The last Sunday in the liturgical year is what Christianity refers to as Christ the King Sunday. The Gospel text this week in the lectionary was Luke 23:33-43. It is actually a perfect fit, if one sees the death of Jesus on the Cross as an enthronement, the penultimate example of how the Triune God reigns in the concrete history of this world (the ultimate demonstration lies in the subsequent resurrection of Christ).
In order to emphasize the importance of this day, I decided to get a little creative after an inspirational trip to a comic book store. Thanks to my awesome blogging partner in crime, Optimistic Chad, whose actual super power is to be more optimistic than any person in the history of the world.
Amen! I believe in you! I really couldn’t tell if Chad was really a youth pastor in that video, could you? [insert: witty sarcasm, but out of love]
Early in the week , I had decided the children’s sermon I was going to give was going to be about hats. That’s right. Hats. As usual however, I made some change ups to children’s sermons provided by my resources, out of necessity and creative difference. First I showed the kids a bike helmet, and asked, who would wear one of these? Is it safe to ride your bike without a helmet? The correct answer would be no. Second, I showed them a camouflage cap (which could be used for hunters as well). I explained that soldiers were called upon in times of emergency (ideally), such as to engineer reconstruction efforts after a natural disaster like an earthquake or a tornado, or to defend the country when it is attacked. Then, lastly, I took out of my bag the last “hat” I had, which was the crown of thorns (from the altar). I explained Jesus did not have a bicycle or chariot awaiting for him. He did not have an army to lead, a crown made of jewelry, or the best robes money could buy. All he had was the Word of God. His crown is made of thorns because it was his job to suffer and die on the cross for us so that he may reign as one king of all. Then I ended it with prayer.
Perhaps my coup de main of the day was the idea of Superhero Sunday for the kids. First of all, understand there has been a self-imposed moratorium on using the DVR. We had begun to be to rely way to heavily on it. So this was the second week of not using any of the DVR players. The first part of my lesson plan included explaining that it was Christ the King Sunday, and also Superhero Sunday [works perfectly for me since, Clement and Athanasius see the Logos as some sorta alien power manifesting itself into a Clark Kent-like human appearance ;-)]. Next, I informed the class that we would be playing a game of Green Lantern outside, but first they had to learn to find the Bible passages they were going to use as oaths. I, of course, had the Black ring, since I was going to be the villain. The class was evenly divided into two teams, since they chose the same colors, one team green, the other blue. But here is the kicker; after they listened to the Dark Knight soundtrack (Hans Zimmer classical music which rocks!), I explained to them the idea of power rings and the colors associated with them. Blue was for hope, and the team who had blue rings learned three passages about hope. I told them but without action/doing something, hope was nothing. This was where the Green rings came in, and I said that taking action without any hope (like having our hope in Christ the King) was useless as well.
The game was like a modified version of t.v. tag, only we pretended to fly and had rings to tag people. Once a person was tagged, they had to find one of the three Scriptures related to the ring oath, and read it aloud, and then subsequently, the Lantern and his/her teammate were “it.” and we would start the process over again. The game ended in a tie, and I, the Black Lantern of Deconstruction lost.
To conclude the service, we went back inside, and each of the kids prayed and made sure to mention the Thanksgiving holiday coming up.
All in all, a great day.
In ode to Superhero Sunday, Pillar’s Original Superman