Join us in worship on Sunday where Steve will reflect on the word FORGIVE. In a list of the 52 top words that Christians need to know, my guess is that FORGIVE would be in most peoples’ top ten. There are so many stories and Bible passages we could hear to learn more about forgiving.The sermon passage Steve will read is John 20:19-23. Jesus appears to the fearful disciples in a locked room, breathes the Holy Spirit on them, tells them “Peace” and instructs them to forgive others. Here are some ideas to explore with your child before, during, and after worship.
- Make special note of the Prayer of Confession and Declaration of Pardon. Encourage your child to follow along and pray with the rest of the congregation. Take a moment to offer silent prayers of confession. Then listen for the words of forgiveness and give thanks! We confess and remind ourselves of forgiveness every week in worship not because we can’t think of other things to pray or sing or do. We do it because it is a fundamental part of our worship and our faith. We are people of God, broken and in need of grace, which is offered freely and over and over again. This is good news!
- Check in the worship bags for a Worship Word sheet for your child. Fill in the worship word at the top (Forgive) and add the date and your child’s name. Below is space for your child to draw something he or she hears today in the sermon, in the music, or in a prayer.
- Below the drawing space, your child is invited to make tally marks every time they hear the word “forgive.”
- On the back is a blank page for your child to make some worship art. Encourage them to draw something related to worship as a gift to God. I would love to see what they create, if they want to share!
Before or after worship…..
- Do you use the language of forgiveness at home? My guess is that most of us talk about “saying you are sorry” and apologizing. Can we shift to use the language of forgiveness? This is one way to connect home and church, and help our children (and adults!) see that our daily life (not just our worship life) is one of sin, grace, forgiveness, and pardon.
- Matthew 18:21-22 has Jesus responding to a question from Peter about how many times he is supposed to forgive someone. Jesus replies, “Seventy-seven times.” This is not meant to be a literal number, but is more like when your child says “a hundred gazillion” or some other huge number. It’s a lot! Talk about forgiveness at home, and then make s’mores, as you talk about forgiving s’more.
- Try a forgiveness activity at home, using blocks and a verse from Ephesians to help practice saying “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you.” This is from Vibrant Faith @ Home, a website with lots of activities for families to try at home. Find it here.
- Watch as adults act out the story of the Unmerciful Servant, as told by kids. Very funny, including a little bit of “Let It Go,” but also a good exploration of what it means to forgive, through the eyes of children.
Check out our website, and our Facebook page to learn about all our activities for Children and Families here. Start here.