Whoa! Busy morning, today!!! As soon as I arrived at church I was swept
up in a buzz of activity as baby Olivia was to be dedicated during the
Service  and a number of visitors would be
joining us.

      
Thus  3 extra children(with their
Mum) joined our group so it was good to have 2 helpers in the persons of John
and Mike.

       The
teaching was from Matthew 5:35-48, a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount. We
first reviewed some of the parts we have looked at over the past few weeks and
then zeroed in on verses 43-47 “Love your Enemies”. After a brief discussion we
recreated the scene using our giant felt board. Next a snack (thankfully I had
brought plenty of ginger cookies and a LARGE apple!) the a round of Kim’s Game
and finally we trooped into the craft room and assembled a giant card to
present to Olivia,welcoming her to our church family. We needed to rush a bit as
we finished up, since I could hear the Doxology being sung and the children
were anxious to give the card to Olivia and her parents before the Service was over. All quite chaotic, but
in a good way!

   
Fortunately it was bright and sunny for the walk home  and there is always plenty of time to process
and reflect on the morning during a 50 minute hike!

    And
so the afternoon is winding down. Yes, it is 
4pm but the sun is still shining brightly, the days are REALLY get
longer!!

    On
our afternoon walk I spotted what I think is a section of lilac branch which
must have broken off in last evening’s strong winds. Wil and I dragged it home
and I divided it into 4 smaller sections, gave the ends a good whacking with a
hammer and, YES, it is “wick”! (Yorkshire dialect for “alive”). 

  At
St. Matthew’s, every Ash Wednesday for many years I organized “Ashes to Hope” a
special all-ages Program which included a simple Liturgy, a supper and a
variety of activities, one of which was the bashing of the ends of seemingly
dead branches, only to reveal the living green within.

   Taking those branches home and watching them
bud and come into leaf in Winter, was exciting to both children
and adults alike and is still a vivid illustration of the Hope rising within us
as we prepare to enter the Lenten Season.