Family faith-sharing tip:
As a parent you have a special privilege of working with God to make your home a mini-kingdom, where His love and care rules. The activity below highlights the peace, healing, love, joy, forgiveness, and hope that we experience when Jesus is the King of our lives. What can you do to help your children experience more of these six kingdom gifts in your home, and your relationship with them, so that they will be inspired to invite Jesus to be the King of their lives, too?
- Matthew 6:8-13; 13:44-46
- Jesus is King of a kingdom that isn’t limited by time or borders. It’s a wonderful kingdom that anyone can live in. All we have to do is invite Him to be the King of the kingdom in our heart.
- Sheets of posterboard with one of the following cube templates printed on each sheet (you need 1 per person, plus 1 for the prayer activity)
- www.mathsisfun.com/geometry/cube-model.html or http://rubberstamping.about.com/od/templates/ig/Cube-Box-Template/Cube-Box-Template.-3H0.htm
- Paper glue
- Crayons and marker pens
- Stickers, pictures, Band-Aids (first-aid plasters), etc. (See activity below for ideas.)
What you do:
- Ask everyone in the family to think of a place in the world where they’d really like to live, and to say why they’d like to live there.
- Then discuss what makes somewhere a really nice, safe, loving, and happy place to live. How would people treat each other? What would they say and do? How would you feel if you lived in the most perfect place? Make a list or diagram of all your ideas.
- Give each person one of the printed cube templates.
- Ask them to illustrate each side of the cube with one of the lovely things we find in the kingdom of Jesus. He brings peace (dove), healing (Band-Aid), love (heart), joy (smiley face), hope (star, candle, etc.), and forgiveness (cross or white heart).
- Cut out the cubes along their outlines and ask what they notice about the shape of the boxes—they are like a cross. Because Jesus died on the cross, one day we can live in the perfect kingdom of heaven forever! Until then He gives us these special kingdom gifts to make life on earth happier and better for us and for those around us.
- Fold the boxes into shape and glue the flaps inside neatly.
- Use the scraps of posterboard to shape a tiny crown to go inside the the gift box and a little “Thank You” card to Jesus for inviting us to live in His kingdom now, and in heaven forever.
- Use the spare cube to make a prayer cube. On each side of the cube write one of the following prayer-sentence starters:
- I praise You, God, because . . .
- Thank You for loving me today by . . .
- I love You because . . .
- I’m sorry, God, that I . . .
- Please, God, can you help my friend . . .
- Please, God, can you help me . . .
- Form the cube.
- Take turns rolling the cube and praying a sentence prayer starting with the words on the upper face of the cube.
- Or use the following famous and beautiful prayer of Saint Francis to pray that others will experience God’s kingdom through you.
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O Father, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.