Today marks the beginning of Lent 2014. Sunday’s class drew upon our creative energies as the children uncovered ways to make this a meaningful Lent as they ready their hearts for first Communion. The arching theme, Lent invites us to grow closer to Jesus, combined the elements of singing, writing, coloring, planting, and composting into a very spirited class.
At the end of the class they were sent forth equipped with a Lenten Practice wheel, and a little pot with a sunflower plant all packed carefully in a little brown paper bag. The little bag contained “food” for their Lenten journey to nourish their understanding of being in communion. Unpacking the little paper bag that they brought home….
- The Lenten wheel presents several simple actions that the children can do. Lent is… a time: to listen, to be fair, to pray, for forgiveness, to share, to help others. Their little wheel illustrates best practices for the home, the neighborhood, at school, and in the SCORE classroom. Encourage your child to place the Lenten wheel in a special place, perhaps the dining room table as a reminder of the TABLE that we gather around each week to be nourished to live the Gospel in our daily life.
- The ritual of planting the sunflower connects with the awakening of the earth from its long winter sleep. Lent move us from the long dreary winter to the promise of Spring and renewed life. We need those little signs of hope especially during this long and challenging winter. The little sunflower seed your child planted is also meant to remind us of the God seed planted in all of us at our Baptism. This Lent, the little sunflower seed will germinate and break through the soil, your child will water as it grows sturdy and strong. Throughout Lent, break away from the busyness of daily life to reflect upon the God seed that birthed in your heart at Baptism. The Scriptures remind us that God’s grace flows in abundance. What opportunities are available to you this Lent to nourish your relationship with Jesus? Like a sunflower that follows every movement of the sun, the Lent may we respond to God’s invitation to grow in communion.
- The “burying of the Alleluia…” A——A!!! the joyful acclamation announcing the Gospel, the GOOD NEWS, of Jesus is not sung, proclaimed, or whispered throughout the 40 days of Lent. The children were very mindful that they would not hear A——A until Easter, and so we sang several rounds of A——A as each group gathered around the compost bin, and carefully ripped their little slips of paper. In their own simple and profound way, the children articulated the recycling process, the A——A would decompose, and working with the billions of microbes and red wiggler worms, would become a rich organic material to nurture new plant life. When we enter the Easter Season in six weeks the worm bin returns to SCORE, the children will revisit the vibrant eco-system that helped to create. We are all stewards of the earth.
For all of us, the 40 days of Lent gives us the time and space to pray, to hope, to anticipate the first buds to break through the soil beneath our feet, and to eagerly await the jubilant A—–A to resound once again in our hearts, our memories, our assembly. May this Lent be one of profound grace and healing for you, your family and our communities!