Sunday, November 20, 2016

Celebrating Christ the King Day with Stories, Symbolic Eats, and Starting Our Advent Chain

We have a sickie here today, so were unable to enjoy the Solemnity of Christ the King the way we had planned.  Still, the day held its own beauty and blessings, which I share with you here in case you want to borrow any ideas to use throughout the week or in future years.

A Chat about a Servant King

This morning, we chatted about what kind of king Christ is and how He is different than other kings.  Some kings wear jeweled crowns and carry a scepter. Jesus wore a crown of thorns and used a cloth to clean another person's feet.  He was a servant-king on earth and now reigns forever from heaven.  How might we serve as He did today?  May we one day sit near Him in heaven?  How and why?

Picture Books that Relate to Christ the King

We also enjoyed read-together times during which we connected picture books to the Sunday Mass readings and to the idea of Christ as King. The majority of the stories we read were suggested on Storypath, however, some were ones we own or had previously read for our geography club studies. 

As you can see, we read and chatted about A LOT of books today (with the starred titles being our favorites)  They included:

What did the king appreciate about the shepherd? Did the shepherd ever falter?  Do we have a choice to move towards good - toward God - or towards bad with everything we say and do?  Are there any thoughts or lessons you have to take away from this story about yourself or about your relationship to Christ our King?

Is there another story we have read recently in which someone was loved even when they did not do right?  Did the chick in it sometimes make its Mommy sad or mad?  Did the mommy sometimes make the chick sad or mad?  But how did they always feel?  Is there someone who always loves us like that?

Can you think of a book we've read recently where love was shown to someone outside of a family, where words were important and someone had a chance to move toward God or away?  A story that was about forgiveness? What happened in the story? Did the boy feel good when he got the other boy back? How did he feel once he forgave the other boy? Can you think what Jesus said about forgiveness? Have you ever gained freedom through forgiveness?

What is another story we've read recently where words hurt someone?  Why did the creatures who spoke mean words speak them?  What stopped the cycle of mean words?  Isn't reconciliation a fabulous thing?  Aren't you happy Jesus came so that we might be reconciled?  

What is there in the life of the herd boy that might prepare him to make a strong leader? Can you think of Biblical shepherd kings? How about kings that lead by service and protection?

Was this story silly and fun?  What happened in it? What would it be like to be invited to be royalty?  HOW was the girl's kingdom - temporary or forever? Where is the only "forever kingdom" and who reigns there? 

How did the leader in this book change? What makes a good leader? What connection to Jesus can you make?

Cass gathered orphaned lambs to build his own her. Who else asks his flock to be fruitful and multiple, increasing His kingdom?

What happened at the beginning of this story? And the end? Who was protecting and comforting who? When we feel scared or anxious, can we feel the presence of God growing bigger in our lives much like the teddy bear seemed to grow bigger?  Isn't it fabulous how He, as our king, protects and comforts us?
Was Troto mocked for being small?  Did he win anyway? Who else was mocked, but was, then, victorious? Are there times when our limited understanding of ourselves or a situation did not allow us to see the power or glory that, in the end, could unfold?

Arthur was small and young? Was he expected to become king? Can you think of a king in the Old Testament who was also small, young and unexpected? How about in the New Testament?

Who created our world and is king over it? (Are there any differences between this retelling of creation and the Bible? What are they?)

Three Blessings of Sickbed Sundays

This morning, we also lived our typical three blessings of sickbed Sundays. Some of us stayed home to watch Mass online while others of us went to Mass locally.  We all served one another in one way or another.

A Symbolic Meal

This evening, the healthy ones among us enjoyed a simple symbolic dinner that reminded us about Christ's kingship.

Nina set our meal up as a picnic.  We used a Sacred Heart candle to remind us that Jesus is a king with heart and king of our hearts.  Nina also made pineapple crowns.

Among the foods and drink we served were ground meat and salad to remind us of our earth, where Jesus came to be a servant king and "royal punch" (pomegranate juice) to remind us of the royal color of kings as well as the blood Jesus shed for us.  Brussel sprouts also reminded us of earth due to their spherical shape.

Berries added nutrition to our meal as "crown jewels.  They also remind us of the colors in the Divine Mercy image.  Christ our King loves us with such kindness and mercy.

A gluten free tortilla and casein-free "cheese" crown was meant to represent the earth and Christ's kingship over all. 

However, the children thought it would be more fun to play with our food, making kingly faces, before we actually ate. 

A Start to Our Advent Chain

After dinner, the children dictated ideas to me for Advent Chain

Their ideas this year were:

  • Give someone a hug. 
  • Give a sad person a hug. 
  • Donate clothes to the St. Vincent de Paul bin. 
  • Pray for Nana and Papa.
  • Pray for S.G.
  • Pray for everyone with cancer. 
  • Pray for everyone who is sick. 
  • Pray for M to be converted. 
  • Pray for the reversion of all sinners. 
  • Pray for the reversion of family. 
  • Pray for all babies. 
  • Pray for abortion to be stopped. 
  • Pray for C. 
  • Pray for I. 
  • Pray for J to be converted. 
  • Make a meal for someone. 
  • Make a meal for Mommy. 
  • Give someone a secret gift. 
  • Write a secret letter. 
  • Fast from eating treat, and every time you want to eat one pray. 
  • Give someone cookies. 
  • Make someone else’ bed. 
  • Smile at a random stranger. 
  • Ask Mommy if I can do anything to help. 
  • Forgive someone in your heart. 
  • Pray extra for Eddie’s soul, Adrienne’s soul, and souls of other deceased friends and family. 
  • Put some more money in the baby bottle. 
  • Give away some stuff. 
  • Give a gift to someone to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

The children will be using their self-generated ideas as copywork throughout the coming week as they make our annual countdown to Christmas chain we'll use throughout Advent.

I'd love to hear about your favorite ways of observing Christ the King and preparing for Advent.  Do share in a comment here or on our Training Happy Hearts Facebook page.  Thanks!


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