Remembering… every day

On Memorial Day we remember the men and women who died while serving our country. We also reminisce about lost family members and friends.We gather together, decorate graves, salute flags, and attend parades — a worthwhile day of tribute, a day of telling stories about service and honor and good deeds.

a person walks among flag-decorated gravemarkers

Where it falls on the calendar in the northern hemisphere, Memorial Day also signifies the start of summer. Sunny skies, picnics and vacations; more great memories in the making! All this brings to mind other observances we need to recognize.

Remembering stories of God with us.
A painting of Jesus and the two Emmaus Road travelers, by W.H. Margetson

Our children need to hear our stories of God walking beside us.

Our children need to be reminded of times when God walked with them.

In a recent Rotation from Luke 24:13-35, we heard Cleopas and his traveling companion reflect on their trip from Jerusalem to Emmaus, when they realized that Jesus had been with them!

 
Open quote markBack and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?”
Luke 24:32

We need to offer opportunities for our kids to join the “fellowship of the burning heart.”

Let this Memorial Day be the start of an every-day-sort-of-thing: tell remember-when stories about times when Jesus was with you.

  • The time the car broke down the night before the big trip (rather than on the road).
  • An out of the blue, call from a friend when you needed to hear from someone just at that moment.
  • A sunny day after so many grey, dreary ones.
  • Hearing a Bible verse that was just what was needed.
  • The list goes on and on!
What are your God-with-you stories?


Photo credits:
Memorial Day scene by arbyreed. Emmaus Road from a painting by W.H. Margetson offered by “Waiting For The Word.” Both of which are licensed on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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A Journey of (Strangely Warmed) Hearts

This weekend treat your kids to a peek at their potential future self.

the youth perform a skit during Youth Worship 2013
A scene from last year’s Youth Worship service

We won’t be holding Workshops this weekend for grades 1-6, so that our children can learn from an able group of mentors in grades 7-12. Invite them to attend the Youth-led worship service on Saturday at Green Wood and/or downtown on Sunday.

Tell them to listen for some journey stories.

How about a little preparatory discussion prior to worship? Note: Print out just the discussion questions from this Google Doc.

  • the cover of the book We're Going on a Bear Hunt

    Introduce the concept of a journey by starting off with a dinner table game! Use the book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt to pretend to go on a hunting journey – wading through tall grass, splashing through a river and squelching through mud, in search of a bear. (This is one of those stories where you can add your own adventure to your trip. See this version.)

  • Ask: What is a journey? What are some long trips that you can recall making?
  • Life can be described as a journey — we each travel a path that sometimes is straight and smooth, and sometimes windy and twisty. What are some stopping points that you’ve experienced in your life journey? (Adults: Describe some of these too-young-to-remember points for your kids such as their first birthday, or their first step or their first day of school.)
  • What faith steps have you encountered in your life path? (Adults: now is the time for you to share moments of doubt in God and times of questioning, as well as mountain-top experiences.)
  • The Bible seems to have many stories of journeys. What are some that you can think of?

This is where you can refer to our just-finished Rotation on the Walk to Emmaus! Ask your child(ren) to re-tell the story from Luke 24:13-35.

  • Why do you suppose Jesus didn’t reveal himself earlier in their journey?
  • What were they doing when they finally recognized Jesus? (hint: verse 30)
  • On our “bear hunt” would it have been as fun if we’d just gone straight to the bear’s cave and skipped the tall grass and the mud and the river? (No, probably not!) All of the parts of the journey were important. They all contributed to our experience.
  • It probably took some leading-up-to-it-time for the two disciples eyes to be “opened.” At what point in our Bible story do the disciples realize what this was?

They said to each other, “He talked with us on the road. He opened the Scriptures to us. Weren’t our hearts burning inside us during that time?” Luke 24:32

At youth worship do you suppose you’ll hear or see any burning heart stories?
And when you come back to discuss your take on Youth Worship, ask…

What burning heart stories did you hear?

a blue line


Photo credits:
Photo by Richard Rupp. Used with permission.

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