Friday, October 15, 2010

At the foot of Mount Sinai

Last term my Sunday school group were working through Genesis with a particular eye to environmental themes - several weeks on Creation followed by the very obvious environmental parallels in stories including Noah's Ark, the Tower of Babel and the famine in Egypt. The emphasis was on appreciating and caring for creation. This term we've moved on to Exodus which instantly struck me as book to help us 'Sustain the Sacred Centre' to use the Oxford Diocesan theme for this year, and prepare ourselves spiritually for building the kingdom. We began with Moses's mother who trusted in God but did not sit back and wait for her child to be rescued, she acted in that trust. Then we looked at the two different responses to injustice embodied in Moses' responses to witnessing his fellow countryman being beaten (murder and consequent exile) or women unfairly treated when waiting to water their sheep (standing up for them and consequent marriage to one) - ie espouse non-violent responses to injustice (climate or otherwise). This week we came to the burning bush at the foot of Mt Sinai and an opportunity to talk about prayer, finding quiet places to do this. The children were very keen to take their flame decorated bush outdoors and we found ourselves in the little garden at the heart of the church/school plant which was a great space. Contemplative prayer is not suited to all six-ten year olds but hopefully even those who fidgeted the whole way through might one day remember the techniques when it's helpful!

Meanwhile the harvest bounty continues - Hugh gave us a carrier full of grapes that my boys very much enjoyed pressing with bare feet for wine.

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