Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:14-11:1
Key verses: (10:16-17, 31, 11:1) 16The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? 17Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
31So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 32Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, so that they may be saved.
1Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
Reflection: In our Weekday School chapel time, our team of brave volunteer moms come early and practice the story together. They wear simple costumes, and use simple props. For the Bible story last week we told the story of the Last Supper. Our props included real bread to tell the part about Jesus blessing, breaking and giving bread to his friends, and a bowl, pitcher, water and towel, to tell the part about Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. The three-year olds usually arrive first and sit on the front row. As we wait for the rest of the classes to arrive, the threes like to ask about what they see.
“Why are they barefoot?” “Where are their shoes?” “Can I take my shoes off?” and
“Why is there a sandwich on the table?” “Is that real bread?” “Is that real water?”
I love their questions. They keep me honest. You can’t throw out phrases like, “body and blood of Christ” with a group like that without some careful thought about what they need to hear and take away. Most of the little ones in that room are in what some scholars call the “intuitive-projective” stage of faith, meaning they project their own experience onto what they hear and see. Images, stories, gestures and symbols stir their imaginations. They are comfortable with mystery, but can’t yet understand symbolism, so calling something the “body of Christ” is confusing. But they are great imitators of what they see others doing.
Our chapel team gave them a lot to see, feel and imitate, as did Jesus with his friends. Sharing the bread, even when its full meaning is not yet understood, is a powerful testament to faith and food and fellowship. Washing one another’s feet is a concrete way to show servant love in both the giving and receiving. As the Weekday School children will grow in their understanding of the power of these images and actions and stories, so too do we all over our lifetimes. My prayer is that they, along with all of us, will stay close enough to a community of faith and to worship that we all have the chance to see and hear and have our imaginations and faith stirred over and over again.
Prayer: Lord, you walk beside us through every stage of faith. When our imaginations are full, and when our wells are dry, you are there. When the mystery of faith is a comfort to us, and when it frustrates us, you are there. When we are the givers of servant love, and when we are the receivers, you are there. Thank you. Keep me close enough to you to always be growing in faith. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].