Big Idea: Our Grandparents can share their stories, wisdom and encouragement to help us remember God's goodness.
Parent Prep: This week we start our special series on family. This week is a special week as we kick off the series by celebrating national Grandparent's Day. We celebrated the legacy of faith handed on by the older generations of our church and families. Our aim this week is to help build relationships with the older members of our families and faith community, to give opportunities for the wiser, older members of our families to share their wisdom, stories and encouragement with our young people.
Read Deuteronomy 6:1-5 together in a children's Bible, or read this easy-to-read version here.
Moses and God's people were camping on the plains of Moab. They were about to cross the Jordan River and live in the land God had promised to give them. Moses gathers all the people to give them the very special instructions for how to live as God's family. He tells the people so that 'your children and their children after them may fear the Lord …and enjoy long life in the land." Moses is talking to everybody in the whole family here, but he is especially talking to parents and grandparents. He did this because he knew that when the parents and grandparents spoke, and told their stories, the people would listen.
In fact, the rest of chapter 6 is all about how the parents and grandparents should tell the stories of God's goodness, and what He had done for them, so that none of the children ever, ever forget who rescued them and who loves them the most. That's their job: to tell stories of God's goodness so that we never, ever forget.
This is our job, too. When Jesus is about to go back to heaven after He rises from the dead, he gives similar instructions to his followers. He says, "So as you go, make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have told you to do. You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will continue with you until the end of time." Jesus gives us instructions to tell others the story of God's goodness, and what He has done for us, so that other people will never, ever forget who loves us the most.
Ask children, Can you tell me a story, or about something that reminds you that God is good? Can you tell me the story of what God has done for you?
If your kids have a story, write it down together. As a parent or grown-up in your family, tell children a story of your own, and include it in your collection of stories. Then, call or write a letter to an older person in our church family, or to your grandparents (if they follow Jesus) and ask them to write you a story, too. We encouraged the kids at our service this week to write a letter to an older person and ask them to write a story about a time when they were a child. If you haven't yet, we encourage your kids to choose an older person of our church family and ask them to tell you a story. Put this story with your collections and call it "Our Family's 'Book of Remembrance.'" Pull out your stories as often as you like to read to each other to remind each other of God's faithfulness to the many generations.
An example of a letter/card to give an older person:
"Dear __(name of older person)_____
Please tell me a story of when you were __(age of child)___.
Thank you for sharing your story with me,
From, __(name of child)___.