Two children look at an activity book during Family Service at Trinity Commons

3 Ways Into Sunday’s Stories for Children: Written On Our Hearts

The Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Promises, promises. This week, we will be talking about interpretations of abstract concepts which Jeremiah and Jesus tried to apply to the realities of their followers’ lives. This isn’t easy to do with anyone, but it’s even harder with young children.

The “heart” is referenced by both prophets in Sunday’s readings. Our hearts as a muscle and an organ are not completely separate from our hearts as a vessel for the Holy Spirit, and our spirits, and feelings. All our bodies and all our feelings are unique, but we also have things in common in the way our bodies function. Our hearts beat faster when we’re afraid, or excited, or hurt and slow down when we feel loved and comforted. Our anxiety heightens and chests tighten when we feel sad, uncertain, or angry.

So, if a covenant is a promise God “writes” on our hearts, how is it different than a rule, or law, or contract written and enforced by people? 

Print, fold, read, and color the story booklet.

A line drawing of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea

1. Sing and Dance

Stereo Hearts. Listen to yours. Listen to God’s.

2. Play and Pray

Play Heartbeats. Partner up or try it solo.

  1. Sit still and breathe for at least one minute. Find your pulse on your wrist or neck. Partner sets a timer for 15 seconds. When timer starts, count your heartbeats. At the end of 15 seconds, multiply the number of beats times 4. That’s your BPM, beats per minute, your resting heart rate. Switch roles.
  2. Now, do some jumping jacks or jog in place as hard and fast as you can for one minute. Repeat Step 1 right away.
  3. See how long it takes to return your BPM to your resting rate.
  4. What did you notice? Did you do anything to help slow your BPM? Are there feelings that raise or lower your BPM?

Pray: Dear God, who always keeps promises and is most worthy of trust, help us smile and be glad when we remember how much you love us. You promise to always be with us and love us. Amen.

3. Create

On a heart-shaped card, write a promise of love and kindness to yourself or to someone else. Decorate the card with fingerprint hearts, using the side of a washable marker tip for ink if you don’t have washable ink pads. 

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