Several more ideas from the holiday contest are worth a mention. Anything’s worth a mention that might plant a seed in the heart of a child that may yield souls for heaven; perhaps even in multiple generations. SO, here are a few that rise to the top of the list of entries.
Kelly Rhodes suggested making a colorful songbook that’s child-specific. Each time your child or grandchild learns a new Bible song or verse set to music, put the words of that song in a decorated and durable binder, so that the child and parents will always remember the words to those sweet little hymns of budding faith.
Bobbie Goodnight suggested a story time using the book “If Jesus Came to my House” by Joan Gale Thomas. She also recommended accompanying it with a song called “In the Image of God” by Andy Robison. Click on the picture (left) for words and music. (Permission granted by the author.)
Erica Grieves’ idea was born of a quarantine. Missing the caroling and fruit basket-making and all the great congregational service projects, Erica set her kids to Bible-searching for scriptures about joy to include in cards the family plans to send to those who need holiday encouragement. As Erica puts it…”This year I’m gifting my kids the opportunity to turn our blues to the scriptures. Since cards bring joy to both giver and receiver, my children will spend the rest of our quarantine looking up verses that bring JOY. We plan to incorporate these into the cards. It’s an opportunity to remind us and others that no matter the circumstances, scripture always has the answer. It’s my prayer this will stick no matter what life may throw their way.”
Lots of you moms are making blessing bags for the needy people your children see in parking lots or at intersections as you run errands. My grandkids’ bags include some simple toiletries, bottled water, snacks and info about the church. Blankets for distribution in winter are just $2.50 currently at their local WalMart, so they bought a few of those, too. All of these blankets and small bags were placed in a large durable bag that now lives in the back of their van, just in case they see someone in need. Believe me, they were plenty excited when they did see their first man in need last week. (The bag preparation was accompanied by Bible stories about giving sacrificially and the kids gave generously from their piggy banks to help purchase the bag contents.) I believe this is an important and direct mental tie for kids to the judgment scene in Matthew 25.
Many of you are also distance-caroling this year for the widows in your congregations. These faithful elderly people will never forget the joy of this event and it just might be the highlight of their Christmas. If you do this, practice with your children. Make them understand the import of what they are doing in view of Matthew 25 and James 1:27.
Finally, Kathryn Baker’s kids were writing cards to all the members of the congregation during the Covid quarantine. Kathryn admitted that after a while, this became a tedious task. It was Kathryn’s mother-in-law who purchased for each child personalized stationery, markers, address labels, stamps and stickers to put some extra flair into this great, but challenging, service project. (Grandmothers, here’s a great place to step in and make a helpful contribution!)
Happy Holidays to all of you and may each of us give our children “good gifts” (Luke 11:13, 14).