This post combines some of my favorite things: math, crafts, and faith! After watching the movie, A Wrinkle in Time, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about its rich metaphors for love and grace. The Madeleine L’Engle’s book holds a special place in my heart, because it was the book that enabled me to hold onto both faith and science as I wrestled and wondered as a preteen. I was extremely excited to preach on A Wrinkle in Time recently. So excited that my sermon draft would have run about 45 minutes long! I did pare it down. Because it brought me so much joy, I thought I would share a few ideas for talking about A Wrinkle in Time and faith.
In the movie, the father gives Meg a paper that folds inside out to reveal a heart. He tells her that even when they are apart their love is “enfolded.” After doing a little research, I believe this paper to be a flexahexagon. Being the person, I am, I spent a huge chunk of time learning to make them. There are lots of great videos on the internet, including this fun explanation of where they came from. However, even with the videos, it took me a bit to figure it out. So, I made a set of clearer (to me) directions.
Download Flexahexagon directions with template on legal size paper.
Watch me explain how to make one in this video.
What might you do with a flexa hexagon in church? Here are my ideas:
- Share the movie quote about love being enfolded. Ask younger children about things they think are there even when we can’t see them.
- A simple flexahexagon has three sides. For older kids and youth, you might use a flexahexagon to think about how heart, head and hands/bodies/actions are all a part of faith.
- Similarly, you might talk about the inter-relationship between belief, faith, and trust.
- Use them to talk about the wonders of math and science- the formulas God created to govern the workings of the universe. I find that even in a progressive church people think that faith and science are at odds with each other rather than being amazing gifts from God.
One thing to be careful about:
I know what we are all thinking, “wouldn’t this be a great way to explain the Trinity as three in one?” Well… the flexahexagon is made of the same substance, paper, and has three inter-related faces, it does seem to contain both the unity and distinction of the three in one. I especially like how the faces of the hexagons move within and around each other, reminding me of the divine dance, or perichoresis. However, no human analogy accurately reflects the full mystery of the Trinity. Children younger than about age 8 can’t reliably grasp the metaphor and symbolism of object lessons. So, proceed with caution. I’ve found the book, Trinity 101:Father, Son and Holy Spirit by James L. Papadrea, to be a helpful guide in avoiding accidental heresy ;).
Other Faith Themes in A Wrinkle in Time:
There’s a lot to say about the Mrs. W’s. For me, they symbolize trust (Mrs. Whatsit is action oriented and not quite sure about Meg from the beginning), belief (Mrs. Which gifts her with spectacles to see what is invisible), and faith (Mrs. Who speaks directly with Meg’s heart and explains the powers of the universe to her).
By grace, Meg’s faults become gifts. She cannot fix her shortcomings. Grace and love are what transform her into a person capable of transcending the limits of what we believe is possible to battle evil, saving her family.
There are many more… but I better stop here for this post. Please let me know how you have used A Wrinkle in Time to open up discussions about faith.
Grace and peace,
I really liked the visual with the heart. It takes a very abstract idea and makes it accessible for young children.