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Daisy Loved To Dance

Children's Liturgy and Story
Call to Worship:
Jesus said, "The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him." Let us pray that we may be true worshippers today.
Invitation to Confession:
Jesus, when we try to hide from you, forgive us.
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, when we fail to worship in spirit and in truth, forgive us.
Christ, have mercy.
Jesus, when we neglect to reveal you to others, forgive us.
Lord, have mercy.

John 4:5-42 (NRSV)
So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. [6] Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
[7] A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." [8] (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) [9] The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) [10] Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." [11] The woman said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? [12] Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?" [13] Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, [14] but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life." [15] The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."
[16] Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come back." [17] The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; [18] for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!" [19] The woman said to him, "Sir, I see that you are a prophet. [20] Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem." [21] Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. [22] You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. [23] But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. [24] God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." [25] The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us." [26] Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one who is speaking to you."
[27] Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, "What do you want?" or, "Why are you speaking with her?" [28] Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, [29] "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?" [30] They left the city and were on their way to him.
[31] Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, "Rabbi, eat something." [32] But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." [33] So the disciples said to one another, "Surely no one has brought him something to eat?" [34] Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. [35] Do you not say, 'Four months more, then comes the harvest'? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. [36] The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. [37] For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' [38] I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."
[39] Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I have ever done." [40] So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. [41] And many more believed because of his word. [42] They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world."

The Pharisees worshipped a great deal, but failed to worship in spirit and in truth. They were so concerned with themselves and with their religious status that their worship was all external. It failed to touch their inner being. To worship in spirit and in truth we need to allow God to touch our inner being and to pour his light into those dark areas which we keep hidden even from ourselves.

In this story Monica does everything right, but Daisy dances from the depths of her being. We need to learn to worship from the depths of our being, to know that without worship we cannot survive.

Daisy Loved To Dance
Daisy loved to dance. Wherever she was, indoors or out of doors, at home or at school, she couldn't help but dance. It was almost as if her feet had a life of their own, for as soon as she got up in the morning, they would begin to dance.

Daisy's mother read her a story about some ruby slippers which caused the wearer to dance all the time, and Daisy felt a bit like that. She danced in all sorts of ways, but the way she liked best was her own, made-up dances. Then she felt like a fairy in the woods and the fields, dancing forever.

Daisy had started at ballet school on Saturday mornings when she was quite small. She learned ballet, tap, modern and acro, and she loved them all, but the class she loved the most was ballet. She wanted to be a ballet dancer when she grew up.

Monica was in the same ballet class as Daisy. Monica was taller and slimmer than Daisy, with long, slender legs and a lithe body which could mould itself into any shape. She too enjoyed dancing and she was blessed with a natural grace.

One day, the class was told that a famous ballet teacher was coming to watch them dance, to see whether any of them were good enough to go on to a national ballet school. Daisy's eyes shone. This was her big chance. This was something she had always dreamed about.

When her moment came, Daisy just let herself dance. Her eyes grew dreamy and her feet danced in their own particular way and her arms drew beautiful patterns in the air. But her teacher frowned when she came off the floor.

"I don't know what you thought that was, Daisy," she grumbled. "I've taught you all the correct movements. Why didn't you do them? You'll never be a classical ballerina like that!"

Daisy was crushed. And when she watched Monica on the floor, she felt worse than ever. Monica's movements were perfect. Her timing was excellent and she had remembered every move correctly. When she came off the floor, the teacher was delighted with her performance.

"You'll go far, Monica," she promised.

When all the class had finished, the famous ballet teacher called them all together. He said how impressed he had been with the standard of their dancing and how sorry he was that there was only one place this year at the national ballet school. But he told them not to worry even if they didn't get in this year, for there would be other chances in the future.

Then he singled out Monica and praised her dancing. Daisy felt her heart fall even lower when he told Monica that he couldn't remember ever seeing anyone so young perform so accurately.

But then he said, "There's only one person for the national school this year, someone who danced not only with her feet and her body and her arms, but with her very heart and soul. When Daisy danced, she transported me into the fields and woods. Her movements weren't particularly accurate, but they were her movements and they came from the depths of her being. I'm going to offer this year's place to Daisy, because I can see that her whole life is dancing, she cannot live without it."

Daisy was ecstatic. Because the famous ballet teacher was right. Daisy just had to dance, for with the depths of her being she loved to dance.

You need:
As much discarded food packaging and household items as you can find. e.g., kitchen towel centres, yoghurt pots, string, rubber bands, ties, plastic bags, empty cotton reels, paper clips, wire coat hangers, etc.

Tell the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. Talk about wells and the difficulty of having to walk miles to collect water, then carry it home. Point out that some women still have to do this today.

Then divide the children into teams, each team to have some adult help. The task of each team is to produce a functioning well, i.e. it should be possible to lower some sort of "bucket" and raise it with water in it!

Give a prize to any team which manages to do this!


God of spirit and truth, when we are tempted to worship you for show, remind us that true worship comes from within us. Give us such a powerful sense of your love that we cannot survive without worshipping you.

God of spirit and truth, remove from all those in high office the need to inflate their own status. May they learn to be humble in their leadership, following your guidance at all times.

God of spirit and truth, keep me on the straight and narrow path so that I learn to worship you in spirit and in truth. And then send me out to bring others to you, so that they may learn to worship you also.

God of spirit and truth, give strength and courage to those who desperately need it at this time. May they gain comfort and love from your presence with them and may they know your healing touch.

As you move through this week
may you worship God is spirit and in truth
and may you bring your friends to him
to meet him for themselves.
And may the blessing of God Almighty,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Be with you, be in your homes
And in your families,
With those whom you love
And with those for whom you pray,
Both now and always. Amen.
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