All posts written by Jared Kennedy

What I love about child dedication…


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One thing I love about child dedication is that it’s a celebration of how unique the parent-child relationship is. You won’t find me saying, “I hope Elisabeth eats her Brussels sprouts today because then she’ll get to be my daughter.” No way! She’s our daughter because God gave her to us. She was born into our family. She doesn’t have to earn her status as my daughter, and I don’t have to earn my status as her dad.

What that means is that when I make commitments to my girls–even when I struggle to keep certain obligations that I have toward them–even when I struggle to love them well–I’m not struggling to earn anything. I struggle just because I love them, and I want to be faithful to the gifts God has given. In our performance driven culture, the uniqueness of the parent-child relationship stands out.

The Father designed it that way to be a picture of his relationship to us. We don’t have to earn our status in his family. We’re born into it. We receive it as a gift of grace. So, I can keep my obligations to my own kids, because I have a Father in heaven who is keeping me.

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name” (Ephesians 3:14-15)

Sign up for the March 16th Child Dedication here!

 

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Family Devotional on Luke 18:9-17)

Dear parents,

In many ways, this past week’s SojournKids lesson was about the heart and soul of the gospel. We learned that Jesus came to save Big Sinners like you and me. We told the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector or the “Know-it-all” and the “Big Sinner” from Luke 18:9-17. Here we see that we can’t brag about our goodness before God, because we come to him with nothing. Like the tax collector who couldn’t even look up to heaven, we must simply cry out to God for mercy. The Bible teaches us that we have direct access to our Father through Jesus Christ. It’s so amazing that we have this access when we consider how big our sin is. Here are some questions to follow-up with your kids about the story:

READ: Luke 18:9-17 or Story 105 in The Gospel Story Bible

ASK: Who were the Pharisees? Pharisees were “know-it-all” religious rulers who added their own strict rules to God’s law.  

ASK: Did the people like tax collectors? No. They took people’s money and gave it to the hated Romans. And sometimes they would keep money for themselves.

ASK: How did the tax collector pray? God, have mercy on me, a sinner. And he went away right with God.

The Bible’s Big Story

And speaking of the big picture, Christian Focus Publications just released a new children’s book that is illustrated by Sojourn J-town member, Tessa Janes. This is a great resource that uses a rhyming poem to teach kids the story of salvation from Creation to Revelation. Each two-line stanza has an accompanying Bible verse to memorize. You can pick it up at Amazon.com.

On the cross he paid for sin,
Jesus, Savior of all men.

From the grave he rose again
Conquering death and hell and sin.

My friends at Christian Focus sent me a copy of this book to review.

The Big Picture (Family Devotional on Luke 22:1-34)

This past week at SojournKids we studied the story of the Last Supper from Luke 22:1-34. We emphasized the big truth that Jesus’ death was part of God’s great big plan! 

For one of the object lessons, we had elementary kids lay down on the floor in the shape of the word CROSS. From their perspective, they couldn’t see what they were spelling out. But the other kids who stood above them could see the big picture from a different perspective. That’s how we are. Sometimes we miss the big picture. In order to see the big picture, we need to hear these stories again and again and again… 

This week, take time to read Luke 22:1-34 with your children. Here are three points you can talk about with your kids.

  • Judas set a trap for Jesus (22:1-6). The religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus. Satan gave them the idea, and he helped Judas set a trap to betray Jesus.
  • But Jesus had a bigger plan for his life and his death. (22:7-23). Even though it seemed like evil leaders were in charge, Jesus was really in charge. Many years before, God gave his people the Passover meal to teach them about Jesus. God was in charge of every detail.
  • The disciples didn’t understand until much later (22:24-34) But  the disciples still didn’t understand. Instead, they fought about who would be the greatest.

Sign up now for the March 16th Child Dedication!

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“Here at Sojourn we LOVE to celebrate and throw a good party, Child Dedication is a celebration of new life! Come celebrate with us!” J-town Pastor, Lisle Drury

We celebrate child dedication services at Sojourn, because we recognize our God-given responsibility as parents, and because we know that our home needs God’s help. We dedicate our kids, because we want to partner with our church family–making a commitment to raise our children in light of God’s promises.

Our next Child Dedication service is March 16th. There is a mandatory pre-dedication class on March 9th. The class is a learning experience designed to prepare you for what will take place during the dedication service. And it is also a party–a celebration of the gift of life that God has given you in your new child!

Sign up here!

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