Activities and prayers to gather the group and introduce the theme
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From nature to God
- Display an image of Jyoti Sahi’s ‘Dalit Madonna’. Ask people what they see, and in particular what connections they make between the figures and the rhythms of nature. The following description may be helpful:
The painting portrays Mary nurturing the Christ child. Nature, mother and child are interwoven. The child is depicted as a grain of wheat ready to be ground into flour. Mary’s thighs are loaves of bread. All four seasons are represented in seed, growing corn, harvested grain, and bread; as is day and night, light and dark, in the sun and moon. At the centre of the image are expressions of love, with the child enclosed and protected, ready for growth to happen.
- In speaking about God’s kingdom, Jesus often drew on people’s experience of nature, as we will hear in this week’s readings. Invite a few people to say, in just one or two words, what speaks to them from nature about God.
You could also use the image and following questions to help introduce the theme.
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- What do you like or dislike about this ‘environment’?
- What helps you to flourish?
- Where do you see God’s kingdom-values at work in your community?