Preparation: Find something of yours (or make it up) that is important in your family but maybe is kept away for ‘safe keeping’ or special occasions. For example, we had my grandmother’s silver in the basement for years, never being used. And recently found it and brought it out and use it every day.
And/Or have a pottery jar (or better yet have multiple jars) or something that can represent the jars.
Gather the children with you. Show them the item you brought. I will use the silver in my example.
Good morning! I brought with me, well, it’s a fork right? But it’s a special fork, see it was my grandmothers and it is all silver, very fancy. She and my grandfather were given this at their wedding. And it was very special to her. So special that she really never wanted anyone to use it because she was afraid it would get messed up. Do you have anything like that in your house? Or a family member’s house? (take answers)
Today we read about a wedding that Jesus is at. And so I was thinking of this story as I thought about my grandmother’s silver. See Jesus was at the wedding with his mother. And something happened. The people giving the wedding ran out of wine and Jesus mother, Mary, told him to fix this problem to help the wedding couple and parents who were giving the party. There were these jars filled with water (if you have the jar or jars show them) and they were used for purification or for washing–washing hands and feet and getting things all cleansed for the wedding. (rub your hands over the jars as though washing) So this water was even pretty dirty and had been used. But it was also special water, set aside for the purpose of cleaning. And when Mary tells Jesus to help the couple, all these jars that were bigger than this and there were many more of them and have water, get turned into wine. Jesus did not let something that was set aside go to waste. He used these jars and filled them with wine as a way for people to not only see who he was, God’s son, but also to show that God’s love and grace are big and overflowing and are so big and over flowing that even things that we think we should not use or only use for special things, become a part of the gift and promise we have from God.
So this sliver from my grandma. It does not bring much joy sitting in the basement. But when I take it out and use it and allow it to be a gift that is seen and felt and held, suddenly it is something that is offering a gift of joy, of remembering my grandma, of being a part of our family that celebrates and is connected together. So even an ordinary fork gets to remind us of God’s big love for us and that we can share this love with others by bringing our gifts out in to the light to be seen and shared–that is what God’s love is. It does not need to be saved up or only used at certain times, but is for all the time.
Can we name some gifts together that we can share–take answers but be sure to include things like smiles, hugs, notes, and simple I love you as ways of sharing God’s love.
God of Big Love, Your love is so big we sometimes cannot describe it. Help us to see it overflowing in our families and friends and homes and days. Show us how to share this big love and not hold it back for special times but to let it be in the light all the time. Amen
Gratitude Jar–Have a large jar for people to write ways that they have seen God’s big love in the world and in their lives. Write them down on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. You can collect these just today or for the year! Have someone type them up or paste them up onto a big heart so they can be read.