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Related Bible reading(s): John 12.1-8

All-age conversation

 A way for leaders to help all ages explore the reading.

During the weeks of Lent, we have been building ourselves up – training ourselves – in preparation for Easter. We have probably also learnt a few things along the way. What is the difference between training and learning? Let’s think of some examples where we use each of the words. How might you complete this sentence: ‘I am training for…’? Or this one: ‘I am learning…’?

Or, what about the difference between ‘learning about our Christian faith’ and ‘practising our Christian faith’? We often use ‘practise’ to describe what we are doing when we are learning – e.g. when we practise the piano. But practise really means preparing to perform, to do – as in ‘putting it into practice’. Some things are said to be ‘common practice’ – meaning things we do regularly. Of course, we usually hope that the more we do something, the better it becomes!

So, what does it mean to ‘practise our Christian faith’ in the world? And what is it that our Lenten training is preparing us for, or to do? Today’s Gospel story involves both worship (by Mary) and action (serving/caring, by Martha). Can we have one without the other? How might our church help us better to train or prepare for worship and for action in the world? Have we got the balance right? Which do we need to put more time/effort/energy into right now? How did Jesus get the balance right?

You may also find this week's Sermon ideas useful.

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