Today, one of the words we will focus on in our Advent Alphabet is “Jesus”.
I know Jack will be excited each time we read a story or do an activity about Jesus today. At 2 ½, he definitely feels connected to the infant Jesus and calls out “Baby God” whenever he sees a depiction of the Christ Child. It makes me melt!
|Nina, Sharing Her Coloring of Christ the King|
Nina and Luke will surely enjoy our “Jesus” focus today, too. It will mean that they get to spend more time on a project that they began yesterday towards the tail end of our morning learning period and are eager to get back into -- constructing a nativity scene out of blocks and homemade figurines. Plus, during read aloud time, will be able to catch up on a favorite Advent read, The Jesse Tree, diving further into faith history and the lineage of Jesus. Moreover, we will discuss how Jesus is not just a historical figure, but one who remains present today in Heaven, in the Eucharist and in our hearts.
|Luke added special detail to the circle jewel at the top of the crown. He decided to make it look more like earth, to remind us that Jesus came to earth for us.|
Speaking of Jesus in our hearts, I realized last that that although I shared last minute planning ideas for our Christ the King Liturgical tea, I never shared how it actually went.
So, here’s a picture recap:
Unfortunately, I failed to get a good picture of our table decorations, but I can provide a verbal snapshot: Since Jesus is king of Heaven and Earth, Nina decided we should use two tablecloths to symbolize each place. So, we used a blue one for Heaven and a cream one for Earth. At the end of the table, we placed a basket with some of our activities in it. In front of the basket was a printed Christ the King image. To one side, was a candle with a paper crown that Nina had made around it and, to the other side, was a candle with Mary on it, which Nina insisted we use since Mary is now alongside Jesus in Heaven as the Queen of Heaven.
GFCF, Plant-Strong Tea Time Fare
We enjoyed drinking Royal Punch (purplish-red colored 100% juice that, as Nina pointed out, could remind us not only of the royal color purple, but of the blood of Jesus as shared during Mass) and chocolate almond milk (because the kids don’t like real tea, but LOVE this and, because, as one of the kid suggested, the color reminds us of Earth, where Jesus came as child and king.)
|Apple slice hearts did not work so well, so we just made one crowned heart.|
Apple Slices, including a heart shaped one with a Summer Squash Crown (to remind us that Jesus is King of our Hearts – and to harken back to faith history and the Garden of Eden) We placed these between our “Heaven” and “Earth” tablecloths, to symbolize that Jesus’ love for us and ours for Him is our way from Earth to Heaven.
|Okay, so the clouds could have been better shaped.|
A Pineapple Crown at the center of a Blueberry “Sky” with Banana Slice “Clouds” (to remind us that Christ is the King of Heaven) We placed these, of course, on the “Heaven” side of the table.
|Of course, this plate was refilled more than once with our carb-and-spread-aholics. Thankfully, the greens were, too.|
Crackers spread with Hummus, Peanut Butter and Almond Butter, with a Summer Squash Crown at their center and Baby greens interspersed throughout (to remind us of the Earth, where Christ came to be a different kin of King – one who leads by serving) We placed these on the “Earth” side of the table.
We also had Mango Sorbet, which I forgot to get a picture of, because Nina waned it and persuasively suggested that it is the color of a crown.
|Not traditional prayer in this pic, but age-appropriate activity which focused the kids' eyes on Christ the King.|
Since I don’t normally take pictures while we pray, you can simply imagine the kids itching to dig into all the food after saying their own impromptu prayer, while I insisted on reading them the Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King as found at Catholic Culture:
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before you. We are yours, and yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with you, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known you; many, too, despising your precepts, have rejected you. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your Sacred Heart. Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Grant, O Lord, to your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give tranquility of order to all nations; make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever. Amen.
Prayer Source: Enchiridion of Indulgences , June 29, 1968
While eating, as planned, I mentioned Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks as shared at Catholic Culture that Christ’s kingship is not based on “human power” but on loving and serving others and connected this thought to the homily our local priest had offered that morning about earthly kings often ruling with a scepter that can bonk one on the head while Jesus ruled through service, with a towel and a bowl washing other’s feet. Then, we brainstormed ideas for how to love and serve others, which became the suggestions for our Advent chain this year.
We also led the kids in singing the Christ the King song found at CyberFaith.com:
|Luke was the first to dive into crown-designing, which he did completely free-style, as is his gift.|
After eating everything served on the table, plus extra servings from the counter, the kids designed their own homemade crowns with heart shapes to remind us all that Christ is King of our Hearts.
The children also enjoyed coloring images of Christ the King from Sanctus Simpliticus and Sermons4Kids.
|Then, while coloring, she decided her crown should have more hearts. So, she asked me to cut two more, which she added, before beaming about Christ, King of Heaven, Earth and our Hearts.|
As the kids made their crowns and did their coloring, I did as I had planned to do, an borrowing from Amy at Splendor in the Ordinary, discussed the fact that although “we pay special attention to Christ's kingship this day, He is King throughout the year... and throughout all of history.
|Jack, Just Beginning to Color|
|Luke's Completed Coloring and Narration|
The day after our tea, we continued our Christ the King focus by doing the word search from Sanctus Simpliticus and parts of Mama Erika’s Raising Little Saints Feast of Christ the King packet during lesson time.
I know these photos won’t help others much right now – since Christ the King day has passed for this year. However, they can be bookmarked or pinned for next year’s planning. Some of the food ideas can also be used on Epiphany – for there’s nothing like whole food crowns, right?
Are you planning any meals connected to the Liturgical Year soon?