Join our Holy Sherlocks (grades 4 – 6) group for our lesson this week. For anyone who would like to learn something new or reinforce something.

In times together and times apart, we celebrate God’s presence in all creation, in stories of our past and dreams for the future, our despair and praying.

Central to the texts that close out the final season of the church year is the promise that the liberating spirit of God, who breathes life into all creation, remains at work. This week, a story about lamps that are maintained reminds us that there is nothing casual about living as witnesses to God’s liberation and justice.

November 8 – Door Shut or Open?

Matthew 25:1–13 Throughout the gospel of Matthew, Jesus has been teaching the disciples what it means to live as Christians. Now he tells a story about how important it is to keep the light of faith burning, even when we grow tired or wonder if it makes a difference. Acts of love and service are like the oil that helps us tend the light within us. What keeps your faith alight?

Read Matthew 25:1–13 or Listen to the audio story “Enough for All” or gather around as someone tells the story “Ten Young Bridesmaids.”

In this parable from Matthew, Jesus is teaching about the reign of God. If the light of God’s love is to shine in the world, it is important to tend and nurture God’s love that is within and around.

How can we tend and nurture God’s love within and around us?
In what ways do we share God’s love in the world?

What prepares a person for life in God’s reign? Think about the source of energy in your life.

Using oil pastels or coloured chalk on drawing paper, create an image that expresses in some way the source of energy in your life. What is the shape, colour, and mood of Love within you?

Talk about how Love is expressed in acts of love in our world.

Candleholder Gazing at a light helps some people think about God.
Create a tealight holder from a small glass jar. You might follow the directions on this week’s

Children’s Activity Leaflet or your own design.
Plan a quiet corner or space where you can safely place your candle. A battery operated tealight is better.
Sit quietly, gazing at the light. Think about God’s love surrounding you.
Think about what you are doing, will continue to do, will do better this week to shine.Caution: do not leave an unattended candle burning.

Print this week’s children’s activity leaflet, which includes the story “Ten Young Bridesmaids,” an activity page, and craft.

Something to ponder (for ages 14 – adult)
This is a puzzling parable; it seems that privilege wins out. What if those described as foolish or ill- prepared did not have money to buy extra oil?

How might the parable change if we substituted the word “privilege” for wise and the word “poor” for foolish? What do you think about the bridegroom keeping the door tightly shut to some?

How does this parable fit or not fit with what you believe it means to be the church in today’s world?

During the week

A story about lamps and oil is a lesson about the importance of nurturing our faith and relationship with God. When we feel disinterested or even bored with faith, we are called to continue to seek God and practice God’s love. Our daily actions reflect “keeping the faith,” and can be the oil that fuels our lamps.

Do at least one thing that will nurture your faith each day.

Be the spark The Amnesty International logo is a candle wrapped in barbed wire, its motto: “Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” The candle is the light of public attention that Amnesty members shine on the hidden abuses (the barbed wire) of human rights violators. The candle is the spark for dramatic, positive change – as evident in the lives of many individuals and communities, in new institutions to protect human rights, and through work to strengthen the public’s awareness of our rights. The candle is a beacon of hope and solidarity for people who defend human rights at great personal risk, for people on death row, for the jailed and tortured and “disappeared,” for people suffering the loss of “disappeared” loved ones, and for people forced to leave their homes in search of safe refuge in other lands.page2image16352

 During this week, where might you be a be a spark for dramatic, positive change?

Listen and sing along to the song “Be God’s” (available here for purchase and download).
Visit Lection ConnectionNovember 8, for current events that connect with this week’s scriptures.

Prayer for each day

Light a candle or oil lamp before prayer.

LIGHTERThis is the light of Christ.
OTHERS: May the light of Christ lead us in God’s way.
Share prayers for God’s light. You might thank God for lamps that help you read or pray for God’s light to guide our leaders in peace.page2image22560

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