For this particular Children’s Message, I bring a “Megalodon” tooth, which is the tooth of the largest predator that ever lived – a giant shark (possibly the direct ancestor of the modern Great White Shark) that could grow to almost 60 feet in length, and which swam the seas of this world from about 28 million years ago until around 1.5 million years ago.
If you don’t have one, you can easily find photos of them online. You can also buy them on eBay: depending on size and condition, they go from under $10 to several hundred dollars in price. You can also find online photos of reconstructions of the Megalodon’s jaws, which are stunningly huge!
Luke 24:44-53 and Acts 1:1-11 (The Revised Common Lectionary readings for The Ascension, focusing particularly on how these two readings are written by the same author, were both addressed to the same audience, and are about the same event, but differ greatly in their portrayal of the Ascension of Christ.)
We sometimes think of our beliefs as facts; but in reality, facts, and our beliefs about those facts, are not the same thing. Sometimes, looking at the facts in a new way will change our beliefs, and in doing so open up new vistas of revelation and wonder.
For thousands of years, and even up until the time of the Pilgrims here in America, people would find the bones of weird animals eroding out of rocks and cliffs. [Did you know that?]
We know them as “fossils;” but back then, they didn’t know what they were. Since these things were always found embedded in rock, they figured that they were the bones of creatures that grew in rock. Some of these skeletons had wings, and many of them looked lizard-like, and so it was from these that we get our legends about “dragons.”