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 how to be truly wise. Help our time to be holy time. In your name we pray, Amen.
Bible Story: Proverbs 1:7
My girls are all crazy about owls at the moment. Owl blankets, owl pillows, owl stuffed animals, owl masks, owl print outfits; you name it, we’ve got it. I thought it would be timely if I came up with a Family God Time that had to do with owls, and owls remind me of wisdom. This week’s verse reminds us where wisdom begins.
Read the verse: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 NRSV)
Discuss as a family: There might be a lot of terms to define in this one simple verse. Here are some definitions to help you:
Knowledge: (dictionary) facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. (plain sense) The stuff you know in your head.
Fool: a person who acts unwisely or imprudently; a silly person.
Despise: (dictionary) feel contempt or a deep repugnance for. (plain sense) hate.
Wisdom: (dictionary) the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. (plain sense) putting what you know in your head into use in your life.
Instruction: (dictionary) detailed information telling how something should be done, operated, or assembled. (plain sense) being taught how to do something.
So, we might rewrite this verse like this:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowing what to do. Silly people hate using what they know and learning from others.
Did your family have any questions about “fearing the Lord”? Mine did. They way that I understand this comes from Luther’s Small Catechism. In this case, fearing the Lord is not about cowering in a corner or being worried that God will hate us. Instead, it is respect and a sense of awe. Have you ever looked at the stars at night and thought, “Wow, I am small. I am glad God is in charge,” or walked into a big church like a cathedral and hushed your voice? That is what this proverb means by “fear.” Awe. Wonder. Respect.
More Questions: Who are some people you know who have a lot of knowledge? Who are some people you know that are wise? Who do you respect? What is a time that you have felt in awe of God? If you are able to answer any of these questions, you are beginning to get what this proverb is about!
Activity: Foam Owls
To make our foam owls, I used scraps of foam, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes leftover from our Valentine’s project. You can see the picture here:
Cut out the shape of an owl and two wings from foam.
Cut out two large circles out of black foam for the eyes. Attach googly eyes to the circles.
Cut a small triangle out of orange foam for the beak. Attach the eyes and beak to the body. Attach the wings (you can use glue or brads).
Decorate the body with a ball point pen. You can add texture to the wings by pressing dots into them with the tines of a fork.
Enjoy! My little girls had these torn apart in about 2 hours, but they were fun while they lasted!
If you are a braver parent than I am, try this owl stamping craft from Pinterest:
Song: Wisdom Song
This song is one that I made up to help my children learn this proverb. The first part is call and response. The second part is for singing together. Enjoy!
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 you are the beginning of our wisdom. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.