Sunday Reflection: Wisdom

The obvious theme running through all 4 RCL (Revised Common Lectionary) readings this week is Wisdom.

From wise sayings(Proverbs 1:20-33 and James 3:1-12) through to being told where wisdom comes from( in Mark 8: 27-38 and the Psalm 19), there is a wide choice of material to exegite and think about.

Due to Feminist Theology the feminine expression of God, Sophia is more widely recognised and used by mainstream theologies. Thus the female voice of Proverbs 1 will have been identified and stressed from many pulpits today. Feminist Theology like Child Theology is an offshoot of Liberation Theology. Whereas with Child Theology we see the text through the child, feminist Theology opens our eyes to the feminine in the text, or to the lack of the feminine.

Now all of these texts, do not refer to children, but we can still find the child or in this case the ommission of the childs voice in the text.

Before we wonder about where that voice might be, or why it might be missing, I want to turn your attention to another issue. As long as I have been listening, I have heard exclusively of the moral message, especially in James 3:1-12, that creeps in whenever we have a Wisdom text. It is as if we can not exam God’s Word without our own agenda. How to be GOOD. As soon as we start moralising the text we make it a weapon upon which people can be divided as Good or Bad. By doing this we are left in a rather unfortunate situation when we look at Peter in the Mark reading. He is definately rebuked, that would possibly make him rejected and yet those of us who have read the Bible on numereous occassions would know that he became the foundation of the church. Children and those coming to the story for the first time, when approaching this passage as a moral teaching may feel that they are inadequate, less of a child of God, but Peter should reassure them not condem them that we all need to understand Jesus’s teachings more fully.

The fault is not in the passage but the way we approach a passage such as this.

If instead we appraoch this and the other wisdom sayings in today’s readings as starting points of discussion, we would all still be learning but we would be bringing ourselves, we would be being shown how to have a lifelong interation with the text, and we would have an awareness of the way that others may understand this passage diferently to ourselves.

We don’t need to make it a moral lesson for us to learn and grow in faith from these passages. That is not to say that we may make moral understanding from them but rather that we will hear a greater richness from them.

In one of Renata Weems book she outlines how she understands the Jews to use these readings as starting points of discussion. If we follow this understanding from Jesus’s expereience than it is not difficult to see that using that form of teaching rather than a stated outcome type of learning might help us to engage more richly in the text.

At present I am rereading Godly Play by Jerome Berryman, when I look at his method for experiencing Biblical texts and faith practices,I find a way of teaching that also allows us to enter the text in a richer way. It allows for the child to find their own understanding, God’s wisdom, from the text, without an agenda overlay (ie such as a moral lesson).

Anyone who has taught Godly Play, or really just taught children will know that moment when God’s Wisdom shines through the child, when they express or crystalise a thought that they have either been grappling with or just come to see. I love those moments, they are the ones that bring me great joy, becasue even if I don’t see something new, I see something of God in them, and it is amazing.

Before I finish I’d just like to share where I found the omited child’s voice in today’s readings? Psalm 19 reminds us to find wisdom in the world around us, and James reminds us all that we are children of God, there is nothing to quantify wisdom s being attached to the chronological ages but rather it is found in searching for God and is from God. Open to all.


Wendy Lewis


After Pentecost 16B: ideas to engage everyone(especially the youngest) in the set RCL readings for Sunday

Photo by alleksana on


For anyone looking for ideas to help share God’s word with everyone including the youngest.

Whether you are preparing traditional worship or an all age or Intergenerational service.

OR you are a parent wanting something for your children to use either in face to face or broadcast services, as you parent from the pews or couch

Or during family devotion times.

I use easily found ideas to help you share the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) readings with children. Instead of sifting through many websites, facebook , pinterest, instagram, and blog posts; this is a one stop shop where I have done the sifting for you to find theologically and developmentally appropriate material for your congregation or family.

Though you will find simple ways into the text here THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THOUGH THAT YOU CAN DO IS SHARE YOURSELF AND YOUR FAITH. I firmly believe that it is in the relationship, that the Faith formation of the next generation truely starts. You will notice that there are very few prompts or questions on this page. This is to allow your child to do the thinking and to work out what is important to them from the texts. Sometimes they may give you an insight or even ask a question? There are no wrong insights or crazy questions, and you are enough, enough to listen, enough to work it out together, ENOUGH to share your love of GOD with your child.

Here is a great presentation on children’s spirituality, but most importantly from the 40 minute mark on, it speaks about the imporantance of teaching through story and explains the process I recommend you use with children.


We are still in the longest liturgical season, the season after Pentecost. This season takes up half or the year, and it’s liturgical colour is green. There are no major celebrations during this season, and some refer to it as Ordinary Time. For me it is a time to celebrate everyday joys, to see God in the ordinary, in the everyday, and to hear the everyday stories of Jesus.


If worshipping at home. You may want to set up a space/alter/focal spot, to bring out when you worship or to keep out everyday.

You can do this by setting up a candle, and add the things that remind YOU of God, a cross, a word, a special object, even something from one of the readings.

If able to worship in the Church buildings pack a special backpack, as well as filling it with your Covid Safe equipment, add the books or materials required to help your young ones relate to today’s readings.

For adults and older students you might like to take a journal with which to record anything that grabs your attention during the service. Write a precis of the message (traditional or sensory word), draw or write a response in and keep a record of emotions. You could use a template like this free download





You might like to start with the Lord’s Prayer if at home, or say the Lord’s Prayer within a set place if following along in a service. Here are 4 options


A more contemplative version

Or for a more Intergenerational approach try Number 1 on the Table Settings album by Liturgical Folks


Five Fingered Prayer

FIRST READING: Proverbs 1:20-33

READ Through your eyes:My Child’s gift to me by Ainsley Earhardt


A storypath suggestion

SING Where it all Begins on Walking with the Wise by Sovereign Grace Kids


Sophia ,


Open my ears(point to your ears)

To hear you

Open my eyes (point to your eyes)

To see you

Open my pores (walk your fingers up your arms)

To feel you

Open my taste buds (stick out your tongue)

To taste you

Let me deeply breath(take a deep breath in, then slowly let it out)

To smell you




DRAW: Draw your favourite image from the Psalm.

Without actually SHOUTING: how might you “shout”/let people know, about God?

SECOND READING: James 3:1-12

READ: The Whirl Storybook Bible, pp.394-395 Taming the Tongue

DO: Put a drop of food colouring in a clear glass/cup of water. Throw a pebble in a lake or a pond or the sea or a bucket of water


GOSPEL READING: Mark 8:27-38

READ: Meet James in Mark by Matthew Sleeman Mark 8:27-9.13 first 2 paragraphs

OR pp.30-35, 3 stories, Who do you think I am?, Rejected, killed and back to life?, How to save your life?


PLAY out this story, dress up and play the parts, or make puppets out of paper or your toys?

SING One Thing by Snack Music

SENDING HYMN Tell the World by Hillsong Kids Learn the actions here


Wendy L.

Please check local guidlines before using items that are not mine especially if you are using this page for congregational use. Please acknowedge this page if you find it useful.Thank you.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.

After Pentecost 17B: Ideas to share the RCL readings with the 3’s and under.

These are suggestions only to help parents/caregivers engage their children in services that use the Revised Common Lectionary. They can be used by parents/caregivers or those who help out in small congregations that can not afford to pay Child and Families Ministry. Some congregations use all 4 readings in their services others only two. Prepare a special church bag in advance each week so that you are ready for the rush on Sunday Morning.

Read during the Bible readings,

Pray during the prayers,

Colour, Draw or Craft during the sermon.

Remember that little ones will need their own space to move and wiggle,

Sit towards the front so they can see what is going on. Craft or drawing or play are for spiritual responses not for a perfectionist piece that can be shown off.

Remember you have bought your child to worship. Enjoy engaging them in it.

You might need to prepare these in advance, and place them in a special Church Bag ready to go for Sunday Morning. THIS IS A NEW SEASON, AMERICAN FALL OUR Spring . For $10 American dollars (about $Aus 16) you have 12 weeks of colouring sheets. Or you can combine with other parents or ask the Church to make the purchase for yourself and the families.


Communal toys such as dolls house, cars, trains or farm sets

Sticky stars

Paper plate,


red or pink ribbon or felt

things to make choices with such as spoon, fork, 2 coloured hair, tis, 2 toys, 2 cars etc


OLD TESTAMENT: Proverbs 1:20-33


as suggested

DO: Catch God Words,  Ask your child to listen for a word or two depending on how old they are. For example “tell me when you hear GOD or Jesus, or Love” if they don’t remember just give them a gentle reminder. You might like to put a star sticker on the pew sheet each time a word is said. Don’t get competitive about this game.

PLAY: with communal toys such as a dolls house or cars or trains



LISTEN: no. 10 Acceptable


OR if you bought the Lent series



WATCH/READ: Willow by Denise Brennan-Nelson 

as suggested by

FIND: Little things can make a big difference, what can you find in your church that is small but makes difference. Can you draw them?

MAKE: make a face, use a paper plate, draw eyes, nose, ears hair, etc, then glue a piece of  red or pink felt or ribbon to make a tongue, a tongue that can say little or a lot, nice or nasty things.


GOSPEL: Mark 8:27-38

READ: pp30-31 this may be available in other languages.

PLAY: a choice game, put two things out and get your child to chose only one. eg, spoon or fork, bible or hymn book, two different coloured hair clips, the rings on your finger, between two cars, etc.


I can choose you God (point your finger away from yourself)

You gave me a choice (point your finger upward)

Help me to make the right choice (point your finger at ourself)



Wendy L

PS if you make any faces send pictures of them for us to be inspired by them.