Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Allegory of the Olive Tree

Our primary chorister has been sending out lesson ideas each week, which has made "home church" significantly easier. Her idea for today was to print out an olive tree, some good fruit, some bad fruit, and a fire. We'd begin the lesson by casting off the bad fruit and burning it in the fire. And then we would search around for the good fruit.

Instead, I wrote good and bad "fruits" on pieces of paper and hid them around the room and we found them and quickly sorted out what was good and what was bad. The good fruit we added to our tree, to remind us how we want to be:

The poor fruit, well...

"Can we actually burn it?" the kids asked.

Why not? This is home church, after all. So we went outside and literally burned our bad fruits.

The kids found it fascinating:

If you ask Alexander what we did for home church he'll probably tell you, "We burned paper!"

The older kids understood, though, that we were abandoning evil fruits. And already today we've had to discuss (on more than one occasion) whether we were cultivating good fruits or bad fruits with our behaviour. 

Mostly it was just interesting to watch the paper burn, however:

Kind of an unanticipated twist to my lesson plan, but what is life if not one unanticipated twist after another? For real though.

We also had singing time, as well as a more reverent sacrament time. Last week we had been asked to refrain from administering the sacrament at home but this week we had permission so Andrew blessed the bread and water for us after we sang a hymn, accompanied by Miriam on the organ. 

I feel so lucky to have such wonderful musicians in my home. Miriam played some prelude music for us, as well as the opening and sacrament hymns for our little service. Daddy played the children's selections for our primary music time. (And I was able to sneak in some practice time for myself when the kids were in the basement playing because they thought I was asleep; they are very nice about playing in the basement while I sleep and will let Andrew do whatever he'd like to do during this time as well (but the minute they think I am awake they are all over me)). It's so lovely to have our home filled with music.

Our last part of church was to fill a shopping bag up with items from our food storage to donate to Rachel's school. Andrew, Rachel, and Alexander went to drop it off (they had helpers with shopping carts, who would wheel the carts up to the vehicle windows, wait for the driver to place the bag inside the shopping cart and then would wheel away—no talking, no touching). They're trying to get boxes of food prepared for needy students to take home over spring break.

While school is in session—but remote—meals have been available for children both at the schools (for pick up) or at bus stops (for drop off), but the meals will be discontinued over spring break. Who knows what will happen after spring break, but some sort of something needs to happen to help the many people who were struggling before this crisis hit as well as the number of people struggling now that it's here (a number which is rapidly ballooning).

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