The exacerbating global and local situation with COVID-19 has led many families to do “church” at home.
We, too, have been having more family devotion time since the outbreak started. I am thankful for the resources we have at home, such as Our Daily Bread Ministries’ Give Us This Day devotional with its interesting stories that make spiritual truths accessible to young children.
I’m encouraged to keep this habit going. It doesn’t just help our family grow closer to God, it also helps us understand how our little ones think about God and life.
Such unprecedented times offer rich opportunities to talk about some of the harder questions of life—such as why is there sin and suffering, why is life sometimes unfair, and how do we know that God is real.
With Easter just around the corner, here are five engaging, hands-on devotional ideas to strengthen your child’s faith amidst uncertain times.
1. Write A Letter To God
This is a great activity for children and teens. It teaches them that God is a personal God, and helps them cultivate the habit of coming to God in both good and bad times.
Talk to the kids about the significance of Easter, highlighting the resurrection of Christ and the victory He won over sin and death. Then, introduce this activity. Get the kids to write a letter to God to thank Him for sending Jesus to die on the cross for us and raising Him on the third day. Encourage them to express how they would want to change their words and deeds in gratitude to God too.
If your child is not keen on writing, have him draw out his thoughts or requests. There is no right or wrong when it comes to presenting our prayers and innermost thoughts to God.
Additional prompt: Think of someone at school or church who has been affected by COVID-19. How would you pray for this friend in your letter to God?
2. Learn The ABCs Of Bible Verses
If, like me, you’ve been struggling to get your kids to memorise Bible verses, here’s a wonderful resource by Focus on the Family for you, applicable to children ranging from preschoolers to primary schoolers.
For Easter, the verses that are particularly applicable are found in the letters F, I and V. These verses cover the grace by which we have received salvation, the fact that Jesus laid down His life for His sheep, and the victory of Jesus.
I like that these flash cards come in a black and white version so young kids can colour the alphabet once they are done practising the memory verse. It’s a lovely way of saying, “I’ve committed this verse to memory!”
Pray: God, help us remember these verses, and give us the wisdom to apply them to life.
How does maintaining unity and peace as a family help us bring glory to God?
3. Take The Teamwork Challenge
Play a game of passing the jellybeans (or any other snack you have on hand) from one person to the next, until it reaches an empty container at the end of the table. Time how long it takes to get 20 of these items into the jar. You can only pass one item at a time.
Read Ephesians 2:17–18:
He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. (NLT)
Discuss: Jesus is the ultimate peacemaker. He came to reconcile us back to God, and to mend the broken relationships between mankind. How does maintaining unity and peace as a family help us bring glory to God? Hint: Consider the game we played and how important unity is in fulfilling the game’s objective.
Pray: Ask God to help Singaporeans stay united as we prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to keep the peace at home as we see and interact with one another more during this stay home period.
Highlight to them that only through faith in Jesus, can we find the path back home to God.
4. Play With Water
- Paper towels
- 3 small transparent cups
- 2-3 different types of food colouring
Place one empty cup between two cups of differently coloured water on the table.
Twist the paper towel lengthwise. Place one end into one cup of coloured water (cup A), and the other into the empty cup. Do likewise with the other paper towel and place one end into the second cup of coloured water (cup B), and another end into the same empty cup.
Observe what happens. The coloured water travels along the twisted paper towel and goes into the empty cup. The empty cup then becomes a mixture of colours from cup A and cup B.
This activity teaches us the importance of walking daily with Jesus. If we believe in the resurrection power of God and that in Christ we are saved, we need to draw strength from Him daily.
Read John 15:1-4:
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
Discuss: How can we remain in Christ so we could draw from Him the nourishment we need to bear fruit and thrive in the midst of challenges?
Pray: Ask God to remind us to draw near to Him daily and to be influenced by His Word so we could be His salt and light in our community.
Get the kids to write a letter to God to thank Him for sending Jesus to die on the cross for us and raising Him on the third day.
5. Amaze-ing Grace
This activity requires a bit of preparation work.
First, draw a maze on an A4 sheet of paper. You can tailor the difficulty level to the age of your child, but ensure that the correct path goes to the centre of the page.
Next, draw a cross to mark the centre.
Then, draw a Bible to symbolise the Word of God at the beginning of the path.
Get your kids to find the right path from God’s Word to the cross in the maze. Highlight to them that only through faith in Jesus, can we find the path back home to God.
Read John 14:6:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Pray: Ask God to help us to put our faith in Jesus and to thank Him for leading us back to God.