We finally had our first crisp Fall day here. The leaves are beginning to show a hint of color. The plants are looking a little weary and ready for their winter rest. The stores are filling with items from the Fall harvest – apples, pumpkins, nuts and fresh cranberries.
The Fall harvest is a great time to teach your kids some important godly lessons and have fun at the same time. So grab your kids and head to the nearest farm, orchard or farmer’s market, and share these important lessons from God as you enjoy God’s bountiful harvest and beautiful weather.
- Celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Sukkot was a holiday God commanded the people to observe under the Old Law. In our modern calendar, it often occurs in Oct. Although Christians aren’t required to celebrate it, the holiday has a lot of value for our children, too. Have your children use branches and vegetation to build a three sided booth with a “roof” through which they can still see the sky (The third wall can indeed be a wall to make it easier.). Bring harvest foods to eat in the booth as the sun begins to set and the stars rise. As you eat, tell your children the stories of Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness. Explain how everything in the Old Testament was preparing for the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah.
- Explain how God views non-Christians as the harvest and Christians as the workers. Discuss how God wants Christians to serve others and share their faith. Help them understand true Christian love is helping people understand what God wants for them and from them. It’s teaching them to become Christians so they can spend eternal life in Heaven. If they really “love like Jesus”, they will be passionate about sharing God’s love and commands with everyone they meet.
- Share the harvest with others. Your family can take apples or a pumpkin to those who would enjoy some company. Make some apple butter and share it with neighbors as a way of building relationships. Make some apple tarts with your kids and take them to thank those who help your family in some way. Take a bag of apples and other produce to a family who is struggling financially. Have serving others and sharing your faith become a part of your family’s very identity.
- Reflect on God’s blessings and how He provides for our needs. Does your family have a habit of using prayer time to only ask God for things? Break the habit by using the harvest as a way for your family to focus on thanking God for His blessings. Help your kids understand how God provides for His people. They may not always get what they want, but God will take care of their needs.
Using the things around you to point your children to God makes it easy to keep talking to your kids about God continuously as God commands. The great thing is these fun outings also create warm family memories and those memories will be tied to God. It is definitely worth celebrating!