“One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them.” Mark 10:13
Jesus modeled love, prayer and celebrations when connecting with God and serving others. He knew that children had an extraordinary capacity for these. For Jesus, his daily rhythms and routines were filled with the “mud and the spit” of daily life. In addition, he performed miracles and blessed the multitudes of people following him.
When parents brought their children to be blessed by Jesus, he had to balance his schedule and his routines. Because he knew the value of little children, he took the time, in the middle of his daily rhythms and his daily habit of teaching, to model how we can be a blessing to others by welcoming everyone. He “remixed” his agenda that day. He added to the original plans and rearranged his original plans and created space in the midst of his daily rhythms in spite of the concerns of his disciples.
I’m sure Jesus “fine tuned” and “remixed “his disciples’ attitude following the blessing of the children and rearranged the men’s thought processes to improve their thinking.
The Disciples had a different opinion and in those days, children were perceived as nonentities until they grew up and proved themselves, so the Disciples wanted to shoo the children away. But I can imagine seeing Jesus bouncing the young children on his knee, laughing with them and asking them about their day.
Just imagine…not long after he blessed the children, Jesus rode into Jerusalem. The children and others waved palm branches and shouted, “Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” Let’s remember, that we are blessed to be a blessing.
Let’s Remix, Fine Tune and Add to the Rhythms of our Daily Routines and Lives
As parents, grandparents and caregivers, we can remix, fine tune and add to the rhythms of our daily habits for growing faith in our homes. One way is to bless our children and youth by creating Holy Moments. Our daily rhythms in our lives are filled with opportunities for making wonderful faith-filled memories. Above all these created moments need to be intentional for growing faith.
Sometimes the most perfect and well-planned home devotion just may not provide for the spiritual needs of children “in the moment”. In spite of the circumstances of the day, we can experience God in the mess and the chaos of daily life as we rearrange and add to the original daily routines or rhythms with some fine tuning. Also, let’s celebrate our successes when the movements of God happens on our family faith journey!
Don’t worry if you only do a few of these in the beginning. As you do speak the words of God to your children, habits of faith will develop, and routines will follow one step at a time. Eventually, your children will remind you if you forget.
Read the Bible Passage one Evening from Mark 10:13-16.
- I wonder what Jesus said to the children?
- I wonder if he made faces at them and played little games?
- I wonder what he would say to me if I had been there?
- I wonder if he used blessings for the children from the scriptures as we are doing?
When you are waking up your child, put you hand on their head or shoulder, turn on a low wattage lamp and say,“Chris, It’s morning and you are like a candle to me as Jesus is our Light to guide us for our journey today.”
Suppose it is a rough morning and everyone seems a bit on edge just getting ready. Before your child goes out the door, hold their hands or put your hand on their shoulder as you say, “Jesus is your shepherd and He loves you and will take care of you. I love you.”
What if everyone’s a bit grumpy at breakfast. Have some Legos or Duplo blocks sitting on the table (blue, orange, red, yellow and gold). I wonder what color I feel like right now? I wonder what color I’ll feel like later or when school is over for the day? Stack them up accordingly to help plan your day. Here are a few examples: Blue-sad, orange-hurried, red-excited (about lunch or a science experiment you might do, yellow-sunny recess time, gold-coming home on the bus). You could also use other manipulative objects such as the Holy Listening Stones created by LeAnne Hadley as mentioned in the previous post “Stones & A Giant With an Attitude~The Power of Family Holy Moments”. Or, use the blessing, “My choice for the day is you, Jesus. Let’s all make thinking like Jesus our sunny choice.”
Here’s a fun Blessing taken from Psalm 108 in The Message: “I’m ready, God, so ready, ready from head to toe. Ready to sing, ready to raise a God-song. Wake up, you sleepyhead sun!” Then sing out “Hallelujah”!
“May you keep your eyes open for God today, watch for his works!” from Psalm 105
Blessings Before Dinner or On-The-Run to Soccer
When in the car on the way to an event say, “Guide us down the road, Jesus”. Or, when you finally arrive after a long drive, stretch your legs and let’s just praise God! “Praise God everybody! Applaud God all people! (Clap hands) His love has taken over our lives; Hallelujah!” (Taken from Psalm 117 in The Message)
When calling everyone to the table for dinner, pause and ask everyone to speak loudly and repeat the phrases when walking or running to the kitchen: “Hallelujah!/ Thank God! / And why? / Because he’s good, because his love lasts!”
In the quiet moments before bed, after a Bible story or a fictional book, place your hand on your child’s shoulder. Invite others in the family to hold hands or place a hand on another’s shoulders for the Blessing)
This is my favorite nightly blessing and everyone can repeat after you: “The Lord bless you and keep you, The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
Breath Prayers are always fantastic:
Inhale: I will not be afraid; Exhale: for You are with me” Psalm 23
Inhale: Your grace; Exhale: is enough for me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Inhale: You are our refuge; Exhale: and our strength. Psalm 46:1
Here’s a great Blessing that I use often for Morning Blessings or Night Blessings (Adapted from Ephesians 3:16-19)
I pray God makes you strong…Christ lives in your heart.
May you know how wide and long and high and deep His love is.
May you be filled with God’s grace and love,
So that it spills out to others. Amen.
Note: Additions will be made to this post often so check back.
NOTE: “Remixed”: When something, like a song is “remixed” that means there is a balance variant of the original made by rearranging or adding a different rhythm or fine tuning to the original song. Families can use their “original” habits and routines. Then, in the middle of the activities, add encouragement, blessings and faith-filled Jesus moments that reflect their own spirituality.