Hi, I’m Nancy de Jong, pastor of the children and families of Pine Lake Covenant Church in Sammamish, Washington. Today I wanted to share a little bit about Remember and Celebrate with you and how we practice it here in our faith community.
Remember and celebrate occurs on the 6th and 13th week in the sequence of our Tru lessons and it’s a great time to just pause in what we’re learning and remember what God has been teaching us through The Big God Story and celebrate where He has been active in our lives.
How We Remember and Celebrate
We play Zonk, a great game for the kids that really engages them and makes them remember what God’s been showing them and connects it to the future. But the part that I really, really love, is when we pause and get quiet to celebrate around the campfire.
I turn down the lights, I have a little fake campfire that’s in the middle of the room and I invite the kids to gather in close around and to share this time together. I ask the kids, “Where has God been active in your life? Where have you noticed and where have you felt Him? Where have you sensed the Holy Spirit?”
At first, quite often the kids are a little bit quiet, but then inevitably I get that 5 year old kindergartener that says “I have a story.” And they come up and say “I fell and got hurt and I had to put a Band-Aid on it because it was bleeding a little bit.”
Okay. And then I prompt them a little bit more, “Did you sense that God was with you in that moment?”
“Well, yeah, He was. He was with me.”
“And did you feel that God helped you through that?”
“He did help me through that. And you know what? He healed me too because I don’t have to have this Band-Aid anymore, it’s really all pretty good now.”
So they’re seeing God active and God as healer and God as restorer
Stories Are Powerful
Recently I had a 5th grade boy share an amazing testimony in our campfire time. He said:
“I’ve been praying for my brother for over a year. My older brother has a disorder that causes him to have some ticks and some anxiety and it’s been hard on our family and I’ve prayed for God to heal him. I’ve prayed for God to take this disorder away and while not everything has been removed, the ticks have stopped. God has healed him. God has restored him. God is working in my brother’s life. And I know that He’s working in my life and in the life of my family.”
And that’s so amazing to see kids just light up with that, that they’re seeing the reality of God in their lives and they’re celebrating who He is.
It’s Not Just For Kids
I’ve also wanted this experience of remembering and celebrating for our entire church. So we’ve been practicing that a few times a year taking it to the whole church. And the first couple of times we really wanted to model it for our families, for our older adults as well. And they said “Hey, we want to be part of that. We want to play Zonk, too. We want to remember God’s faithfulness. We want to celebrate that together as a faith community.”
So we’re still exploring, we’re still working it out but God is moving. When we slow down, when we pause in the busyness of life and we remember Him and celebrate His faithfulness He will restore us, He will renew us, He will guide us, He will show His presence among us.
I encourage you take time, remember and celebrate.