At the end of August Carolyn Brown of Worshiping With Children pointed out that in the lectionary we could find Scriptures that illuminated the different parts of the Lord’s Prayer. It was amazing to see. Each week the Scripture connected to a different line of the prayer Jesus taught us.
Like a lot of liturgical churches, we say the Lord’s Prayer every week but we don’t usually spend time reflecting on or teaching the prayer. It seemed like Common Time, the teaching time of the church year, was the perfect opportunity.
Each week our children constructed a Pew Project based on one of the lectionary texts. I took these projects and turned them into banners. This was an awesome challenge. I had to find projects children could do in their seats during just the sermon portion (20 minutes) that connected with the Scripture and would look good and fitting in our sanctuary. But somehow I pulled it off.
Something I loved about this series was that our children’s art became a visual prayer for our congregation. They helped us pray better because they showed us what we were praying. I will never pray the Lord’s Prayer again without seeing a kingdom of swing sets, the temptations brought on by our fears of snakes, lightning, and monsters, and butterflies floating away with my anger.
We jumped around because the Scriptures weren’t in the same order as the prayer. So I hung eight white banners and each week added a new piece of the prayer. I also added a week for World Communion Sunday.
Aug 31 Proper 17 – Hallowed be thy Name
-The story of Moses before the burning bush. Children made shoes and fire as we remembered the ways that God’s name is special, unique and holy.
Sept 7 Proper 18 – Thy Kingdom Come…
-We talked about Jesus’ saying about the kingdom, and we talked about what it would look like when the kingdom of God comes. Children drew something that would be in God’s kingdom and we made a kingdom on our banner.
Sept 14 Proper 19 – Forgive us…as we forgive others
-This was the week we were taught to forgive 70 times 7 (or 77 times). We made 77 butterflies so we could see what that many times looked like. We practiced squeezing our palms together and letting go of our anger (along with the whole congregation).
Sept 21 Proper 20 – Give us this day our daily bread
-This week we heard the story about manna in the wilderness. The children received little pieces of “manna” and a puzzle piece. They glued their manna to their piece and I put them back together. What we saw was our manna – the bread and cup of Communion.
Sept 28 Proper 21 – Thy Will be Done
-We heard the story of the water out of the rock of Horeb. The children drew pictures of water on strips of cloth and we talked about how God so often does things in a way we don’t expect.
Oct 5 Proper 22 – “Our Father” (World Communion Sunday)
-God took care of Jesus because God was Jesus’ Father. God feeds us, too, when we have Communion. God feeds people all over the world! Children drew a picture of a person in their lives who takes care of them (mother, grandparents, foster parent, father, etc).
Oct 12 Proper 23 – Lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil
-Golden calf was the primary Scripture this Sunday. We had the children make pictures out of gold paper of things that made them afraid. Fear makes us stop trusting God and we need God to “get us out of here!” when we are so afraid because we can’t trust on our own.
Oct 19 Proper 24 – Thine is … the glory
-We talked about how this part isn’t in the prayer, but that the first Christians added this prayer because they needed to be reminded that God could answer these prayers. We looked at the psalm and all the different words that are used to describe this faithful God. The children wrote their words to describe God on paper and I typed them out and added them onto banner. My favorite – “Wow”