February 2023 Messy Church
Are you willing? How can we make a difference?
February Messy Church was based around the story of the leper healed by Jesus. In this story, the emphasis was on what it feels like to be excluded and how we can be willing to include everyone and the effect on people when they are included.
This story can be found in Like 5 versed 12-16: 12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.
The leper definitely felt excluded-he looked different, people were frightened he might be contagious and he’d spent most of his life alone. But then he heard Jesus was in town-and he made his way to Jesus and said to him: “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” We talked about being willing to help people and thought about what it was like to be excluded and who might be excluded. To help us understand this further, the members of Messy Church experienced the difficulties of not having full use of their hands as we put on thick gloves to try to play solitaire, dominoes, matching pairs and a complete a simple jigsaw. We built communities from lego and decorated gingerbread men (who can’t fail to smile when they are given one of them?) We also thought about the thank you aspect and how grateful you are when you are included and how saying thank you can make a difference. We decorated hands and thought that there is always of something you can be thankful to God for and we developed that further in making wooden hangings with space for notes of things to say thank you for. We thought about how saying thank you makes you happy, as we decorated cardboard cut outs who raised their arms. We created a den as we thought about the need to have time to rest.
We thought about the story and what we had learnt from all of the activities as we joined in our 30 minutes worship session before joining together for a lovely meal of sausage and mash, peas and sweetcorn followed by arctic roll!