Rosalie Sugrue of New Zealand sends in this morning a children’s story for Reign of Christ Sunday. How many of you can juggle? Oh, that’s most of us in modern life.
If You Were King
If you were a King or a Queen what would you want for your Kingdom?
I have 4 crowns here and I want 4 children to be my kings and Queens. As you know kings and need to be wise and brave. I want the 4 brave volunteers to wear these (cardboard) crowns, sit on these thrones (chairs) and listen wisely while I tell a story.
Once upon a time there was a new king. He was a young king and he didn’t want to be King. He much preferred being a prince but he had no choice. His father had been killed in battle and it was his turn to rule the Kingdom. It was not a large Kingdom but it was a lovely place with mountains lakes and rivers and good farming land. It was bordered by 4 other kingdoms. As a prince he had been able to swim in the lakes and climb the mountains and ride his horse across the fields. His father told him he could only do this because the Kingdom was kept safe by soldiers who guarded the borders. The city where they lived was enclosed by a wall and if trouble threatened the heavy gates could be closed. At times the prince’s father had to go away for a few days to calm trouble spots on the border and now he had been killed in one of these ‘calming incidents.’
Ruling a kingdom is serious business. The new King didn’t know where to begin, so he called for his advisors, the Lord High Chancellor and the Major General. ‘I need a plan,’ he said, ‘a strategy for ruling my Kingdom and keeping it safe, what do you suggest?’
‘You must build more walls,’ said the Lord High Chancellor, ‘Every little village must have a wall to protect it.’
‘You must double the number of soldiers and allow more money for training and weapons,’ said the General. The King thanked his officials said he would think about it.
After the officials had gone the King gave a great sigh because he knew there was not enough money in the royal coffers to do what either of his advisors wanted, and money was needed for so many other things like schools and hospitals and parks.
Now, the Jester had been in the room the whole time sitting quietly in a corner. This Jester had many talents including magic tricks, tumbling and juggling. Suddenly, the Jester sprang to his feet, did a triple summersault and bowed low. ‘Your majesty,’ he said, ‘allow me to lighten your load. If you will permit me I believe you have something in your pockets that you don’t need,’ and from the 3 pockets in the King’s gown he removed 3 balls and began juggling. As he juggled he talked, ‘These balls represent the worries of state – you have to juggle carefully to keep things going smoothly. Life is a balancing act,’ declared the Jester, standing on one leg and juggling the balls under his bent knee. ‘But being happy is the most important thing,’ he said catching all the balls as he did a back flip. The balls seemed to vanish into thin air and the Jester stood on his hands ginning at the King. The King couldn’t help but smile.
Still on his hands the Jester continued talking, ‘When in doubt try a new perspective. Important people do not always give the best advice. Children often have good ideas why not ask some children what sort of a kingdom they want. They might even have some ideas as to how it could happen.
So the King called for children, and invited volunteers for a royal task. He selected 2 girls and 2 boys. He gave them each a crown to wear and told them they were to think of themselves as Royal Rulers for the Day. Their job was to come up with ideas for making everyone in the Kingdom safe and happy. The children went away to think and talk with other people.
Now, my ‘Royal Rulers for the Day’ what do you think would make the people feel safe and happy? (You can go and ask someone for their ideas if you want to.)
Children share ideas (Prompt with questions if necessary.)
The children of that faraway country decided the best thing to make everyone feel safe and happy would be to teach everyone to be kind to each other. If everyone was kind and friendly there would be no need for walls and weapons. Instead of fighting they could trade with their neighbours and there would be money for important things like parks and playgrounds. That is the sort of Kingdom that Jesus talked about and it is a Kingdom that we can be part of.
Rosalie Sugrue, 2013