This Sunday we celebrated Epiphany at Duke Memorial. I love Epiphany. Here’s how we marked God’s “revealing” of God’s self in Jesus.
Chalking the Doors We lived into the tradition from the Middle Ages of chalking our doors. For their Pew Projects our children “practiced” chalking on a black piece of paper so they could chalk their doors and bless their own homes. 20 and 15 stand for the new year (2015) and C+M+B stands for the names of the 3 wiseman (symbolizing hospitality/welcome to Christ) and/or for the Latin saying “Christus Mansionem Benedicat” which means “may Christ bless this house.”
Chalking the Sidewalks We also blessed our church, asking people to come out after worship to share words of welcome with chalk on our sidewalk. I loved walking around the front of the church today to see the message and words of blessing written there.
Gifts for the Diaper Bank Since Epiphany is also the time when we remember the magi who visited Jesus, we asked our church to give a gift to babies in our community. Throughout the month we are collecting diapers for the Durham Diaper Bank, a non-profit that provides diapers of all sizes to families who cannot afford diapers.
I’ve finally cleared out my office of piles of Advent and Christmas worship supplies. I was too busy pastoring to blog it all, but here’s a little look at the ways children were ministers at Duke Memorial during this season when we waited then welcomed Emmanuel, God with us.
Repent! We got our hearts, bodies, and minds ready remembering the larger-than-life John the Baptist, who prepared the way for the Lord. Children got a bag of cloth scraps and tissue paper and showed us what they saw when they heard the description of JTB.
Living Gospel Much of our Sunday school hour was spent getting ready to share the Gospel with our congregation on Dec 21. Our older ones prepared to tell the Christmas story and made props/sets while our little ones made crafts to prepare the manger for the arrival of Jesus. It was a wonderful time of worship. In between scenes our choir sang parts of Messiah. We had a wonderful director and some of our children even memorized their parts. Can you imagine how amazing and empowering it would be to be a 10 year old girl who could recite the Magnificat? Because Charlotte can!
Jesus Genealogy We had another Pew Project where we remembered the people in Jesus’ family tree. During worship children each got to color a picture of someone from the Old Testament who showed up in the line of David. Children put them in clear bulbs and added them to our chrismon tree after worship.
St Nicholas At the beginning of the month we celebrated the feast day of St Nicholas. During worship children brought their shoes to the back and during the service the high school youth filled up with their shoes. We had a prayer card, an orange, several gold coins, and a candy cane. Each corresponded to a story that I told about the life of St Nicholas. Children also colored a stained glass St Nicholas during worship.
We also had wonderful Wednesday services where our children prayed and served as acolytes. It was a wonderful season of waiting, watching, and then of celebration and hope.