Happy autumn, everyone! Today in the atrium we presented a lesson called 'The Bible in the Prayer Corner.' Of course I don't call it that with the children. We had a procession to introduce this work. The children who are returning are familiar with processions but this was the first for the new children. Each child carried something to be placed on the prayer table. We lined up at the back of the classroom and slowly walked to place our items on the table one at a time. We sang a song while we walked just like Fr. Leo does at the beginning of Mass. We have been putting our green cloth on the table and seeing if anyone noticed what color Fr. Leo was wearing at Mass. We seem to always match!
Once the prayer table was set I showed the children our beautiful Bible. We looked at what a beautiful book it is, talked about it's color, the gold outside the pages the cross and the words, 'The Holy Bible' inscribed on the front. We discussed that it is a very special book because it tells us the words of God.
I read to the children John 8:12, "I am the light of the world." I tell them that although it is my voice they hear I am actually reading the words that Jesus spoke. I read it slowly and several times. We looked at the lit candle and I tell them that in the atrium we always light a candle when we read the Bible because it reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world.
We placed the Bible on a special stand on the prayer table and took a little time to silently gaze at the table to see how beautiful it looks. I invite the children to say something to Jesus if they like. They say things like, 'I love you Jesus'; 'Thank you for making Thomas the Train, Jesus' etc. This is how we help the children enter into prayer. To learn to be silent (we will later talk about listening to Jesus in the silence), and to talk to Jesus about our thoughts.
What you can do at home: Make sure your children see you reading the Bible. This lets them know that the Bible is a part of family life and not just something at church. Buy a children's Bible to read to your child. I encourage you to buy one with beautiful pictures instead of cartoonish ones. Your young child is sensitive to beauty at this age, nurture it! At this age our goal is for the children to fall in love with Jesus. Hearing stories of his life and knowing that he hears us and knows our voice assists in this process.