Blessing boxes

by Rev. Canon Duke Vipperman

We wanted to put something in the kids empty hands. So we developed the idea of a 'Blessing Box'. We used white Bride's favour boxes often placed at the table setting of guests at a Wedding reception. They are easy enough for most kids to assemble themselves.

Then the box was filled with symbols of each beatitude. Riffing off the reworded Beatitudes found elsewhere on this Messy Church site, we gave the kids these ideas:

1. Good on you who feel empty,
God's home is open to you.

Just as your hands are empty before God,
the box begins empty - but you can decorate it inside and out to your pleasure

2. Good on you who feel sad,
God will comfort you.

They drew a frown on a comforter (a piece of cloth) - upside down, of course, a frown is a smile.

3. Good on you who trust God,
God will help you.

a cross - we used a cross shaped stencil to allow the children to scribble with crayons or coloured pencils across the opening. Surprisingly easy delightful artistic.

4. Good on you who hope for better,
God will satisfy you.

a glass for water (small disposable plastic communion cups many "non-conformist" churches use)

5. Good on you who are kind,
God will be kind to you.

something that is one of a "kind"

6. Good on you who want to please God,
God will smile on you.

a heart or a smile

7. Good on you who make peace,
God will embrace you.

a peace sign or a chanelle strip (pipe cleaner) hug - just a u shaped bend, really

8. Good on you who get in trouble
doing what’s right,
God's home is open to you.

Finally the box is full of trouble!

(so only six easy crafts plus the box itself)

Finally, we gave them pre-printed versions of the Beatitudes - both a standard translation and the Messy translation to put in the box. They were home with the kids with the idea that parents and children could remember the beatitudes by them - but also would challenge the families to live them.