I love this lesson because it focuses on gratitude, and this virtue helps us to fight against so many things that are wrong with modern culture: selfishness, materialism, greed, being self-centered, etc.
Stewardship is the idea that all good things are gifts from God and He entrusts them to us for care and wise use. Pretty nice, eh? Parents, this is one area where your Christian witness really speaks volumes, for better or worse. I guarantee your kids know when you share and give and help others. They see what you put in the Sunday collection, how you use your time, and what you spend on other things. This is definitely your chance to talk with them about all those choices. Why do you volunteer here and give there? Have you heard God calling you to those actions?
No matter how old your kids are, I recommend you start with the booklet entitled An Attitude of Gratitude. It’s the base line of the whole conversation, reminding everyone that all we have and are comes from God. How are we going to respond?
The basic activity is the My Gift to the Lord cards. Cut them apart, have your kids fill them out, and put them in next Sunday’s collection. The genius behind it though is that it helps you all think in terms of all the different ways you can give back to God. Prayer is a gift. Gratitude is a gift. Doing nice things for others is a gift. Giving money is a gift, and so on. So many thing qualify under the oft-heard “time, talent, and treasure” banner and it’s an excellent habit to think of your daily actions in these terms.
Older kids can go on to learn what the Bible has to say on the topic. Actually, it’s quite a lot, but we’ll be focusing on a few verses, mainly from the Gospels. This is a good chance to practice the very practical skill of looking up verses in the relaxed environment of your home.
Continuing with the topic of gratitude, have your older kids spend some time with the In All Things Give Thanks booklet. Each page has a theme and an invitation to count blessings. It’s intended for use by your older Family Formation kids, but would also work well as a group project for your family prayer time over the upcoming week.
One more thing – Father Livingston gave an excellent homily on the leper who came back to give thanks. You can listen by clicking here.