“A man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. He was righteous and devout. He eagerly anticipated the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he wouldn’t die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Led by the Spirit, he went into the temple area. Meanwhile, Jesus’ parents brought the child to the temple so that they could do what was customary under the Law. Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God.” ~Luke 2:25-28
A new year means new beginnings, which means new opportunities to be creative. The kids of COSA love their church and love to learn. The story of Simeon during the children’s sermon was so intriguing to them, that the conversation continued as children’s church began. It became clear that the kids loved the idea that God kept such a big promise, and wanted to make some promises of their own. We talked about New Year’s resolutions and how most people don’t seem to keep them by the end of the year. If we can’t keep promises, why do we make them?
The lesson continued with the kids making their own form of New Year’s resolutions. Promises to themselves, to God, to their families, to their church, and finally to their communities. Together we put the promises together, making sure we could keep each promise that made and talking about why each one was important. As the list began to form, I took each kid aside to make a promise that they wanted to be private. Into sealed envelopes, each of the incredibly, and sometimes surprisingly, deep promises for the year went. Each to be put away till 2014.
Once again, I was astounded by how dedicated and well thought out each promise was. We placed each promise on giant post-its and pinned them to the Sunday School wall. Promises mean nothing if we don’t remember them. In order to include the church community, the promises were also pinned on a bulletin board outside the church offices.
Curriculum is a wonderful resource, and can create incredible learning opportunities for kids. Every so often, the kids end up creating a lesson out of something that intrigues them, and God uses those opportunities to teach amazing things. I encourage you to take some of those spontaneous opportunities and run with them. You never know what the Spirit may have in store.