Hi All, apologies for this going out a week later than usual, but the past few weeks have been busier than usual, getting things ready for going back to meeting in a building again! But anyway, for the last time…here are some resources you can look at with your children over the next few weeks around the theme of Hospitality 😊
I found this article thought it might be helpful as we start to think about meeting with people again and being intentional with hospitality. It’s got some good ideas on how we teach and include our children in it 😊 https://growingfaith.com.au/parenting/how-to-model-hospitality-to-your-kids
Can you guess what these words mean? Can you find out what language they are written in?
The words above all mean ‘Welcome’. If you were going to plan a ‘welcome’ for someone, how would you do it? Would you have banners? Balloons? Surprises? Would it all depend on who it was? Think up your ideal Welcome Party!
Now. Think of 3 things that would not make you feel welcome!! For example, what if someone sang a song every time you tried to speak? Or maybe they ‘shushed’ you? Or told you you weren’t allowed to play with any of their things?
When have you been ‘welcomed’? Maybe when schools opened again, your teachers welcomed you back, or you’ve seen shops and restaurants welcoming customers back after being closed for so long. Or maybe, you’re looking forward to welcoming someone to visit after all this time in lockdowns and things?!
Talk about why it is important to feel welcome.
Say: The Bible tells us that we are called to people who welcome and show hospitality to others; those we like and even those we don’t! What does hospitality mean? (Explain to younger children, but essentially it’s about welcoming others. Jesus gave us the perfect example in what he wanted us to be like when it comes to welcoming and showing hospitality to others. Over the past few months we have looked at stories where we saw Jesus eating with people and how he responded to those who did things other people thought he wouldn’t like. Like the woman who ‘wasted’ a load posh perfume washing Jesus’ feet. Or how the lady who just sat at his feet listening to him wasn’t told off for being lazy and leaving all the work to her sister, as well as the stories we’ve looked at during the Family Zoom Services. Each time, Jesus has taught us to welcome those we might not have thought about welcoming, to share what we have others who might not have what we do or be able to share much back; to love everyone, even when it’s more difficult.
Matthew 25:34-40 in the International Children’s Bible:
34 “Then the King will say to the good people on his right, ‘Come. My Father has given you his blessing. Come and receive the kingdom God has prepared for you since the world was made. 35 I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you invited me into your house. 36 I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then the good people will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food? When did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you alone and away from home and invite you into our house? When did we see you without clothes and give you something to wear? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and care for you?’
40 “Then the King will answer, ‘I tell you the truth. Anything you did for any of my people here, you also did for me.’
Read the above or paraphrase what was going on for younger children. Explain that Jesus was telling us that whenever we do good things for others or with others, it’s like we are doing it for him. So when we look after and welcome others, we do it for Jesus.
1 Later, the Lord again appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre. At that time Abraham was sitting at the door of his tent. It was during the hottest part of the day. 2 He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When Abraham saw them, he ran from his tent to meet them. He bowed facedown on the ground before them. 3 Abraham said, “Sir, if you think well of me, please stay awhile with me, your servant. 4 I will bring some water so all of you can wash your feet. You may rest under the tree. 5 I will get some bread for you, so you can regain your strength. Then you may continue your journey.”The three men said, “That is fine. Do as you said.”
6 Abraham hurried to the tent where Sarah was. He said to her, “Hurry, prepare 20 quarts of fine flour. Make it into loaves of bread.” 7 Then Abraham ran to his cattle. He took one of his best calves and gave it to a servant. The servant hurried to kill the calf and to prepare it for food. 8 Abraham gave the three men the calf that had been cooked. He also gave them milk curds and milk. While the three men ate, he stood under the tree near them.”
Read the above, or paraphrase for those too young to understand.
- How do you think the 3 men felt when they met Abraham? (Tired, hot, thirsty)
- They probably had been walking for ages and then Abraham, a stranger to them was quite welcoming, wasn’t he?
- How do you think he treated them? (Really well, like he cared about them even though he didn’t know them)
- Read verse 2 again. What act of hospitality did Abraham show here that we could do no matter how old we are? (He noticed the men. We could look out for people who might be new to church, school, our neighbourhood or park and make them feel welcome somehow)
- Abraham could have easily thought ‘Oh man, I’m too tired to get up and welcome strangers today.’ Or ‘I don’t even know who these men are, I’m not going to get my best cattle to kill for them to eat.’ What excuses can we sometimes use to not be welcoming or hospitable?
Spend some time praying about how you can ‘practice hospitality’ and welcome others. Think about ways you could do it, ask for help with the things that make it difficult for you or that you struggle with or even the people you struggle with.
- Have a think about who you might like to ‘welcome’ to your house to play, or to play with at school break time, or even to come to church with you one Sunday when we’re back. Fill out the Invites on the download and decorate them to make them extra welcoming 😊
- Make a Hospitality Sandwich! Using paper, plain or coloured or a mixture of both. Start by folding a piece of paper in half and tape, glue or staple the sides to form a pocket. Then, using paper, draw or write ideas on ways you can welcome others or show hospitality. You could use a green piece and write or draw yourself inviting someone to join your playtime at school and that could be a lettuce filling for your sandwich. Keep filling your sandwich with ideas you can use at school, home, church or out and about! Like opening a door for someone or smiling at people.
- Here’s a song for the little ones to help them with the message this month:
- Could you make a Welcome Banner or poster for when we go to our new church building?