That was the way with which I began our exploration of Ascension at the Valley Church School's service this morning.
The children were wonderful, attempting to read and then interpret "SAMTSIRHC" until someone tumbled to the fact that it might just be a real word in reverse...and we talked about whether at Ascension God took back the gift he had given when Jesus came to earth.
You won't be surprised to hear that I told them he hadn't...but I wanted to share with you what happened next.
The children are very familiar with the idea that Christ is the light of the world...Whenever we light their big worship candle in school we say
"God said" "LET THERE BE LIGHT": Jesus said "I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD"
so we talked about the way that the Paschal candle had represented that light for us ever since we lit it in the dark of Holy Saturday night...
Then I took it from its stand and hid it...but the children knew it was still alight.
Finally I used a snuffer and invited them to watch carefully as I "changed the light" *
It was amazing.
The smoke continued for almost a minute, pouring from the wick, dancing and wreathing the altar ...The children followed it with their eyes and were very ready to accept that the light was now transformed into something that was everywhere, something that was within them....
We prayed then I sent them out to get on with carrying Christ's love and joy to the world...
As they went, class by class, we sang "You shall go out with joy" and it was truly wonderful.
One of those days when I can really feel how blessed I am to work in this community.
*a Godly Play idea which I first met when preparing the Godly Play Baptism lesson