It's been a while since we shared one of these, as we did things a little differently while Leigh was on maternity leave, but now she's back and planning on sharing a Messy Church at Home session on the last Friday of each month, until we can all get back together in the building again.
This month's Messy Church at Home is adapted from the session 'New Beginnings', written by Iain Nash to be shared by Messy Churches in January. This year has got off to a difficult start, and we hope this gives you and your families an opportunity to reflect and look ahead.
There are a few suggestions for crafts, with some prompt questions to get you talking, and a song and a prayer to finish. Please feel free to take what looks good and make it work for you.
Craft #1: Junk modelling
Junk modelling is a great way to give old things a new start. What can you find around your house and what can you turn it into?
Last year was pretty rubbish in lots of ways, but junk modelling helps us see that there will always be treasure among the trash, and even some of the trash can be transformed. As you create, perhaps you could talk about what hopeful and joyful things you can celebrate from last year, and what difficult things you might be able to take and transform.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 says ‘we pray that God himself, the God of peace, will make you pure’. How can we allow God to transform our trash and reveal our treasure?
Craft #2: Fingerprint trees
Draw a picture of a bare winter tree, then add leaves with fingerprints in green paint. You might also like to add fruit or flowers using fingerprints in different colours.
Shoots are starting to break through the soil, and soon there will be leaves and buds on the trees again. What things are you looking forward to in the coming months? If you feel a bit bare and tired like a winter tree, what would signs of new life look like for you?
In John 10:10, Jesus says that he ‘came to give life and life in abundance'. That means God wants us to blossom like the trees in spring. Can you remember that when life feels a bit empty?
Craft #3: Handy butterflies
Draw and cut out two handprints to make the butterfly's wings. Use pens, paint, pipe cleaners, sequins or whatever else you have at home to decorate them.
Caterpillars change into beautiful butterflies. We often try to change at the start of the new year, promising to drop bad habits or take up good ones. What changes might you make, and how could you make sure those changes last?
Matthew 4:4 says that ‘a person does not live only by eating bread, but a person lives by everything the Lord says'. How might listening to God by praying or reading scripture help you to make good changes?
Prayer: Chat and catch
God loves it when we talk to him and he also wants to talk to us too. Let’s spend some time now chatting with him and then waiting to catch what he might say back to us. If you're not sure what to chat about, here are some ideas to get you started:
• Tell God about a time something started badly but ended well.
• Tell God something you did that you didn’t think you’d be able to do.
• Ask God if there is anything he would like you to do next year.
Now spend ten minutes quietly, or with some quiet music playing in the background listening to see if God has anything to say back to you. Have some pens to write down your thoughts if you want to.
You might like to end with the Messy Grace:
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (Hold out your hands as if expecting a present)
And the love of God (Put your hands on your heart)
And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit (Hold hands)
Be with us all now and for ever. Amen. (Raise hands together and shout Amen!)