The Cold Springer - Week of March 17th, 2019
Sunday, March 10th, 2019 - Holy Communion
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! From the Gospel of Luke
Martha, Martha, the child that doesn’t want to brush her hair or help me clean her room! How often have I desired to have you understand that it’s for the best, and you were not willing!
My point is not to make light of one of the most powerful statements ever made by Jesus. I promise. But as parents, we have our own laments. They aren’t born of anger or tyranny, they’re just a longing for our young ones to understand, to grow in ways that serve them.
Jesus reveals his deep empathy and selflessness in this Sunday’s passage. He is warned by a handful of friendly Pharisees that King Herod is looking to kill him. Jesus responds by saying, “Go back and tell that fox…” and then proceeds to explain that he knows who he is (a prophet who threatens the establishment) and what he has to do (continue healing people and make his way towards Jerusalem, not away from it). Jesus is not afraid of the consequences nor concerned with his life.
Rather, Jesus is concerned for the people of Jerusalem. That they might hear and live his Good News: Your sins do not define you and God’s Kingdom is already among you. Jesus laments that the Holy City, home to the Temple - the house of God - is the one place where those who want the best for its people are killed. It is a sad irony.
Jesus’ lament for Jerusalem echoes through the ages. It is for us too that he laments: Jesus just wants us to draw ourselves closer to God and one another through him. And we can learn, just as our kids can… as long as were gentle on both. We guide our children into good habits and behaviors by modeling and affirmation. So when it comes to sins - those things that separate us from God and one another - and raising our awareness of them during this season of Lent, it’s best not to beat ourselves up.
Jesus isn’t an angry, tyrannical parent, he’s a hen. His invitation to acknowledge our sins, turn from them and follow him to the cross is an invitation to come under the shadow of his wings. It’s for the best. So fast, pray, study and this Lent: go easy on yourself.
Peace and All Good!
The Rev. Jesse Lebus
This week our students in the “Little Church” will continue to explore the life of Jesus and its narrative arch towards the Cross, and of course, to Easter Day! What is lovely about this series of Godly Play lessons is that lands squarely in a mystery that young people seem to understand more than we might: That Jesus died, but he is always with us.
Godly Play is centered around the most elementary aspect of our Christian Faith, the stories of Jesus’ life. Knowing the stories is more important than knowing what they mean. Sometimes forcing meaning into the heart of a youngster only serves to interrupt the work of the Holy Spirit. That is why the Godly Play method introduces the children to the story and invites them to explore its meaning in their world. Turns out they know a lot.
Wait, what is Little Saints? It’s a new class for children who are 6, 7 and 8 years old. This week these students will begin in Children’s Chapel as “Leader’s in Training” and just before the Godly Play lesson will move to a classroom in the nursery school. The need for this class is a wonderful sign that we have enough children to warrant a new section. This class will be shepherded by our our Curate and other volunteers.
During this season of Lent our Little Saints will work on learning words that are important to the season and what they mean for us as members of the church. This week we will explore the words Lent and Prepare.
Elements of Faith
Our oldest Sunday School students will continue to delve into the 7 Last Words of Jesus. Using coloring posters our teachers will lead the students through a conversation about Jesus’ response to the criminal who was crucified next to him. This man said to Jesus: “Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Children are encouraged to take home and finish the posters if they don’t during the class time. Even better, if they return with them completed we can hang them in Bleecker Hall on Palm Sunday.
Stone Soup Luncheon
Sunday, March 31st
11am, Bleecker Hall
With a little food and a lot of love we can feed a church and help those in need. On the same Sunday as our Lenten Musical, St. John's Outreach Committee and our Sunday School students partner to organize the Stone Soup Luncheon during coffee hour. Proceeds benefit our outreach efforts.
Parents, please follow the link to find out how you can help: Stone Soup Luncheon 2019 Letter
Kids in Community
Wednesdays in Lent
March 13, 20,27
April 3, 10, and 17
6:30 - 8 pm.
A Lenten retreat for young people (8-11). All of us will eat together, but when the "Life in Community" program begins in Bleecker Hall the young people will go to the church to play games and create crafts, focusing on bible passages that touch on life in Christian community. A great opportunity for kids and parents.
Call for Volunteers
If you have a desire to help grow our wonderful youth formation program please reach out to a Sunday School teacher or a member of our clergy. There are requirements! The time to set aside some consecutive Sunday mornings (as few as three). A desire to see children grow in the faith. The willingness to grow your own faith through this experience. No theology degree neccesary.