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 sayings." Here's this week's verse:
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
If you're a parent reading this: you've got a lot, a lot, a lot going on right now. This week Jesus reminds us that we can ask God for what we need; He has good gifts for us.
Art and Music for October
Forward Together (above) is our Jacob Lawrence painting for this month. It's part of Lawrence's series on the life of Harriet Tubman; his children's picture book Harriet and the Promised Land is excellent. (I mean: we bought it instead of checking out from the library, so.) More to come . . . for now, make Forward Together the desktop background on everyone's device, or print it and hang on the refrigerator.
The traditional spiritual we'll learn this month is "Wade in the Water," first recorded by the Fisk Jubilee Singers. It has Old Testament, New Testament, and Underground Railroad layers of meaning, and again is highly singable and enjoyable. Again, more to come. For now, check out Beth's beautiful rendition:
On Sunday mornings at the park, kids have been taking turns selecting and organizing elements of prayer time:
Scripture: Gospel reading, Psalm reading, other;
songs: an opening song, a closing song, a song as prayers of the people, a sung Psalm
prayer: the Lord's Prayer, silence, Prayers of the People . . .
At home, we've been taking turns leading Family Prayer, which can be as simple as choosing a song to listen to, or a piece of art to look at together. Head to Incarnation's YouTube channel to find Wade in the Water, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, God is So Good (and we'll continue to add songs there as we go).
During prayer time at Wild Wonder a couple weeks ago, I was shocked, and kind of delighted, at Jack’s vehement protest when our one-minute silence ended.
He screamed, “I LIKE THE QUIET!!” **eye roll emoji**
So, for our demanding four-year old, here's a video to use for silent prayer. We used a three-minute sand timer, but it may take some practice to work up to that length! And of course, kids can grab an egg timer and set up their own prayer table at home. Warning: parents may find it more challenging than kids!
I'm telling myself and all of us, as my old pediatrician used to tell my mom: "Keep doing what you're doing." Keep asking, seeking, knocking. Receive God's good gifts. Enjoy the singing and the silence.