Friday, November 16, 2007

Week 2: Hope (color: Blue, November 25th)

This is also my goddaughters nameday (St. Catherine)! I will hopefully post more on that later. But will now restrict my post to the second Sunday in the Nativity Fast. That which begins the week of Hope.

Luke 1:29-33
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

For the little ones: A traditional Christian symbol of hope is the anchor (as St. Paul writes, "We have this [our faith in God] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul..." Hebrews 6:19). It ranks among one of the most common symbols in the catacombs. Moms, get thin pieces of cardboard and trace/draw an anchor onto it. Cut out the anchor shape so that a stencil remains. Buy/make some washable window paint in various colors and get some sponges. First, have your children help clean the window(s) they'll get to paint on. Then give each of your children a stencil and a sponge and help them to paint anchors onto your windows for decoration during Hope week (or the entire Nativity fast, if you wish!).

Another project is to do a science-like demonstration. Have your children help you make a toy boat. You can make one out of a clean Styrofoam meat tray (or a cut up take out container). Insert a straw into the tray for a mast and tape triangular sails (cut from construction paper) to the straw. Tie a string to the bottom of the straw and let hang. Fill your bathtub with water and place the boat in. Have your children help you make waves in the water through splashing with your hands (or do this demonstration during bath time!). Talk about how the boat moves all over the place and can't hold steady. Then tie a rock to the end of the string and show your children how it anchors the boat in place. Direct the conversation to talking about how our faith in God is an anchor that holds us in place as we struggle in this world.

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