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 human
terms 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