Big events require big monuments (or mementos).
When you spend lots of money to go on the holiday of a lifetime or see the concert you have longed to see without taking home a memento of that time.
Whether it is the photos that you have taken or heap tat from a gift shop a wise person will find a way to bottle some of the memories of the time.
God specifically instructs the Israelites to keep a memento of key events in the Bible. For example, God told the Israelites to collect up stones when they passed through the river Jordan on their way to Jericho (Joshua 3). God himself placed a memorial in the form of a rainbow to promise that he would never flood the earth again.
Of course mementos are not just there to remember the good times, they are also there to remember the harder times and serve as a warning and a way of counting blessings into the future. The simple act of wearing a poppy on remembrance Sunday to remember those who gave their lives to fight for our freedom helps us to not take those freedoms for granted. When the Israelites were released from slavery they were told to keep the Passover festival not just to remember how God delivered them but to recall that they were previously slaves in Egypt. (That's why they eat bitter herbs, for the bitterness of slavery and slated water to remind them of their tears as slaves).
The prophet Joel speaks of how Israel should respond to the devastation of the land in their time.
Joel 1:2-3 says,
'Has anything like this happened in your days,Or even in the days of your fathers?
Tell your children about it,
Let your children tell their children,
And their children another generation.'
This year has had events that our children will talk to their grandchildren about. Covid 19 pandemic leading to the closing of schools and lockdown definitely comes into the significant lifetime event.
While some children have happily plodded along seemingly oblivious to what has been going on around them and others have delighted in staying home rather than going to school, for many this has been a stressful time.
As ministers to the children we have a duty to help them to reflect on these events through eyes of faith. So here are some way to help them with this:
Help them find Bible verses that speak into how they have been feeling and what God has been
Encourage them to write a letter to their future children about what life was like in this time.
Talk with them about the highs and lows they have faced.
Create a fun list of words that everybody uses but few had heard of before this year began.
Show them how they can view these vents and any future events through the eyes of the cross: God’s big story is always to bring people to a place of repentance so they can discover his grace and live in his freedom, walking close to him. That’s why he sent Jesus to die on the cross. What does God require from us following these events and how can we help advance God’s plans for this world as many are trying to make sense of it all?
Above all we have to make space to talk about it and not just put our heads down and carry on.
That’s why we have created the Life in Lockdown 2020 activity pack. As children work through it they will not only be creating a great momento for the future but they will also be able to begin to process some of what they have been experiencing around them through the eyes of faith.
Because we believe this is such an important thing for our children to do we have worked hard to make the booklets as affordable as possible. Only £2 for one booklet or 10 for £10.
You can buy copies exclusively from our online shop.
Let's work to see our children come out of this time, stronger, more confident and full of faith in God.