Jacob wanted to go potty so I took him across the street. As we were coming out of the potty, the children started filing in for children's liturgy. Jacob wanted to go to children's liturgy. I waited a little bit but there was no sign of Mommy and Lucy. Jacob went into the pre-school room and I told him to wait while I went for Lucy. I crossed the street and went back into the church. With a quick look from the back I spotted the rest of my family. I went up and we asked Lucy if she wanted to go. She said yes, so Mommy took her across the street. Here's what happened according to guest blogger Mommy:
M: The teacher tried something new for the preschool class this week. Instead of reading a children's bible book to the class, she told a story. The story was about Jesus healing a leper. She asked Jacob if he would like to stand next to her and act as Jesus for the story. He declined, saying he was too shy, but then as she started to tell the story, he gradually edged closer and closer to her, taking tiny steps, until he was right next to her. Then he said "I can be Jesus for a few minutes." She started the story by explaining to the children that Jesus loves everyone. One day Jesus was out walking when a man with leprosy came to Jesus. At this point, the teacher explained that leprosy was a skin disease that made people feel "really poorly." Everyone thought the man should go away and not bother Jesus, but Jesus said "Bring him to me." The teacher told Jacob to say that line, which he did, in appropriately loud tones. Then Jacob was instructed to hold his arm out and say "Be healed!" Again, Jacob complied enthusiastically. I was really impressed with the teacher's ability to include the children in the lesson and was sure it would be very memorable, especially for Jacob. After the story, the teacher asked the children to give a round of applause to Jacob for being Jesus today. Jacob loved that, and especially asked me to include it in this blog writeup.Exciting times! They came back after the offertory was collected. The children behaved mostly during the Mass. Lucy took her shoes off again and kept popping up and down. At least she was quiet. She was extra-squirmy during the Lord's Prayer, so I picked her up. A first she was unenthusiastic about the sign of peace. After two or three handshakes, she wanted to shake everyone's hands around us.
After the story, the children did their usual bout of coloring while waiting for the signal to return to church. Lucy was very enthusiastic about coloring and really wanted to show her picture to Daddy (in church). I was barely able to restrain her from returning to church early. The kids attached their papers to a small bulletin board and several children (including Jacob) carried the board into church. At the front of church the priest was waiting and asked the children what they learned today. Jacob, as the one standing in front, was in the spokeschild role. He froze and looked to me for help. I whispered "Jesus and the leper." Jacob leaned confidently into the priest's outstretched microphone and said "Jesus and the leopard." Ah well.
We lit candles at the end of Mass. Lucy prayed for me; I didn't hear what Jacob prayed for. Then we headed across the street for tea and treats. We had good fun there. One of the ladies we met a few weeks ago called me over to their table and we had a nice chat about this and that. Next week is "half term" so all the kids are out of school and lots of adults take time off to do things with them. It was a very good day at church.
Father began his sermon talking about Jack London and the Superbowl. London has a quote about life: "The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” Once a coach used this line to inspire his American football team to go out and win. We all should not just be in life, but be a part of life. Do something to connect with others and to improve the world. This is the same lesson in today's gospel, where Jesus cures a leper and tells him to go and show himself to the temple priests. He can be declared clean and return to society. Father encouraged us to live life, not just to exist or coast along.