As I put together the resources for Tuesday’s blog, on helping the 3’s and under relate to the Revised Common Lectionary readings of the week https://thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/2018/07/17/after-pentecost-9b-ideas-to-help-the-3s-and-under-connect-with-the-rcl-readings-for-this-sunday/
My attention was drawn to the Gospel reading, easy I thought, loaves and fishes story again, easy! Then I realised it was only one part of the scripture Mark 6: 30-34 and 54-56.
The loaves and the fishes story was not a part of the reading.
The first part of the reading had my attention as I realised that it was every parents cry. “Just give me time to myself”, but the response is interesting, instead of diverting themselves to another quiet space, Jesus “had compassion (for the crowd) for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd” (NRSV). He cared enough for the disciples to suggest some quiet time, and cared enough for those needing them to care for them himself. What an image it paints for parents everywhere, struggling with that delicate balance of needs, mine and theirs.
I remember being told the story of Suzanna Wesley, throwing her apron over her head to “pray”, and that all the children, John and Charles Wesley included, knew this was the time to leave her alone as she needed to spend this time with God.
Then I came across https://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2015/06/year-b-proper-11-16th-sunday-in.html and her suggestion to use the wonderful book https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EA3blQB1psU FIVE MINUTES PEACE BY JILL MURPHY to explain this reading. There the poor mother struggles to find time alone, only to be joined by her children. How similar and yet how different to this weeks Bible Reading. Jesus wanted “to shepherd the sheep”, he seemed energised in His compassion, and continued teaching.
Our children want to be with us, just like the “crowd wanted to be with Jesus and the disciples. Just like Mrs Larges’s children. We have much to teach them, to find faith, how to worship, how to do community. Sitting in the pew on Sunday may be the time you crave to yourself or with your Maker. But it might also be the teaching moment that you have been given with your children.
May you chose wisely