By the Rivers of Babylon – Remembering
Psalm 134 tells how the people of Israel were sad and angry when they were taken into captivity by the Babylonians. Being in a strange place, especially when it is forced, gives rise to both sadness and anger. This is very relevant in much of what is happening in today’s world both in physical form (eg refugees) or in term of prejudice or oppression. We all experience these feelings to some extent even in our so-called ordinary lives. We learn from the psalm that God is always with us and values us, whatever we are going thrugh.
It was a very hot and sunny day so we could work outside. The activities involved finding your way through a maze, drawing pictures of “home”, making a “volcano” of bubbles (angry bubbles) and writing what makes you sad or angry on a tear-shaped piece of paper which is then hung on a weeping willow tree (specially made of canes to make it transportable!)
The worhip was a re-enactment of the story in the Psalm. We created a river with blue plastic sheeting at one end of which stood the weeping willow tree. Under the river were pebbles. Three fierce Babylonian soldiers brought everyone to sit by the river side and we listened to the Boney M song which tells the story. We then sang our own song (Wide and High….). For our prayers we each took a pebble from the bottom of the river and imagined it to be the thing that made us sad or angry. We then built the pebbles into a pile under the tree. Like the cairns we find on a mountain, which shows the way to go, this mini-cairn shows that the way through these feelings is with God.
Our meal was hot dog sausages with a delicious salad.