Do you ever wonder what your kids are going to remember about their childhoods? I’m often worried they’ll only remember me running and racing around or fussing at them to put away the trail of items they inevitably leave behind them wherever they go. As yet another Thanksgiving flies by and the Christmas season begins, I caught a glimpse that, perhaps every now and then, something sticks.
This morning at Sunday School, we read Matthew 25:31-46 – the obligatory Christ the King Sunday scripture about the kingdom of God and serving people in need. Teddy, my 10-year-old son, raised his hand to answer when I asked the kids if they did anything this past week to feed the hungry or comfort the sick. Usually his answers include something about Fortnite or something silly to make his buddies laugh. My jaw hit the floor when he said, “We made food for people in need and went to a funeral.”
I teared up right there.
The Monday night of Thanksgiving week, I signed up our family to help prepare our church’s Thanksgiving meal for people in need. Teddy lasted all of twenty minutes opening jars of canned cranberry sauce with my husband. Matt, our 8 year old, hung in there a bit longer and actually helped us scoop a few of the little cups before he said it gave him a headache and they both went off to make water balloons out of the plastic gloves. It wasn’t exactly the effort I was hoping for. But, at least they had the experience and watched as their parents packaged up 750 little cups of cranberry sauce.
Two days later, the boys and I served up some of that cranberry sauce and the rest of the Thanksgiving fare to a shared meal of working families at our church. On Thanksgiving morning, Matt and I helped to decorate tables with crafts the children made so that the people in need in our community would have a cheery table to enjoy their Thanksgiving meal. Another two days after that, the boys came with me to a funeral and sat through a rather long service at an unfamiliar church.
I worried whether I’d overdone it this week. I wondered if was too much.
But, then came Teddy’s answer this morning and I knew that he got it. My prayer is that these experiences of service and care are shaping them to love God and their neighbors. My hope is that they’re bringing about the kingdom of God as they share love and kindness with others. My heart is that they’ll grow up and remember these times with our family and their lives will be richer because of them.
So, Happy Christ the King Sunday.
May you find hope in this little parenting adventure in trying to plant seeds of faithfulness. If you’re like me, you probably need encouragement that you’re doing a good job and all the little things you do to make faith a priority are actually shaping the lives of your kids. At the end of the day, may it all go to further God’s kingdom.