Acts 1: 9-11
Saying Goodbye is never easy, but did you know that goodbye is a secret blessing, it has it’s origins in God be with you, eventually it was shortened to Good bye.
We say goodbye when we leave or someone else leaves us.. it can just be until later in the day, or the next day, or it could be longer. The hardest goodbye is when we say goodbye forever and this is what the disciples were doing, they were saying goodbye to Jesus, he had been with them throughout his ministry, they had been with him through His death and resurrection, now he was leaving them for good.
When he died Jesus left behind his grave clothes so that they would know he had risen. But this time he left nothing but his shoes to be filled… and what big shoes they are.. I wonder how the disciples felt knowing that Jesus had left them to carry on the work he began.. and in turn the disciples have left us to fill their shoes. To carry on the work of telling people about Jesus not an easy task in today’s world. But it wasn’t an easy task either in Jesus’ day.
St Margaret Clitheroe
There is a woman whose name is Margaret she was born in 1556 in Middleton, England, she was a protestant and married a butcher who was quite wealthy in 1571. A few years after she was married she converted to the catholic faith. Margaret had three children. She was very enthusiastic about her faith, but it was a dangerous time for catholics as they were persecuted and if you didn’t attend the established church you were fined or imprisoned. After being fined more than once, she was imprisoned for not attending church. Margaret risked her life for her faith by creating a ‘priest hole’ in her house. It was there she hid priests so that they weren’t executed. It was during a raid at her house that a young scared boy told where the priests were hiding. Margaret was arrested and she refused to plead, so there was no trial, she was just found guilty and was sentenced to death by crushing.
On the 25th March 1586, she was executed by crushing in York on Lady day, which was also Good Friday. It was a horrible death.
Margaret walked to her death in bare feet, she left her shoes to her daughter Anne, a message for her to carry on her ministry, the work she began. Anne followed in her mother’s footsteps by giving her life to Christ and she became a nun.
Margaret was made a saint by Pope Paul Vl on 25th October 1970, and in 2008 a rememberance plaque was put up to mark the place where she executed.
Margaret is just one person, who stood up for her faith and was marytered – she had a lot of faith and courage.
The shoes she left behind were big ones to fill.
Many people from Jesus through to today, have stood up for their faith, never given up even though the road was tough, and even today many people are being persecuted for their faith.
Every one of us will leave behind shoes, I wonder what message we leave behind with our shoes??
Shoes can say a lot about a person.
- Shoes say a lot about us, for example a pair of muddy football boots tell a story of a football match.
- Scuffed school shoes, tell a story of days spent at school.
- Worn dancing shoes – tell a story of dedicated practicing.
- A pair of grandads slippers, tell the story of a home.
- A pair of shiny shoes, tell the story of nights out.
- A pair of sparkly shoes, tell of parties.
There are lots of games and crafts related to shoes that can played with children to illustrate our theme.
Shoe Relay from Perpetual Preschool
The kids can play a game called Shoe Relay. Each child takes off one of their shoes and puts it in a pile. One group of kids line up on one side, and one group on the other. When the teacher says go, the two kids run to the pile of shoes and try to find their shoe and put it on. If the children are able to tie their shoes, then let them. This will make it a little more challenging for the older children.
I wonder what our shoes say about us?
Will our shoes be ones that others will want to fill?