About a year ago, I ran across this book called “Who is my Neighbor?” by Amy Levine and Sandy Sasso. It beautifully told the story of the Good Samaritan without mentioning God, Jews, or Samaritans. Instead, the two groups are the yellows and the blues. Both groups have grown up with the understanding that their group is the best, and the other group isn’t as good as they are. One of the blues falls off his bike one day, and he expects another blue to stop and help him, but none stop! He is frightened when he sees a yellow come by, and the yellow is a little scared to help, but in the end, they overcome their fear of the other and help each other out.
When I first got this book, I knew I wanted to use it as part of a Messy Church program. It was such a great way to explain the Good Samaritan to children, and it even explained the complicated history of the Jews and Samaritans in a way that adults could understand quickly. In a way, it even helped inspire the sermon series where we explored Mr. Rogers and faith.
So for Messy Church, we will divide the group into the blues and the yellows, come up with a chant, and then do our evening activities that all have a yellow or blue element in them. We will make some stepping stones to welcome our neighbors to church, we will make art by melting blue and yellow crayons together, we will make bags of food to hand out to our neighbors, and several other things. If you have never been to a Messy Church, this evening will be a good excuse to get out of the cold, have dinner, and watch as children and families learn the story of the Good Samaritan together. If you can’t make it, remember to treat your neighbor as you want to be treated.