Welcome to another week. I hope you all had a great weekend, especially a great Lord's Day. I enjoyed the rest, fellowship, and spiritual nourishment of our Christian Sabbath yesterday. Today, however, our two-week break from school is over, and it is time to get back to the normal routine again.
As I promised last week, today I am launching a new daily theme, Milestone Monday. This is a time for sharing "firsts." Each week I will let you know about something new that is going on in our school, home, or family. But remember, this blog is a community. I want to hear from you guys, too. Post comments about the new things in your lives as well. Don't be shy! I want to learn from you guys and celebrate your or your kids' accomplishments with you.
My milestone this week is that I am planning the children's activities for my church's Reformation Night celebration to be held this Friday. Those of you who know me personally are wondering how this is a milestone. You know I have always worked with kids and have done my fair share of children's activities. However, this is the first time I have done this for my current church and it is the first time I have planned activities specifically for Reformation Night.
I am planning to set up five learning centers, one for each of the five Solas. The five Solas are five Latin phrases which summarize the Reformers' theological beliefs in contradicting the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of their day. As children enter the church Friday, I will give them an empty sack with one of the five Solas written on it. This will assign them a starting station. They will complete a task (I will list these below) and explain to the teacher the meaning of the Sola for their current station. Then the teacher will place candy in their bags. After 7 minutes, they will move to the next station. This rotation will continue until everyone has traveled to each station.
Each night this week at home, Michael is going to introduce one Sola in preparation for Friday. Tonight we will learn about "Sola Fide" by faith alone. He will teach the boys the phrase, the English translation, and then share a verse pertaining to faith. We will have a short discussion. I will list the scripture we will read below with the station descriptions.
I pray your week will be a great celebration of God's faithfulness to His people. I praise the Lord for the mighty work he did through the men of the Reformation.
Here are the station ideas:
1. Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone): 2 Tim 3:16
At this station I will hang a pocket chart and have a set of letter cards prepared. The teacher will, one word at a time, arrange the letters in the chart to spell a book of the Bible. The cards will be placed in the chart with the backs showing and the letters hidden. The children will take turns guessing a letter. When correct, the teacher will reveal the letter. If incorrect, the teacher will reveal one of three strikes. After three strikes, the group must guess what book title is being spelled. They may guess before getting three strikes if they want.
2. Sola Fide (by faith alone): 2 Cor 5:7
I will have five boxes prepared ahead of time. Inside each shoebox with a hole cut in the lid (just large enough for a child to reach in and feel the contents without seeing them), I will place one item that can be easily identified by touch. Children will take turns feeling and guessing. After all guesses are in, the teacher will reveal the items and explain that just as they were able to know what items they felt without seeing them, we are able, by the work of the Spirit, to love Christ even though we have not seen him.
3. Sola Gratia (by grace alone): Eph 2:8
At this station, the kids will play a BINGO game. The row heading will be G-R-A-C-E instead of bingo. I will make the cards myself by drawing the bingo grid on pieces of card stock. Where the free space should be, I will write in Eph 2:8. Instead of numbers in the other squares, I will write in names and terms related to the Reformation (Luther, Calvin, Knox, 95 Theses, Wittenberg, etc.).
4. Solus Christus (Christ alone): Rom 6:23
For this sola, the kids will decorate a cross-shaped cut-out with tissue paper squares in a variety of colors. They will glue the squares to the cut-out like a mosaic.
5. Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone): 1 Cor 10:31
At this station, the kids will play a game of musical chairs. We will play Holly Dutton's The Westminster Shorter Catechism Songs, specifically the questions that relate to God's glory. I will also play a recording of A Mighty Fortress. If you do not have these cd's, any God-honoring music would do.