ST JAMES EPISCOPAL CHURCH
For What Would You Ask?
for the week of May 9, 2021
Youth & Up mini-retreat
What you need: a watch, clock, or timer; a quiet creative activity; a candle (if it's okay, or an intentional object like a cross); a Bible, if you'd like; paper; something to write with; a snack. Have your class with a sibling or other family members, or enjoy this time by yourself.
1) Begin with a transition time - Peace & Quiet: enjoy a creative activity for about 10 minutes (journaling, clay, music, Legos, drawing, etc.) - a time to change gears.
2) Next, clear that space, or move to another space, and light a candle (or place your intentional object). Settle in, and say a prayer, like: Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105). Offer more prayers, silently, or out loud, if you want.
Our focus for this class =
For What Would You Ask?
This Sunday is Rogation Sunday (What's that? You can read all about it in this Saturday's email: Online Sunday School!). "Rogation" means "asking" or "requesting" - it comes from the Latin verb, "rogare". On Rogation Sunday (and the following three Rogation Days) (and every day), it's a time to ask God for what we want and need.
Surprise! God already knows. But it's really important for us to ask, anyway. It is always, always a good thing to talk with God. Sincere "asking" prayers - petitions - are one of the ways we pray. So, friends, for what, exactly, would you - will you - ask for from God?
In the olden days, Rogation Days were focused pretty keenly on agriculture. With processions around the parish boundaries, and plenty of prayers, the priest and people asked God for the success of crops and herds, protection and peace, the cooperation and goodwill of neighbors - to ensure that they would have enough to eat, and to be safe.
Nowadays, we ask for those things, and we also lean toward Creation Care and an awareness of the interconnectedness of everything. We may or may not walk the boundaries and borders of our parish, like once upon a time, but we can ponder them, and more!
On this Rogation Sunday, you might consider all the boundaries, IRL or not, that surround you. We are expected to respect some borders (like pandemic restrictions; various legal, human-created lines and laws; the Ten Commandments, and more) - but some boundaries can be reassessed, or changed - and some can be celebrated, with gratefulness. Think about your boundaries, and ask God for protection, understanding, and justice.
Next - think about what you are hoping and trying to grow, literally (for real, like a vegetable garden or a pet) and figuratively (symbolically or metaphorically: for instance, a relationship, a skill, a side gig). Ask God to lead you in the right ways.
Now: remember your neighbors, and their needs. We're all connected. It's what Jesus talks about in today's Gospel lesson. Ask God for guidance and help.
Finish up with a heartfelt thank you for all of God's creation and love. AMEN ("so be it")!
Look at you! You just celebrated your own Rogation Day!