Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about how you make us strong. Help our time to be holy time. In your name we pray, Amen.
Bible Story: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
This week’s story is a letter of encouragement written by Paul, an early church leader. I recently purchased the Whirl Lectionary Bible, and this was my youngest daughter’s favorite story as we flipped through it for the first time. We always call her our small but mighty kid, so this favorite did not surprise me. You can look this story up in the Whirl Bible, your family Bible, or you can follow the link to an easy to read version here:https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Thessalonians+3%3A9-13&version=ERV
Discuss as a family: How did Paul encourage the people in Thessalonika through this letter to them? Tell a story about a time that you needed encouragement. Tell a story about a time when you encouraged someone else. How can you, as a family, encourage someone you know?
Activity: Cards of Encouragement
Our family decided that one way to encourage someone else was to follow Paul’s example and make cards for those who need encouragement. We used scraps of paper, paper punches, glue dots, and pens to make our cards. All of my daughters love using paper punches, and I was just too chicken to break out the stamp pads with 2 ½ year olds. Use what you have on hand, and have fun. You can see the pictures, below.
The only limit is your (and your kids’) creativity! I delivered a few of the cards right away, and my oldest daughter is still making these cards in her spare time.
Song: Be strong!
This song is one that I learned at our synod’s high school retreat this past winter. Even though it quotes Joshua 1:9, I thought it fit well here. Here are the lyrics:
We made up motions to the song as well:
Be strong (muscle arms) Joshua 1:9
Be strong (muscle arms) and courageous
Do not (shake your finger “no”) be terrified
Do not (shake your finger “no”) be discouraged
For the Lord your God (sign “God”) is with you (hug self)
Wherever you go (spread arms out).
Again, my youngest daughter really got into this. She loves to be strong, and loves anything that celebrates strength. I hope your family likes it, too!
Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith! I hope that this time was holy time for you.
Closing Prayer: (Can be a repeat after me prayer if you have non-readers in your family)
Thank you, God, for this holy time together to feed our faith as a family. Bless us as we remember that are the one who gives us strength. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.