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Preparing for a recent Messy Church I was reminded of the old game, first introduced to me by my grandmother, 'Kim's game'. Some of you will immediately know what I'm talking about, particularly if you have a background in the Scouts or Guides, others will never have come across it. Essentially, someone puts a number of random objects – maybe a thimble, a toy car, a box of matches – on a tray. You then get a minute or so to memorise all the pieces, then it is covered over and everyone tries to remember as many as they can. It's a little bit like the old 'conveyor belt' round on the 'Generation Game'.
The best strategy I have heard to succeed at the game is to create a story using all the pieces. Then as you retell the story to yourself you'll remember them all. It's a memory technique which works in all kinds of situations. We all use stories all the time as an aid to memory and as a way of making sense of what can sometimes seem like a random selection of events in life.
Particularly at this time of year, wartime stories are recalled, for instance Dunkirk is still just about in the cinemas. They help us understand and remember exactly what happened to our those generations who went through the wars in the last century. However they don't always seem to make sense of it – we often cannot conceive of the things experienced, or imagine the reasons behind the choices made that caused such things to happen.
Jesus left us with some stories he told – often called parables – that are intended to help us make sense of life. He left us with some things to do – baptism, communion – that he intended to help us remember the most important things in life, the only thing that really makes sense of existence: that he loves us, and died for us. Life is more than a game, and Jesus' story will help us remember the things than mean the most.

Richard Trethewey, Rector of St Peter's, Glenfield, and All Saints', Newtown Linford

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