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Family shares on Bible night

April 19, 2010

by Jenni Sebora

Last week after school I, was working at church preparing for an upcoming Sunday school lesson that I was teaching. My kindergarten daughter, Delaney, was keeping herself busy by reading some books in the room. After she was done reading one of the books, she declared, “We should have a Jesus night, Mom.”

I concurred that it was a fine idea. She then asked, “What night, Mom?” She answered her own question with, “Wednesdays would be a good night. Caleb (her seventh grade brother) has confirmation so that would be a good night.”

She proceeded to go to the whiteboard in the room and began writing down activities that we could do on this special family night.

1. We should read from the Bible.

2. Draw pictures of Jesus and the story.

3. Sing songs.

Those were her ideas, sparked from the book she read. It happened to be a Wednesday. So when Dad got home, she shared the news with him, and after supper, we began our family “Jesus night.”

Delaney suggested that we read the story about Zaccheus, the wee little man. Thus, we read that story from the Bible, and then she gathered crayons and paper for us all, and we each drew our own pictures telling the story. We each shared our pictures individually, enjoying the scenes and words depicted.

I had found a children’s Bible song book that I had when I was a little girl. Delaney was delighted in this discovery. We sang through some of the songs in the book, which ended our family Bible activities for the evening.

It was a delightful evening shared as a family and sparked by our 6-year-old daughter’s enthusiasm. That is why Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.”

We all have a lot to learn from our little ones. We need to take the time to listen to them and watch them in their wonderful worlds of discovery, enjoyment, enthusiasm, and creativity.

“If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in,” said Rachel Carlson.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Scatter joy.” That is what children do. It may be messy sometimes, but children do give joy so naturally.

As Taisen Deshimaru said, “To receive everything, one must open one’s hands and give.” Children give with their hearts and arms open, so that they don’t even know the depth of their giving.

Children help us, as my daughter just did again, to remember to not lose that childhood wonderment and discovery or rediscovery of tangible and intangible things around us.

It has been a while since my husband and I drew pictures with crayons. And we, of course, received reinforcement from our daughter. “That is really good,” she said to both of us as we shared our individual masterpieces with the rest of our family. And, I think that we might even hang it on the refrigerator.