Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday as a child. I never thought of why really until recently. I thought it might be because family and friends were gathered together, or maybe because the food was so good, or because we were about to decorate the Christmas tree soon. All of those things are good and I did like them all. The real reason I loved Thanksgiving so much I believe is because of the joy that was there that day. We would eat all together with joy and thankful hearts and talk and laugh and enjoy the blessings of the feast we were having. It was a celebration. If felt right. I always thought in my mind, this is the way it should be ever day. As a child God had written on my heart the truth that we should be living with thanksgiving and joy.
Here is a little Thanksgiving family worship lesson to help you talk about the kind of thanksgiving and joy that lasts forever.
Never Ending Thankfulness!
Lesson Idea: Christians should be the most thankful people on the planet because in Jesus Christ we have a source for thankfulness and joy that cannot be taken away and that has no end.
Activity/Game: Take turns playing the “I’m thankful for” game. It’s played like the “I’m thinking of” something game. (Ex: I’m thankful for someone who made the turkey today. Answer: mom or dad or Aunt Suzie, etc. I’m thankful for this thing that helps us get from place to place. Answer: car)
Bible application: 1 Chronicles 16:34 “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (If you feel led the entire song of thanks (verses 8-36) is worth reading during the lesson or at another time in the day, with passion! Maybe even read Psalm 136 too!)
Discuss: When we think about all of the things we can be thankful for there are a lot of awesome things: (if you played the game list the things they chose, if not, list your own ideas) Many of the things we named are temporary things. They do not last forever. I would love a Lego castle! I would be pretty happy to get a lego castle for Christmas. I would feel joy over my gift. But, will that joy last forever? Do the things on this earth last forever? After a while, I’ll start wanting something else. Pieces of my castle might get lost or broken. It will get old. It won’t be around forever. I won’t be happy with it forever. In fact, my joy in my castle or any other earthly thing won’t last forever will it?
In 1 Chronicles 16:34 we hear a part of David’s song of thanks to the Lord, He says, (say with exclamation) “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!”
At the end of this verse there is an exclamation point. Who knows what that means? Yes, it means with excitement or special emphasis. David is really excited to give thanks to the Lord. Why is he so happy to give thanks? He gives us the answer in the second part of the verse, “for his steadfast love endures forever!” Who’s love is it that endures or lasts forever? That’s right! It’s God’s love that lasts forever. Why is that so exiting? Why does David exclaim that we should give thanks to the Lord for this? Remember when we talked about my Lego castle? We talked about how that toy or other earthy things won’t last forever nor will the joy or happiness we have in those things. Well, God is completely different than the things of this earth. God is eternal. That means he has no beginning and no end. He is forever. David reminds us that his love is also forever. In John 3:16 we read that …”God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” We know his love lasts forever because God gave us Jesus. Our sin, man’s sin, separated us from God. If David thought things were going to stay that way, there would be no exclamation in his song of thanks. But because God loves us so much, He made a way for us to no longer be separated from Him. He gave us His son Jesus who paid the price for our sin, so that when we believe in Him we can love and be loved by Him forever! We will not perish like a toy or thing! We will share in eternal life with our loving God whose “…steadfast love endures forever!” No matter what happens, no matter what we have or don’t have, no matter what we gain or loose, that love cannot be taken from us. We should be the most thankful people on the planet!
Drive it home: Because of what God did through His son Jesus, we have a source for thankfulness and joy that cannot be taken away and that has no end. Let’s pray that we can be full of thankfulness and joy every day for this GREAT gift!
Pray: Heavenly Father, we have so much to be thankful for. You have given us great things. Help us to remember that the things of this life, of this earth are temporary. Help us to give thanks and rejoice that your love lasts forever. Nothing can take that love way because of Jesus. I pray that we would look to Jesus every day and that we really would be the most thankful and joyful people on the planet. Use us to bring you glory. We thank you and praise your name! AMEN
Sing! Go to Seeds family worship and look for Psalm 95:1-4, 1 Chronicles 16:9-10, or Psalm 136:1-6:26! They are all great verses of praise! You can go to their playlist here: http://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/product/seeds-of-praise-vol-3/. You can memorize God’s Word while you sing. Play all the songs of praise as you color or do a craft.
Coloring pages: At http://ministry-to-children.com/thanksgiving-coloring-pages/ you will find a page of coloring pages. Type in Thanksgiving on their search engine and you will find many other craft ideas and resources. Here is a link to a Thanksgiving wreath craft you can color and a photo of a tree you can color and make “thankful leaves” for. http://ministry-to-children.com/thankfulness-to-god-wreath-craft-project/