And on the 8th day?
Today I led collective worship in St Mary’s. I’ve been visiting the school for about 10 years and each visit is a personal highlight. Each Thursday 400 children plus staff walk over to the parish church for a short service.
For one visit recently I was asked to cover “The Kingdom of God”. Not altogether sure where to start I asked children what they already knew about the Kingdom of God and these were the first five answers I heard,
“It’s so small you can hardly see it”
“that’s true, but it’s also really, really big, big enough for everyone to fit in”
“It’s my second home”
“It’s where I want to be”
What came to mind were the kingdom parables about the mustard seed and the pearl.
So today we looked at valuing our world. We talked about how we use stories to explore and explain things what we don’t know. We started off by thinking about the creation story, how we can enjoy the world we live in and how we might look after it for everyone to enjoy. And then we acted out each story element with story statues. It was loud, excited, joyful, respectful and life-giving. And we finished with some wonderings, including, “and what do you think God might have done on the 8th day?”
“God created love”
“God went to find Adam and Eve for a chat”
“God woke up, had a look round and was pleased with everything”
Some years ago I spent some time with Y5 children in the school with the question, “what should the church be doing today?” And the reply?
“Each church should build a little house next to the church and in it they should have food for anyone who was hungry. They could just come and get what they needed anytime they needed it. And they should have people in the house to be there to talk to anyone who might be lonely. And they should have beds for anyone who is homeless.”
For me it’s a constant and a persistent wonder to learn from the simple, profound, articulate insights of children.
And the picture? The scene before children arrive. Quiet, restful, relaxing …….. incomplete.