Sunday Reflections- Lent 2

            My plan is to wait and publish this tomorrow so I can report on this evening’s Crossroads Service as that part of this day will also be an important component of this Sunday’s experience. But Let’s start with the morning!
           Just as well that I was up in good time, (I had to fit in a trip to my friend’s house to feed her cats) since cousin Ron phoned extra early to tell me a long anecdote about his time as a Sea Cadet with the British Navy during World War Two.
           It was unexpectedly icy under foot when Wil and I slithered around the neighbourhood, and as we reached the safety of our front porch my cell rang with Pastor Nick offering me a ride to church. Even though it meant leaving half an hour earlier than planned it seemed like a pretty good idea given the treacherous streets so I quickly gathered up my things and was ready when he arrived.
          Children’s ministry always includes unexpected surprises and the ability to be flexible is a pretty important prerequisite, today was no exception. As the start time for our Gathering approached there were only three children present and glancing around I did not see the couple who were scheduled to lead the toddlers. However, Jenna had remembered to bring snack!
        As we left the Worship room to go upstairs for groups several more children arrived as did Fred.
His  wife was not well so we decided to combine into one bigger group today.   By the time we settled in our Children’s Room their were 7 children ranging from 2 years to 14, plus Fred and myself. I was thankful that, as always, I had prepared a couple of extra sets of materials for crafts.
      Ralph, age 14, is an excellent helper and his 11 year old sister is always happy to participate with the younger ones. The passage we were focusing on was Luke 13:31-35. In reading it over during the week I had immediately remembered a painting by the Canadian artist WilliamKurelek that is a modern interpretation of Jesus’ declaration “O Jerusalem. O Jerusalem” (v.35) and had prepared supplies so that, following the reading and discussion, we could each make our own version- “O Montreal, O Montreal” as multi-media collages  Talking with the group about the possibility of Jesus being right here among us, by His Spirit, and most of society going about their business ignoring him was powerful. The older ones really got the idea as we discussed what it would be like if Jesus was actually standing on the street in Montreal. 
   I love listening to their thoughts and comments and always come away renewed by their way of seeing faith issues through eyes not clouded with all the preconceptions and doubts we carry as our adult baggage. It was a blessing to be offered a ride home, this time with Joan and Nico and I am currently relishing a couple of brief hours at here before heading out to Crossroads.
Crossroads Reprise
     Luke arrived at the house at 430 pm, we loaded up his car with supplies and headed down to St. Stephen’s House for Crossroads.
    Once there I unpacked my basket and set the apple cider to simmer on the stove. While waiting for the dancers to arrive I set up a “snack station” on the big butcher block island with mugs for the cider, napkins and a big bowl for the caramel popcorn.
    It was a good thing I had brought my knitting since most of the dancers didn’t turn up until after 530, but once they arrived we were able to begin practicing right away. It was rather surprising to find that the “troope” consisted of 4 boys and only one girl so,  I reluctantly agreed to participate as well as teach the piece. We worked hard for almost an hour until everyone was feeling fairly confident. “Vapor” is over 4 minutes long, which means quite a lot of choreography to memorise. 
 Since I was actually in the dance it was hard to tell how it looked as a whole but we prayed that it would be pleasing to the Lord and that it would be a suitable prayer offering for all who were at the Gathering.
 Nick had been invited to speak and his talk centred around the story of Jesus and the Woman at the Well (John4:1-30) He encouraged us to consider how we, as Christians, are perceived by others in our diverse society. We should be good listeners and not people who are just out to preach a preset agenda or to look for converts. Jesus, the Son of God, chose to humble himself by asking a woman of a different culture to help him get a drink of water. He knew this person’s circumstances and yet he did not speak as a superior or pass judgement on her. We should do likewise when interacting with people who come from a variety of backgrounds and hopefully by following Christ’s example we can make a difference for Him in our world. Although I did not get home until 930 pm after a very busy Sunday it seemed to me that Sabbath “rest” does not necessarily have to mean physical rest as long as our Sabbath gives us the opportunity to drink from the living water offered by Jesus, we can begin the new week totally refreshed and ready for the challenges of everyday life.

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