PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN KIDS & FAMILIES date
For me, this event … was an occasion to remember and celebrate God’s goodness. Inspire (for parents) Dear God, I pray for the privilege of having a daughter. Someone with whom I could share life’s journeys. We would dream together, share joys and tears, and carry each other’s burdens. Amen. It was a short prayer, but one I prayed often when I was pregnant for the second time. Maybe it was the fact that I had a close relationship with my mother, or perhaps it was a secret desire to fulfill a childhood fantasy (when I played house as a little girl, I always had two kids—the first a boy, the second a girl). Whatever it was, I just couldn’t imagine my life without a daughter.
Isobel sat at the ceremonial dol table, looking like a princess in her hanbok (traditional Korean dress), smiling and laughing—delighted by her admirers. For me, this event was more than a birthday party or a tradition. It was an occasion to remember and celebrate God’s goodness. As everyone sang “Happy Birthday,” I offered up a prayer. “Thank You, Lord,” I whispered. “Thank You for the blessing of life. Thank You for Isobel. Thank You that You are such a good, good God.” by Jennifer Cho Salaff
So when the ultrasound confirmed a future filled with pink, I was elated. We decided we would call her Isobel, which means “God’s promise.” We recently celebrated Isobel’s first birthday. In Korean culture, when a baby turns one, it’s cause for great merriment. Everyone gathers to feast, bring gifts, and bestow blessings on the child of honor. This deep-rooted tradition began in an era when many children didn’t survive to their first birthdays. Thus, the doljanchi (or dol) became a significant milestone.
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Equip (for parents) Several times a year, the Israelites gathered together for a festival. In Leviticus 23, the Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed feasts … which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.’” 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. They were times for the entire faith community to gather together without the burden of work to simply worship and celebrate. During the feasts, the Israelites ate, danced, sang, played instruments, prayed, and offered sacrifices to God. The Feast of Passover was fulfilled by the death of the Messiah, the Feast of Unleavened Bread was fulfilled by His sinless sacrifice, and the Feast of First Fruits was fulfilled by the resurrection of the Messiah. The Feast of Harvest began with a great harvest of three thousand souls by the coming of the promised Holy Spirit, who continues to harvest souls today. The Feast of Trumpets will announce Christ’s return, the Day of Atonement will usher in His judgment of the nations, and finally, the Feast of Tabernacles begins the journey to our new home in a new heaven and new earth. Feast of Tabernacles: This feast was celebrated in thanksgiving to remember God’s many blessings. For seven days the people lived in tents or temporary shelters they decorated with colorful ornaments. The New Testament significance of this reminds us that this life is temporary, and all our lifelong dreams, hopes, and aspirations will one day be fulfilled in our future home and inheritance with Jesus.
Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory. Isaiah 6:3
Support (for parents & kids) This week, JUST FOR FUN, during mealtime ask your children to think about some things they know to be true about God (for example: His love, His mercy, His righteousness). Then go around the table and have each person share. Talk with your children about the festivals that God’s people celebrated in the Bible, and how they spent time together remembering His goodness and righteousness. Share with them that one way the Israelites remembered was by thanking God for His many blessings. Then, read Ephesians 5:20–21. After you’ve read this portion of Scripture, spend some time as a family praying and thanking God for His goodness, for His everlasting grace, and for bringing us into the kingdom of Jesus Christ, in whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins. Remind your children that they’ll be given the opportunity to remember and celebrate with their friends while at church this week.
© 2011 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.