the foreground, her smaller right hand pointing the way. Do you feel the directional pull in the painting?
Let the kids tell you what they know about the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman. Do some research together if you'd like.
If you're not used to pondering art (you're not alone): try something new. Play Wade in the Water (or Swing Low, or both) while you look at Forward Together for a few minutes. Then see what discussion comes from that. When the kids are over it; let them run off and play. Bless and release.
If the kids are grooving with the art, give them supplies to copy all or part of it. At our house, using the dry erase board—or chalk, or something similarly impermanent—relieved perfectionist pressure and gave us a sense of freedom and enjoyment.
Wonder All Week
Revisit this post to refresh your memory about Jacob Lawrence's personal story.
Amy found this post with more background on Lawrence's Harriet and the Promised Land book project, and another great image from it (with critters!):
Read ahead or revisit Sunday's gospel reading John 13:1-17, when Jesus washes the disciples' feet. What clues does this story give us about how to practice the Golden Rule? Where does the power come from to live this way?
Older kids, youth, adults: how interesting that one of Harriet Tubman's nicknames was "Moses." Jesus also portrayed himself as the new Moses. Discuss those three: Moses, Jesus, Harriet Tubman. Enthusiastic typologists might enjoy making a chart: you could compare/contrast events like the Exodus, the law, the Promised Land, even Moses' encounter with God in the burning bush. Does Harriet Tubman have an equivalent? Does Jesus? Moses never lived in the Promised Land . . . wow there's so much to unpack!