Since the trailer for the new Mr. Rogers movie starring Tom Hanks just dropped, I’ve been seeing a lot of articles or pictures of him pop up online. He believed strongly in the work of childhood, which he saw as play. He valued children, and he was key in many of our growing up stages.
Today I watched play happen at the library. In case you didn’t know, today is Harry Potter’s birthday. The library threw him a birthday party with games, wand making, and other crafts. Children and parents were really enjoying the free event, and this made me think about the work we do as the church. The library did this event to entertain children, but it also got bodies in the door, and once they are there, they might read and check out books.
This isn’t all that different than what Jesus did when he told parables, or when Charles Wesley wrote hymns with popular tunes of the day. They took things that were familiar to people, and they made a faith story with them. Kids are used to Legos, Harry Potter and other stories, and even things like slime! They love to play and learn about the world through it. If we the church use play the right way, we can encourage children to play in the stories of the Bible and learn about them.
This weekend we have a Lunch and Lego event where the kids will interact with a Bible story through Legos. Next Wednesday, we have our next Messy Church, and families will interact with the story of Ruth through crafts and even grinding up grain. I would love to have your help at Messy Church. I get the crafts ready, you just show up and eat dinner and interact with families. Messy Church is Wednesday, August 7, from 5:30-7pm.