Part of my ministry is teaching. Today I taught Christians how to express themselves creatively. It didn't involve liturgy (hard to comprehend, I know), and it didn't involve prayer as we know it. This act of blessed creativity brought with it a panoply, nay a plethora of Epiphany moments in the context of the our discussion about the relative merits of arachnids.
It is fair to say that there was outer and inner cursing. There was modesty and self-reproach. There was some appetite to mechanise. There was considerable example setting, and yes - even the questions about the merit of the creativity in focus were heard.
But we made 200 Palm Crosses and God will see that they are good.
I was taught how to make a Palm Cross when I was a sprog and I have even had the opportunity to teach the kids to do it (which they managed, remarkably quickly I might add). But a dozen Christians sat together in the beautiful spring sunlight that floods through our Victorian stained-glass, chatted and fashioned these little worship-devices.
Yes, you can pay through the nose and buy them in pre-made. They look the business, all uniform, all neat and tidy. Ours have character and ours now have a far greater meaning to us. They are the work of our hands, some not as nimble as others.
To me, moments like these are a precious gift. They are an opportunity to put aside a couple of hours with a purpose and with others (so as not to feel guilty for stopping). They are moments when people who might otherwise have sat alone at home have now sat with friends in their church when only a year ago it was firmly bolted shut. They all learned something new, and the glee that they expressed when they 'got it' was a joy to behold. I now have a dozen flock-members who can (and should) teach others this noble art next year. Saturday is posy-making for Mothering Sunday (you will notice that I got it right that time). Coming together to be and do - perfect.
Pre-made palm crosses? Why would you!
And the pictures are amusing too, but that is a matter for us - not you!