Grace | Arable Parable | October 2002

'Arable Parable' began as an installation based on the parable of the sower [Luke 8:5-15], created by Sanctuary for Greenbelt 2002 [click here to see their version or go to the Sanctuary section of this site]. Grace borrowed the idea for a child-friendly 'harvest festival' service. There are four stations: the path, the stones, the thorns and the good soil. The service ran from 6pm to 10pm, with a cafe for socialising, and people could come and go in their own time. Children were given a card with the parable on, and at each station there was something to glue to it - a feather at the path, sand at the stones, a dead leaf, petals at the good soil. There were child versions of the instructions/meditations at each station. The intention was to change from child to adult versions at 8pm, but the children didn't go home and the adults liked the children's version so we ended up with both!

Above & right: the path. The feathers stand for the birds that eat the seed.

The stones. 'What tests your faith: teasing, partners who mock or friends who poke fun at your scruples?'

'With charcoal write a word, or words on a stone, about those things that test you.'

'Then place the stone on the ground and walk away. In doing so you bring these things to God and leave them with Him.'

The thorns. 'Were you seduced by the bright lights and money? Has consumerism taken over your life, have you sold out to marketing hype? Do worries or guilt choke your relationship with God? Why not give your concerns to Him by washing your hands and saying this prayer...'

The good soil.

Plant a seed in a pot...

Left: Zac sticks a petal to his card.

...then paint the pot in the cafe. Many of the children preferred to plant the coloured feathers in their pots!

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