(This guest post was written by Heidi Sweet, the Director of Children’s Ministry at Pennington Park Church. I get the privilege to serve on staff with her and learn from her.)
From Wisdom to Understanding to Worship
God in His grace, beauty, and creativity gave us minds to contemplate His Word and His creation, but He also gave us senses to engage, enjoy, and remember it. Our senses were not intended to take the place of God’s special revelation in His Word, but they do provide understanding to the lens of taking what we know in Scripture and applying it to what we experience in His natural revelation.
Although our faith does not come from sight, when our eyes are opened by the Spirit, we cannot help but stand in wonder of our great God. We see His hand in storms, hear His name in the song bird’s tune, taste His goodness in His abundant seasonal harvests, and touch His loving faithfulness through a friend’s hug.
As God’s people, we were created to glorify and enjoy Him forever. We sing songs, reminding us of His goodness and faithfulness in His Word. We rehearse and experience confession and forgiveness in prayer. Even in the Lord’s Supper, we engage our senses to remember His greatest acts of kindness through His Son’s sacrifice on our behalf by tasting the bread and wine. All for the purpose to glorify our great God. During this season of thanksgiving with your friends and family, “Taste and see that the Lord is good,” remember His goodness, enjoy His creation, and lift songs of praise to our great God.
Experience gratitude not just by reading about thanksgiving, but by doing it. There are many ways you can personally or as a family find activities to cultivate gratitude.
Ideas for Moving from Wisdom to Understanding to Worship:
- Participate in the November Thanksgiving Reading Plan and Challenge as a family.
- Do a thanksgiving tree or gratitude chain to record things you’re thankful for
- Make a Family Joy Jar
- Model Thanksgiving to your Family and in your Community
- Thanksgiving Table Topics: Let your kids help set the Thanksgiving table, drawing your family and friends to speak of God’s goodness
- Make a gratitude hand turkey
- Recite Bible verses orally, allowing you to speak and hear His Word
- Make pumpkin or apple pie with a friend, talking about God’s provisions
- Sing songs of gratitude remembering His goodness
- Take a walk, observing God’s faithfulness in the change of season
- Read and discuss children’s books about gratitude and giving thanks (see some ideas below)
- Write people thank you notes as one way to cultivate and express gratitude
Children’s Books on Giving Thanks
- Give Thanks to the Lord by Karma Wilson. See also her books, Let’s Make A Joyful Noise and I Will Rejoice
- Thank You, God, For Blessing Me by Max Lucado
- Berenstain Bears: Thanksgiving Blessings and The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks by Mike Berenstain
- The Blessings Jar: A Story About Being Thankful by Colleen Coble
- Thanks a Million by Nikki Grimes
- The Other Side: Children’s Picture Book On Being Grateful by A. M. Marcus
- Grateful: A Song of Giving Thanks by John Bucchino
- Being Thankful by Mercer Mayer