| |finished eggCrafting tabledecorating eggs garden in a jar
chocolate and things to eat
Messy Church - 25 March 2018
|Report and photos - Jim Paterson|
Church looked at
how Easter offers a ‘second chance’ to come to God –
it’s never too late. With crafts, activities and celebration time
in the church, finishing with a meal for the whole family.
recalled how two other men, both criminals, were also led out with
Jesus to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull,
they crucified him there, along with the criminals – one on his
right, the other on his left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them,
for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up
his clothes by casting lots.
The people stood watching, and the
rulers even sneered at him. They said, ‘He saved others; let him
save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.’ The
soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and
said, ‘If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.’
There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him:
‘Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ But
the other criminal rebuked him. ‘Don’t you fear God,’
he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence? We are punished
justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has
done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when
you come into your kingdom.’
Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’
Luke 23:32–43 (NIV)
late.’ They are ringing, damning, even humiliating words that
we’ve all heard. They can echo with fear and apprehension. From
the trivial (the train), to the life-threatening (disease). We’re
often too late, and the belief that it can be ‘too late’
with God is a beguiling and pernicious lie. But it is never too late
for Jesus. We know this, but which of us has not been tempted to
believe otherwise? In Luke’s account, there are many people at
the foot of Jesus’ cross and each responds to the crucifixion in
a different way. But the reactions of everyone – even ourselves
– are encapsulated in the criminals who hang at Jesus’
sides. On one side, the man mocks and taunts Jesus; on the other, he
recognises his guilt and Jesus’ innocence, and asks for
Before welcoming him into paradise, Jesus does not cross
examine the faith of the criminal. He does not question his doctrine,
or check that he’s been baptised. Neither does he investigate the
crimes that have brought him to the cross. He simply and solemnly
welcomes him home.
It is Jesus who is suffering despite
having committed no crime; yet it is Jesus who shows compassion to his
tormentors. He prays God’s forgiveness on the soldiers, and with
almost his last breath vouchsafes the comfort of salvation to the man
beside him. The enormity of what Jesus has done sits alongside the
small, even meagre plea of the criminal. It is Jesus who has done the
work, and we need only ask for it.
Jesus’ response to the
man on the cross is a promise of his response to us: that he accepts us
as we are, that he loves us just the same, and that it is never too
late to seek his forgiveness.
Our crafts included
Easter garden in a jar - We
made small circles of oasis or playdough and attached the moss and
three cross shapes, using six tooth picks or sticks and double-sided
tape, placing the whole item into an upturned glass jar. Screw the
lid on to the bottom of the jar. We talked about what happened in the
garden before Jesus’ arrest.
Plastic egg planters - We
decorated eggs with stickers, then open them and place moist
cotton wool in the bottom, sprinkling on a few cress seeds. We then
talked about the new life we can have through Jesus.
Easter Cross - We decorated
a big cross as a team effort for display outside the church over Holy
Week, using pictures and words. We discussed all the events that
make up Holy Week.
in the church told the story that our crafts had illustrated that
afternoon. With song and prayer we found out why Jesus died on the
cross to save us.
The afternoon came to a conclusion with a family meal where we could all swap experiences of th afternoon.
Next March Messy
church will be on Sunday 29th April
Published - 1 April 2018