PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN KIDS & FAMILIES date
God designed each one of us to live in community and to experience Him in ways that can only happen in relationship with one another. Inspire (for parents) I recently had the privilege of attending my college group reunion. Fifty of us gathered together for a barbecue and pool party. Every time someone new arrived, the room filled with shouts of welcome and cheers of joy! I couldn’t believe how much I missed all these dear people. It wasn’t until we were face-toface that we realized some of us hadn’t seen each other for 15 or 20 years! Cameras were flashing and people were laughing and crying as we recounted the many stories of how God had grown us since those years together so long ago. God was faithful and we were filled with gratitude.
worship, in the smiles, and the twinkling eyes. Joy was in this place. God designed each one of us to live in community and to experience Him in ways that can only happen in relationship with one another. As I look back on my college years, I see how this Truth helped to form who I was becoming as a follower of Christ. Coming together again as a faith community to remember and celebrate God’s faithfulness brought richness of worship and traditions not only to us, but also to the children of this new generation. by Cristi Thomas
The hours seemed to pass by too quickly. Before the evening closed, we all gathered inside the clubhouse for the traditional group photo, one last round of stories, and of course, elebrate worship. As we sat in one large circle, emember & C to Main Point: R low your family kids scattered on the laps of parents designed to al n is re ce ild ur ch so re This fore your and new friends, we sang some of s God’s Word be nt in re e pa r tim fo is ve ha God’s plan se au our favorite worship songs from long ec B , . ith ch fa children’s attend chur rturers of their nu ago. “You have been a shelter, Lord, to al n tu re iri ild sp ch e to be th iritually, your as you grow sp every generation, to every generation we know that l. ally as wel …” As we sang these words, I was will grow spiritu overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. Joy was everywhere—in the voices of
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Equip (for parents) Seven times a year the Israelites gathered together for a festival. These seven festivals are: Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of First Fruits, Feast of Harvest, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths). In addition, the Israelites would gather weekly to celebrate the Sabbath. These were times to remember what God had done for His people and to celebrate His goodness. During the feasts, the Israelites ate, danced, sang, played instruments, prayed, and offered sacrifices to God. Why do we celebrate? We celebrate to be together as a community—to collectively look backward so that we can look forward. We celebrate to stop for a moment in time and remember what God has done. We celebrate to teach children what is important—to show what we value. And we celebrate because God commanded it. In Exodus 12:47 He said, “The whole community … must celebrate.” As parents, it can be easy to get caught up in the stress of life, the talking back, the hurt feelings, the bad grades, or the bad choices and forget that in the midst of those things God is moving. Think about the impact it could have on your family if we all chose to pause in order to remember and celebrate … to remind ourselves that God is moving in our children’s lives. He is shaping our children. He is growing them. He is speaking to their hearts. Sometimes we need to remember this so we have the strength to continue through the trials of everyday life. We need to know that He is bigger than these trials. Even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment, He is faithful to transform each of us.
“Cheer each other up with the hope you have.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIrV)
Support (for parents & kids) Your children will be spending their time at church remembering and celebrating what God has done in their hearts during the last few weeks’ lessons. JUST FOR FUN, sometime this week set aside an evening to remember and celebrate as a family. Just as the Israelite celebrations revolved around a feast, create a “feast” for your family: popcorn, pizza, ice cream, or fondue. Whatever you choose, just do something special and spend the time remembering what God has done in the life of your family. Some questions to get you started: How have you seen God in your life? How have you trusted God lately? When have you known God was with you? Where do you like to meet with God? What is your favorite way to worship God? Did you learn a new way to worship God? End the evening in prayer, giving everyone a chance to thank God for what they’ve seen Him do.
© 2010 David C Cook. TruResources are developed in partnership with ROCKHARBOR Church and a national network of family and children’s ministry leaders. All rights reserved.