Imagine travelling across a desert, all dry and bleak, where you're in danger of being attacked by man-eating wombats or packs of bloodthirsty bandits. There's nothing to eat or drink, and there's nowhere to shelter from the boiling heat and the freezing cold. What would it be like to come across an oasis in your desert? A cheerful group of tents around a waterhole, with shady trees and a nice campfire. What difference would that make to you?
Playtime! Love it or hate it, at least some of us get playtime every day. But perhaps some people don't make time to play anymore. Maybe they can't see the point. And they're right: there is no point in play — that's the whole point — play is just for fun! That's all it's for - not to make money or impress someone else with how good at it we are, or to beat everyone else: it's pure and simple pleasure and what God made us for right at the beginning before it all went wrong.
Home is a really important place and being homeless is one of the saddest things to be. That's not to say that any home is perfect! At least, I can't think of a perfect home with a perfect family where nothing ever goes wrong and no-one ever feels unhappy, can you? And the area around our home is also part of our home: our community, our neighbourhood. I wonder how many neighbours we have? How far does our neighbourhood go? Does it ever stop? Someone asked Jesus once, 'Who is my neighbour?'
What do you think parties are for? Perhaps they're to celebrate something special — a birthday or an anniversary, or even to mark a sad time like a funeral or someone leaving, to say thank you to someone for doing something remarkable, or just to get together with friends or family and enjoy the fun of being together. Perhaps a party is a really good way of saying thank you when something brilliant has happened!
TV soaps and story books are full of people who live really unhealthy lives. We can watch programme after programme about hospitals where people are very ill, cooking shows where celebrity chefs try to make us eat healthily, or about sport where superheroes show us how fantastically fit they are. The newspapers try to scare us by telling us all how fat we are or what terrible disease we're all going to get if we eat certain things. And we all know that we need to be careful about what we watch on the internet or on films for our minds and souls. What is being healthy all about?
This set of questions is a bit different from the others. These question cards are for scattering on the tables during your Messy meal. They've been written to try to help families respond to the theme of any Messy Church session, or to talk about something more exciting than the price of cheese. If your Messy Church is anything like ours, three or four cards per table will be plenty — any more will be too much to cope with.