This year in Little Shepherds we have heard many of the parables of Jesus. These stories were describe by a friend of mine as being "short stories that go a long way". The children and I have used different materials to wonder about these stories together. They watched with rapt attention while I mixed 3 measure of flour with yeast until it was "leavened all through". They looked in shocked disbelief as I showed them a tiny mustard seed on the tip of my finger, barely larger than a speck of dust. We walked a wooden figure of a merchant all around the carpet imagining his search for fine pearls and then watched as he pushed even his wooden table out of his house to sell in exchange for one precious pearl. What did Jesus mean when he said the kingdom of God was like these things? I share the stories and then we wonder together (and usually sing a song). I tell them that I am still thinking about these short stories as a grown up.
One of the first parables we did together was the merchant and the pearl. The day after the presentation one of the teachers jokingly asked me when I was walking in, "so why did he do it? Why did he sell everything he owned for that one pearl?" I laughed and told her she would be better off asking the children. And thinking more about this, it occurred to me why this was true. Children are still able to really listen. They haven't developed that "oh--I know this story" switch in their brain yet. When they hear the story they also hear an invitation to wonder. The best part of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is that I am not expected to provide the answers. We can sit and wonder together.
Sarah Moyer-Thacker, Catechist
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level 1 Formation Course: Part II, will be offered July 31-August 4, 2017 at St. Stephen's Church. If interested, contact Gene LeCouteur, Associate Rector, St. Stephen's Church, 288-2867 or firstname.lastname@example.org.