Our parish is located in a rural area, which means that our families are steeped in the growing seasons. The children play in tractors as the crops are planted, and take afternoon naps on combines during harvest time. Because of this, I suspect that studying this story from Jesus’ life will have immediate “real life” application. Enjoy feeding your family’s faith together!
Supplies: God Time pillows, candle and holder (see “Gathering,” below), a family Bible with this story or access to the internet, a pot, soil, nasturtium (or other easy-to-grow flower) seeds.
Gather: We like to sit in a circle on the floor for God Time. Finding some pillows or cushions to sit on makes it even more comfortable. My kids like to use pillow pets for this purpose! Once you are in a circle, light a candle (or turn on a battery-operated one; we use an LED tea light in a pretty metal container).
Story: Read the story “If a Seed Dies” from John 12:20-26 your Bible, or you can check out this version: John 12:20-26
Discuss: What did Jesus say about the grain of wheat? Is what he said true? What do you know about how seeds grow? This story is also about Jesus and what is going to happen to him; he will die, be put into the earth, and be raised from the dead. Do you think that the disciples understood what Jesus was talking about? Why or why not? The story is also about us; one day we will die, be put into the earth, and rise from the dead to be with Jesus forever. What do you think about this? Is it scary? Confusing? Comforting? What do you think it will be like when we get to live with Jesus forever?
Song: We Plow the Fields and Scatter: Find the music and lyrics here: https://youtu.be/du-5yPKfSRc
This is a traditional hymn that we sing at our church at planting and harvest times. During God Time, my husband and I sang the verses, and had the kids join in on the refrain, which begins “All good gifts around us…” I am excited for them to get to know it, because they will recognize it when we sing it in church the next time, and they will feel like they can participate.
Activity: For our activity this week, we planted nasturtium flower seeds. We talked about how a seed looks dead at first. However, once you put it into soil, along with warmth and water, it begins to grow. They all helped with the planting, and we have been keeping it on the table next to the dining room table so that we can watch its progress day by day. When it is ready, we will put it outside to enjoy. Here is a picture of this project in process:
Because it is the end of summer when I am posting this God Time, perhaps you would like to get some fall flowers to plant from the store. You could also sprout watermelon seeds, avocado seeds or potatoes for a fun “watch it grow” project. Check out this website for a bunch of different activity ideas: http://www.brighthubeducation.com/elementary-school-activities/126624-getting-children-to-grow-seeds-in-the-classroom/
Prayer: (You can do this all together, or as a “repeat after me” prayer, depending on reading ability) Dear Jesus, we thank you for seeds and soil, warmth and water. Help our plants to grow, and remind us both that you died and were raised from the dead, and that someday we will be, too. In your name we pray, Amen.