Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Overhearing Godly Play: the Flood and the Ark

Godly Play is a creative approach to Christian formation of children, and an important part of our family programming. Overhearing Godly Play is a new blog series by Robin Taylor that will put Godly Play in a context we all can relate to. Robin is a member of St. Paul's Cathedral, and a contributor to various cathedral activities. She particularly enjoys learning more about Faith and God from a child's perspective.

October 19, 2014: Lesson 3

In this week’s Godly Play lesson, the focus was God’s promise to Noah, to God’s family and to us, through the telling of the Flood and the Ark. We all know the story: People were going off the rails, God sent a message to Noah, Noah built the ark, the animals came, and then the rain started. And it didn’t stop for a very long time. I wonder how fearful and anxious Noah, his family and the animals must have been. What it must have been like for Noah to act on faith in the face of such overwhelming news. Faith that the rain would come, faith that the ark would hold, faith that its inhabitants would be safe, faith that the rain would eventually stop, faith that life would somehow go on.

What does this story say to us, as we face all the threats, real or perceived, in modern life that make us fearful and anxious? Virulent Ebola definitely freaks me out. The evil of ISIS makes my blood run cold. The pervasive California drought worries me for us now and in the future. But what if we are moved by faith instead of fear in the face of these threats? How does that change our behaviors and reactions, and thereby change the entire narrative?

Through the process of reflecting on this lesson with my 4 year old, he told me about the rainbow that appeared to Noah after the rain stopped. He told me it was God’s message that the rains had stopped and that it would never rain like that again. Then he said, “And that’s FOR REAL, Mommy. For Real”. Indeed, it is for real. It’s for real that God finds ways of washing us clean so that we may start over. And that faith is the bit that gets us through the really rainy times.

And speaking of water…as Dean Penny launches the 2015 Stewardship campaign – Living Water – I hope everyone can find a time that works in your schedules to attend, hear new ideas about where we are going at St. Paul’s and share your thoughts as well!

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