I don’t know about you, but thankfulness is something that I have to work on with my family every day. As we prepare for the feast of Thanksgiving next week, have fun feeding your family’s faith with a little practice of thankfulness!
Supplies: God Time pillows, candle and holder (see “Gathering,” below), access to the internet, tongue depressors, markers or other coloring utensils, a jar
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).
Prayer: (You can do this all together, or as a “repeat after me” prayer, depending on reading ability)
Thank you, God, for this holy time together. Help us to draw closer to one another and to you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Story: Read I Chronicles 16:34
“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever.”
This statement is sung and danced to during a party given by King David. He and the Israelites are celebrating the fact that the ark of the covenant, the place where God promised to live among them, finally had a proper home. You can learn more about the ark of the covenant here:
This is an important verse in the Bible, especially as we come to the feast of Thanksgiving. Let’s learn how to say it with hand motions:
Discuss: How did King David show God that he was thankful? How do we show God that we are thankful? What are some things that we are thankful for?
Song: All Good Gifts Around Us
Our family decided to use this refrain from the hymn “We Plow the Fields and Scatter” for part of our table grace leading up to Thanksgiving. Here is how to do it with hand motions:
Activity: Thankfulness Jar
Get out the tongue depressors. As a family, write out all the things you are thankful for, one thing per stick. Your kids can also decorate them, if they wish. Put the finished sticks in the jar on the table where you eat your meals. Before meals this week, have everyone choose one stick out of the jar. It might not be what they were thankful for, but this way we can share our thankfulness and pray for one another. If your children cannot read, read what their stick says to them. Then, take turns praying, “Thank you God for….(whatever is on your stick)” with the family repeating after the person praying. Finish with a big Amen! Here are some pics of our process:
This activity has really worked for my family. They can’t wait to see what they get to pray for next! My husband even caught my two=year-olds decorating some of the sticks, trading them with one another, and saying, “Thank you, God, for” and then making up all sorts of wonderful things. I am hopeful that we will have a very thank-ready family this Thanksgiving!
We also plan to add our Thanksgiving Dinner guests to the fun. They will each get some sticks to fill out before dinner, and we will add them to the jar, both for that meal, and for the days leading up to Christmas.
Prayer: See the song and activity, above.