Sunday, August 29, 2010

We're IN the Kingdom

I had gathered a group of children to give the presentation of the Hidden Treasure. I had been giving "Kingdom" presentations over the past few weeks. I had noticed Cole, age 5, watching as I gave each presentation to other groups: Mustard Seed, Pearl, Seed. (Cole and this group had already had all these presentations in previous years.) He was also looking intently each week at the mustard seed and wheat seed.
As I gathered the group and told them that we were going to read another Parable about the kingdom, Cole said, "I've been thinking--Is the Kingdom like---the world?" I responded, "Let's read the new parable and see what Jesus says."
I proceeded to read the Scripture. When I brought out the material, a picture of a field and a small treasure box, Cole stood up, looked at his friends in the group, and said in a very confident and excited voice, "I knew it! Guys we're IN the Kingdom."

Catechist Impressions:
As I look back on this incident, I am so glad that I did not respond initially to Cole's question, because affirming his initial question would have robbed him of the joy of his own discovery and response.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

God was just trying to get his attention

A catechist presented the Kingdom Parable of the Hidden treasure to a group of five 5-year-olds.

During the meditation on the parable, and the discussion following the solemn reading, Lillian raised her hand to be called on. Then, slowly and thoughtfully, with her eyes looking upward, she said, "I was thinking about that treasure. Maybe God sent angels to bury that treasure in the field. But the treasure's not the thing--the field is the thing. And when the man saw the treasure, he knew how valuable the whole kingdom would be. God was just trying to get his attention with the treasure."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

We are the Pearls

A five-year-old was in the Atrium for her first year.
After the lesson on the parable of The Pearl of Great Price I asked what the children thought that Jesus might want us to know about the kingdom? She said, "I think we are the pearls and Jesus is the merchant who gives everything to have us?"

Friday, August 20, 2010

After the presentation on the Kingdom of God and the Hidden Treasure, I wondered what the treasure could be. Harrison, age 4, responded, “Pearls.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Pearl of Great Price

This picture is a 5-year-old girl's illustration of the Pearl of Great Price

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What could the treasure be?

The catechist was giving a lesson centered on Jesus' parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who found a treasure hidden in a field (Mt. 13:44)." Noting that Jesus didn't say what was in that treasure, the catechist posed the question: "I wonder what the treasure could be?" The group of 3-6 year-old children answered in turn: "Gold...A bright shining light...the Word...Yep, the book the Shepherd wrote...The Lord...I know it's Jesus...the Cross...A mustard seed...God's hat!"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In us!

Excerpt from DoubleClose: The Young Child's Knowledge of God, by our director, Catherine Maresca:
I was in a group of children that included five-year-old Harry. We were speaking about the mustard seed as an image of the kingdom of God. I asked the children to think of other places where this power of God exists. Harry immediately said with a big smile, "In us!" The other children listed various animals and plants, and Harry repeated, "In us!" The others continued with their ideas and Harry announced a third time, "In us!"
Theological Reflection:
Young children are small and vulnerable. But they are actively working to be strong. As infants, they are often moving their legs and arms to prepare them for crawling and walking. When they start to walk, they like to carry the heaviest bag that they can find. By age five, a good race across a field is exhilarating for them. Harry rejoices that this parable affirms the power within him and his growing strength. It connects his life to God's life, his strength to God's power.
God's life is just as present within in us all. A life that grows from small to large, and from weak to strong. In us! A life that reflects God's love. In us! A life that joins us to God, to one another, and to all of creation. In us!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Jesus is Everybody's Color

During the reflection on the mustard seed, Wendy (age 5) said, "The power of God makes the seed grow." Later the skin color of Jesus came up. She said, "Jesus is everybody's color."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dylan, age 3, met me at the door when I opened the atrium and asked to work with the Mustard Seed. As we read the scripture together, he repeatedly pointed to the photo of the mustard tree, and said “Look how big!” His eyes seemed to be shining with joy as he listened. When we finished, he asked to sing a song about the Mustard Seed.

Monday, August 2, 2010

How is God's Kingdom like a Mustard Seed?

Q. How is God's kingdom like a mustard seed?
Jillian, age 5: It's like Jesus who started as a tiny baby and grew and grew - big in love.
Kyle, age 5: It's just small when it starts. And then the love spreads out and grows.