This month’s service program calls us to be kind to our inner child. How do we serve others while thinking about becoming childlike? There are several options: a quarterly birthday party, a family night, organizing a program for the youth of the corps or hosting a meeting for the women in a homeless shelter. Whatever we do, it is a good reminder for all of us to obey Christ’s command to become like little children in coming to Him.
Organize games that will be fun for all. What games you choose will depend on your participants and whether you hold the event inside or outside. Check the Internet for suggestions and instructions: ring toss, horseshoes, relay games, balloon games are a few suggestions.
Ice Cream in a Bag
Everyone enjoys ice cream, even more so when they get to make it themselves. If you are doing this for a large crowds or younger children, place the filled baggies in a cooler to keep cold until ready to start shaking. There are several recipes on the Internet for making ice cream in a bag. Following is a basic one:
- ½ cup milk or heavy cream
- 1 tbs. of sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- ½ cup rock salt
- 2 Ziplock baggies—one gallon size, one quart size
Put the milk, sugar and vanilla in the quart size baggie. (You can prepare this portion in advance.) Fill the gallon size baggie halfway with ice and then add ½ cup of rock salt. Put the smaller baggie into the larger baggie. Make sure the smaller baggie is sealed. Seal the larger baggie and shake for 10 minutes or longer. The longer you shake, the firmer your ice cream will get. Have available a variety of toppings. No need for bowls, they can eat their ice cream right out of the bag.
“Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream!” might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an ice cream party. It is the title of a song written in 1925 by Howard Johnson, Billy Moll and Robert King. The song is written about the fictional college Ogiwawa and the collage’s cheer. The song is fun and childlike. Check YouTube for a video recording of this song.
As we grow and mature, we’re expected to put away childish things. However, Christ also commands us to become like little children. Matthew 19:14 says, “But Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.’”
Every now and then it’s fun to forget about being an adult and just have some good, old-fashioned, kid–like fun—like eating ice cream on a hot day. However, we also must grow up and put away childish things (1 Cor. 13:11). So how do we mature while still being childlike? We all desire to be a part of the kingdom of heaven and it would seem that the answer to this question can be found in this scripture.
Jesus commands that the children be brought to Him. As we’ve matured, we’re able to make our own decisions and don’t need someone to bring us to the Lord. Matthew 6:33 reminds us that we are to be kingdom seekers, always searching to spend eternity with the King. Children are curious and eager to learn; they are natural born seekers. Are we still seeking the Savior with a childlike faith? Let’s seek Him in scripture, in others and in ourselves. May our actions reflect His glory.
Jesus commands that we don’t stop children from coming to Him. Have we distracted or hindered others in their search for the Lord? We shouldn’t get in the way of another’s journey with Jesus. We must encourage and not tear down. We must not gossip or speak ill of others. Hebrews 3:13 (NIV) encourages us to daily exhort one another. “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
Jesus also commands us to be like little children. We don’t need to emulate the negative behaviors of children, like temper tantrums and selfishness. We’re called to emulate the humility and simple faith of a little child. “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like–minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Phil. 2:1–4, NIV).
We must become kingdom seekers who will bring others along to follow, learn, worship, and fellowship with Jesus, just like the children did long ago.