As I write this blog post it is now less than one week until Christmas. How does it sneak up so quickly? Are you organized and ready? I often wonder why we put so much pressure on ourselves to have things all done and put together just perfect. How there seems to be so many events and activities on the calendar at once with not enough time to get to everything. I know that I’m even guilty of this when planning Christmas ideas for our Children’s Ministry. I’m always looking for something fresh, some new ideas that have the ‘wow factor’. There were even a few articles I read about how to be more effective in ministry planning during the season. Some suggestions were: decorating your space, (check), having some Christmas lights in the classrooms, (check I have a tree with lights), have different snacks (check, our kids love crackers and cheese), well planned crafts (check, I love being crafty), and using perhaps a variety of games and activity stations, (check, I usually have lots planned).
While these ideas are all helpful and effective, I was reminded that the Christmas story, with its events and characters, is enough on its own. It doesn’t need anything extra or flashy. Even though it may be the same story every year- Jesus born in a stable manger, a Saviour for the world; this is the ‘wow factor’!!
Last week our younger Sunday school children learned about one of my favourite parts of the Christmas story. It’s when the shepherds are in the field and suddenly an angel appears to them. We used a nativity set and some picture scenes to re-tell the story. The image of some simple shepherds working out in a field when suddenly an angel is before them and then a host of angels- is incredible. They were so full of joy and excitement that they hurried off to find the baby. These shepherds were part of an amazing story, part of a plan. God sent us a special gift that is for everyone.
As we get ready for Christmas day, let’s pause and reflect on God’s perfect plan and the hope a tiny king would bring.
Glory to the Newborn King!
Tanya Chant, Family & Children's Ministry
Do we trust God every day? I like to think that I try to, but when there’s a bump in the road, a disappointment or something doesn’t go as planned, I’m often questioning what happened and why. I might complain, feel the circumstances are unfair, doubt, or try things my own way.
In Sunday school, our grades 2-5 have been on the journey with Moses as he leads the people through the desert to the Promised Land. I can’t even imagine the pressure and sense of responsibility Moses must have felt each day. To be chosen to lead a group of people who were sometimes doubtful, disobedient and difficult, would be tough for sure.
This Sunday we are at the part of the story where Moses is punished. As you may recall, God had asked Moses to gather the people at the rock with his staff and to speak to the rock. Moses did gather the people there, but ended up striking the rock twice. Moses perhaps was frustrated and disobeyed God’s instructions. As a result, he was told that he wouldn’t be the one to lead the people into the Promised Land.
I can totally relate to some of the people in this story. I can see myself lacking in trust for God’s provisions and showing doubt….and even complaining. I can see how Moses may have had a moment where he thought his way was best and became frustrated.
Even with all that, God still loved and cared for Moses and the people. I believe God understands when we fall short or have feelings of fear and doubt. We can definitely trust Him to meet our needs everyday.
Tanya Chant, Director of Family and Childrens Ministry
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults and with my song I give thanks to Him.
Psalm 9:10 And those who know your name put their trust in You, for You, O Lord have not forsaken those who seek You.
As I begin to write this blog, we are exactly three months away from Christmas! It seems like just yesterday that we were gearing up for summer camp, but here we are with October just around the corner. Fall is a great season though! Students have returned to their classes and routines, programs and activities have started and we still can enjoy some warm weather.
The other day, someone sent me a picture of a steaming tea cup with the words “TEA (n.) a hug in a cup”, beside it. Those of you who know me will know that I really do enjoy a cup of hot tea, with perhaps a good book and a blanket. Yes, it’s all about comfort!
In Sunday school we have been looking at Exodus and learning about Moses. Moses was given the great task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt, but felt ill-prepared and not confident for such a job. This was a calling definitely out of his comfort zone. As our children have been learning however, God provided the strength and reassurance that Moses needed. We see examples of God’s power, His instruction, and His love and care for us. Moses and the people saw that they could trust God, that He provided for them and that nothing was too big- not even the Red Sea! God truly is the greatest comforter!
As we begin to enjoy the short fall season, with our sweaters, warm drinks and good food; we can rest in the knowledge that God can and will walk through any circumstance with us.
Tanya Chant, Director of Family & Children's Ministries
“May your faithful love comfort me as you have promised me.” (Psalm 119:76)
“Shout with joy, you heavens! Be glad, you earth! Burst into song, you mountains! The lord will comfort His people. He will show His tender love to those who are suffering.” (Isaiah 49:13)
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