Hello and welcome to this month's Messy Church at Home! By now we would normally have had a session inspired by the World Day of Prayer, which happens on the first Friday of March. Normal has gone out of the window this year, and last month’s session lent itself to an early Easter, but rather than missing the World day of Prayer completely, we come to it now a little late.
This year’s World Day of Prayer was prepared by the women of Vanuatu, a country made up of many islands in the South Pacific, 2000 miles east of Australia. It is a beautiful country, with sandy beaches, coral reefs, tropical fish, forests full of birds, spectacular waterfalls, and many wonderful plants. But it also suffers from natural disasters including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and cyclones; not all children are able to go to school and many do not have enough food; and clean water and proper toilets are not accessible for everyone.
There is a lot to be thankful for in Vanuatu, but there is a lot that needs help too, and so perhaps as a family you might take time to pray with the people of Vanuatu, giving thanks for their beautiful country and asking that life will be made fairer and easier, as they also pray for the same things.
The story the women of Vanuatu chose for this year’s World Day of Prayer is the parable of the wise and foolish builders, a story-with-a-meaning told by Jesus and found in Matthew 7:24-27.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
This story was chosen to help illustrate this year's theme, which is ‘Build on a Strong Foundation’. You might like to spend some time talking about what that means to you. What are the important things that you build your life on, individually and as a family? What bits of wisdom do you want to share with one another, or what foolish things would you advise one another to avoid? Can you remember some of the words of Jesus, and think about what a life built on them might look like?
Now that you know the story, have a go at joining in with this classic action song.
The women of Vanuatu have come up with some lovely activities and crafts which represent something of life in their country or go with the theme they have chosen. If you click the links below you will find their suggestions, including a recipe for a delicious coconut cake.