Sunday Reflections-Epiphany 6

      This morning, as I was eating breakfast, the phone rang and it was Pippa saying that Seren was not well so the family would not be at church. 
      Being sad at this turn of events and somewhat deflated, I returned to my meal and sat crunching my oat-o’s, pondering my next move. I needed to “rally” myself and head to church
with a positive attitude and a sense of expectation, the question being –should I lug along my heavy backpack of resources for Children@St. Stephen’s or leave everything at home?
        After a bit of prayer I decided on a compromise, taking my craft activity, just in case other children did turn up. Upon arriving at church and sitting with my knitting while the congregation gathered it soon became apparent that today I would be hanging with the adults, there being three delightful babies but no other children present.
         One benefit of having previously studied the lectionary readings and preparing a variety of (hopefully!) engaging and challenging activities is to sit back and see how the Preacher has tackled the same passages for an adult audience.
       We are currently into the 3rd week of the Sermon on the Mount section from Matthew’s Gospel. It is really cool that the Lectionary for this year is currently focusing on Matthew since his is the Gospel upon which our 2014 Day Camp Program is based. Thus I’m hoping to glean. some insights into the 5 “Follow the Leader” Stories, by looking at the bigger picture through Matthew’s “lens”. Interestingly Nick touched on this point in his talk, beginning by suggesting that Scripture is so often only looked at in little bites while the broader picture should always be kept in mind.
      Matthew 5: 21-37 can be pretty heavy stuff since it includes the subjects of murder, adultery and divorce all in one short chunk. Jesus was challenging his followers to look at the Law from a fresh perspective. Simply following the Law no longer being “enough” if we are to be born again and to live life abundantly. This new kind of “Kingdom life” cannot possibly be achieved solely on humanterms but, with a big dose of Grace we can, at least take a stab at it!
     Walking home gave time to reflect and compare the Sermon and subsequent “adult” discussion time with the type of exegesis I had planned to offer for children’s’ minds. By putting the two teachings together (as one hopes families can do around their dinner tables when both adults and children are looking at the same Scriptures) I was able see ways in which to try and emulate Kingdom values in my own life during the week ahead.
      One resource I had found for the children (with the help of “Mr. Google”) was so enjoyable it seems a shame not to share it with anyone.  Do enjoy this refreshing take on Matthew 5:21-26 


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