A Crayon Called Hope
I shaped the simplest of Children’s Sundays / Church School Sundays this year. I found a box of used crayons and taped words on them. More than any other color I used black because we need to change the symbolism of that color and its language use from common negative metaphors and the racism they often support. I found a slide show of people of the world bright in the many colors of skin and the many colors of costume and I asked everyone to come dressed in something of their favorite color. (basket of ribbons and pins for those who forgot)
A Call to Worship
We praise God for colors – silver and turquoise and magenta.
We praise God for colors – in sky and dirt and flowers.
We Praise God for colors – lavender, olive and scarlet
We praise God for colors – from infrared to ultraviolet.
We praise God for colors – black and white that let us see the rest.
We praise God for colors – changing with seasons,
sparkling in prisms, fading with sunset,
moulting in feathers or snakeskin or fur.
“De Colores” Mexican folk Song, Arr. Alfredo Morales
“For the Beauty of the Earth” Pierpoint/Kocher
“All Things Bright and Beautiful”Alexander / ROYAL OAK “Colorful Creator” duck/HOUGHTON
God of green frogs, purple lilacs, blue skies, brown eyes, red-winged blackbirds, black-winded gold finches, yellow sunshine, white clouds and gray clouds, orange day-lilies and orange foxes – we give you thanks for the paint-brush beauty of today, the rainbow of faith, hope and love, and all your children – many-who and many-hued – all over the world. amen.
Prayer of Dedication for the Offering
These are the gifts we bring; these are the hearts we open; this is the church we love. We pray, O God, that you bring together in a kaleidoscope of blessing – our gifts, our hearts and your beloved Church. Amen
Some reflections Genesis 1:1-5, Genesis 9: 12-13, 16-17
In the very, very first words of the Bible we discover that God created light. All was formless, quiet, dark, and there was great water and wind but then there was light and with light there was color. Color is the visual perception particularly in humans — like us — of those things we call red, blue, yellow, green. The spectrum of light interacts in the eye with sensitivities of light receivers. Different objects are seen in different colors because of how they absorb light and reflect light. And so from God’s light came colors on the earth.
The second story in Genesis is about the rainbow that appeared on the earth when the flood was over. You remember that there was a great storm – a storm that howled for forty days and forty nights, and God asked Noah to build an ark that would carry pairs of land animals and give a place for birds of the air to roost away from the wind, for the creatures of the sea were not in danger. At the end of that forty days and the one hundred and fifty days it took for the earth to dry out enough for the boat to land, God spread across the sky a rainbow, which is, indeed, color itself – color not in any particular object but perceived in the very droplets of water in the air, and those colors in the sky were a promise of God’s love forever. We rejoice in the rainbow colors particularly because as a symbol in our times they remind our church of its joy welcoming folks of all gender identities and sexual orientations.
And so today we celebrate the colors of faith. Some day we celebrate the sounds of faith — from the morning sparrow to a favorite song to a laughter, or the touch of faith in warm sand on the toes opr cool hand on the forehead, or the smell of faith — sea or bread baking or lilacs and later we have the taste of faith in communion.
Today it is colors of faith. What is your favorite color and why is it or what do you like that is that color?
(chance for sharing — widely taken)
Do you know that the Macaroni and Cheese crayon was named by a 6-year-old? The Crayola company’s crayon names used to be very plain. In 1992, the company opened up naming rights to sixteen brand-new colors (and they have done so a couple more times). Adrienne Watral got to name her crayon after her favorite food. 12-year-old Sam Marcus, who would blush when someone tickled him as a kid added the color Tickle Me Pink. Purple Mountain’s Majesty was named by an 89-year-old Mildred Samson — because coloring is fun for every age.
One of God’s crayons is named hope – I believe in a crayon called hope –the color that is all colors, that is drawn on the sky and the earth and the faces of human beings. You may see it as blue or red or purple or light blue or green. We are pretty sure that God’s color is never “white privilege” but rather it is always all of our colors.
Our colors … our colors …
(Any slide show of people of the world works wonderfully. We used Russian Australian photographer Alexander Khimushin’s, “The World In Faces,” a photo project celebrating diverse cultures around the world in his travels to 84 nations).
We are going to look at some of these faces – the colors of their skin, the colors of their clothing, the light in their eyes, and the rainbows in their smiles while I invite you to read out some of the names of God’s crayons. (And softly, gently they read their “colors.”)
(Words on used crayons: Listen, Calm, Dream, Healing, Celebrate, Laughter, Delighted, Home, Thank you, Faith, Happy, Blessed, Family, Believe, Grateful, Love, Smile, Relax, Peace, Justice, Kindness, Caring, Joy, Dance, Star, Serenity, Honesty, Mercy, Playful, Sunshine, Singing, Welcome, Imagine, Gentle, Vision, Creative, Balloons, Wish, Pray, Moonlight, Dance, Share)
Benediction after Communion
May God go with us today. May this bread give us life and this cup give us love. May God paint a great graffiti of hope across the world and open our hearts and hands to draw a small pictures of joy and healing for all we meet. Amen