We threw snowballs in worship last Sunday.
Well, they weren’t exactly real snowballs. It’s Ottawa, after all, in December — and there’s still no snow on the ground! Just paper crumpled up into a ball. We’re warming up for the winter still-to-come.
At the beginning of worship the children threw about a dozen of these ‘snowballs’ into the congregation. And those who caught them were instructed, during the time leading up to the children’s chat later in the service, to get pen to paper.
The Gospel texts these Sundays in Advent focus on John the Baptist (Luke 3). John’s job was to get the message across that the Messiah was coming. In truth, that is generally the job of the prophet: to tell the people what they need to hear in order to prepare for what God is about to do.
In our day and age people everywhere are preoccupied with their smart-phones and social media — to ‘message’ their friends. Messaging is now cornerstone of our culture. What we message — for better or for worse — is vital to maintaining our relationships.
So, we were going to practice what we ‘message’ to one another in the church, and to the world. Those who caught the paper snowballs wrote a short message that the children would later hear read out loud. What message would children hear, this Advent as we prepare for the coming of the Lord?
Here is what members of the church wrote on their snowballs:
1. Wishing you peace, hope and love at Christmas
2. Remember Christmas is not about presents but about spending time with those who love us
3. God loves us so much that he sent us Jesus
4. Show your friends love like you show your family because they love you too
5. Stop! Look! Listen! Feel the love!
6. Share with your friends
7. Every day say thank you for something that you are really thankful for. Especially for the little things that made you smile
8. Jesus is coming and is in your heart
9. God gave his only Son for you!
10. Rejoice, for Jesus is coming 🙂
Of course, at the end of children’s chat, those who wrote these messages delighted in throwing the snowballs back at the children. “If you’re going to give it, you also have to take it,” we said.
True prophets in this crowd!