I presented this story to the children on November 20th at WFMC.
The church mouse was working busily in his apartment high above the sanctuary. It was Wednesday, the day before thanksgiving. He was working to get everything just right so that when his other church mouse friends came over for dinner they’d have a grand time. He was making the stuffing, peeling the potatoes, baking pumpkin pie. . . His mind was set on food.
Down below Pastor Marion was hard at work too. After a while, his work made the church mouse stop what he was doing and move to his veranda to see what Pastor Marion was up to.
Pastor Marion was setting up prayer stations in the church, so that on Thanksgiving Day people from the church could come and pray and give thanks. A prayer station is a place to pray that sort of guides what you pray about. You have a prayer station when you sit down to a table of food. You give thanks for the meal.
Pastor Marion thought maybe we ought to say thanks for a little more than a meal and food, not that this wasn’t necessary, it’s just that we have so much to be thankful for, yet we tend not to work hard at saying thanks.
The church mouse decided to descend and see what these prayer stations were all about.
He came to the first station where Pastor Marion had a hymnal opened to the hymn, “For the Beauty of the Earth” and next to it sat a plate of dirt with a little fork. A sign said, give thanks to God for his creation, for its beauty, for its goodness. Give thanks that God made a way to provide for our needs from his creation. Then it said, sing the song. The church mouse said to himself, maybe later.
Another station had a crown of thorns. Of course it was a reminder to give thanks for Jesus’ death and resurrection. Yet it also spoke of giving thanks for our trials, for the hard times we face, for Jesus invited his disciples to carry their own cross and follow him.
Another station had oil and several candles. Here the people were reminded to give thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit and the ministry of the Spirit. The candle represented that Pentecost day when the Spirit was given to everyone who believes in Jesus. The oil was a symbol of the spirit’s ministry. It was a sign of belonging to God – as when David was anointed King. It was a sign of joy and gladness. It was a sign of healing.
The church mouse remembered the last healing service in the church. He recalled how Pastor Marion applied oil to those who came forward seeking healing. And people were healed.
The church mouse stuck his tail into the glass, took a drop of oil and placed it on his head.
He gave thanks for the ministry of the Spirit. He gave thanks that as the lilies and the birds belong to God even so do mice and he jumped for joy that he belonged to God.