Thursday, May 5, 2016

2016 Mother's Day Family Devotion

This family devotion guide was prepared to replace the normal evening worship service on Mother’s Day with a family worship time.  It has different activities so you can choose the parts that work best for your family.
I.  Opening Prayer
II.  Scripture Reading 1 Samuel 1:1-28
III. Lessons from Hannah.
      (Optional Hymns)
IV. Closing Prayer Time
(Fun Stuff)

A few tips:
· Make your preparation simple.  If you will thoughtfully read through the lesson ahead of time, you should be adequately prepared.
· Just the act of having a family devotion or worship time says something to your kids about what it important.  It can be a challenge to make family devotions an enjoyable and profitable time, but it will never happen if you don’t try.
· Plan a time when everybody can participate.  Make sure they know not to make other plans for that time.  Keep it short. Keep it simple.
· Let  the children interrupt and ask questions at the right times. This is not just a sermon. Let everybody ask, speak, tell, share, and participate. You want to know what they are thinking and whether they understand.
· Include everyone, even the young ones. While it may seem easier to have a quiet time with just the older ones, it is so important to include your little ones in this family time.  As they grow and mature, they will learn to sit quietly during the devotion time.
· It’s important to remember their ages.  If you have small children, you are probably not going to have a deep teaching time.  Try to include different approaches that are age appropriate.
· Let them be children. They’re fidgety. They’re impatient. They’re children. Try to keep a semblance of order during this time together, but be realistic and patient.  Yelling at them to be quiet and sit still defeats the purpose.
· Turn off all electronics. I know this may seem like a given, but it needs to be mentioned.

I.    Prayer
· The leader (probably dad) should start your time by asking God to bless your time together. 
· You might also want to encourage the family to take turns thanking God for something they appreciate about Mom.
III. Scripture Reading1 
The story of Hannah reminds us of women who are waiting to become a mom or may not be able to have children.  We should be thoughtful and kind to them.  It also reminds us that children are a blessing from the Lord.  We might even think of them as “on loan” from the Lord.
1 Samuel 1:1-28  (EasyEnglish Bible)2
1 There was a man whose name was Elkanah. He lived in the town called Ramathaim-zophim (Ramah). This town was in the hills. It was in a place that God had given to Ephraim’s tribe. Elkanah ... was in the tribe of Ephraim. 2 ...Hannah did not have any children.
3 Every year, Elkanah left Ramathaim and he went up to the town called Shiloh. He went there to worship. There he gave sacrifices to God, the most powerful Lord. ... 5 Elkanah loved Hannah. But she had no children because the Lord had not let her have children.  6 … Then Hannah became sad.  7 This happened every year when they went to the Lord’s house in Shiloh. ... Hannah would not eat anything. 8 Hannah’s husband, Elkanah said to her, ‘I do not know why you are crying. I do not know why you are not eating. You should not be sad. I am better than 10 sons.’
9 One day they were at Shiloh. They had finished eating and drinking. Hannah stood up. Eli the priest was sitting by the door of the Lord’s temple. 10 Hannah was very, very sad. She cried very much and she prayed to the Lord. 11 And she said a promise to God. She prayed, ‘You are the most powerful Lord. See how sad I am. I am your servant. Remember me and do not forget me. Please give a son to me. If you do that, I will give him back to you for all of his life. Nobody will ever cut his hair.’
12 Hannah continued to pray to the Lord. Eli watched her mouth while it moved. 13 Hannah was praying inside herself. Her lips moved but Eli could not hear her voice. So he thought that she had drunk too much alcohol. 14 He said to her, ‘Stop drinking so much. Put away your wine.’ 15 Hannah said to Eli, ‘No, sir, I have not drunk wine or strong drink. I have trouble deep inside myself. I told the Lord all about my problems. 16 Please do not think that I am a bad woman. I am praying here because I am sad. And I feel bad inside.’
17 Eli answered Hannah and he said, ‘Go and let your mind rest. I ask the God of Israel to give to you the thing that you asked him for.’ 18 Hannah said, ‘I will try always to do the things that will cause you pleasure.’ Then Hannah went away and she ate something. Her face was not sad now.
19 ... And God remembered what she had asked him for. 20 Hannah discovered that she would soon have a baby. She had a son and she called him Samuel. She said, ‘His name is Samuel because I asked the Lord for him.’
21 Every year Elkanah went to Shiloh to give sacrifices. And he did what he had promised to the Lord… 22 But Hannah did not go. ... Hannah stayed at her home with her son until he drank no more milk from her.
24 When Samuel was eating proper food, Hannah took him to Shiloh. She took him to the Lord’s house there. ...26 Hannah spoke to Eli. ‘Please believe me sir. I am the woman that was standing here. You saw me here. I was praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this boy and the Lord answered me. The Lord gave to me what I asked him for. 28 Now I give this child back to the Lord. He will work for the Lord all of his life.’ And Samuel worshiped the Lord there.

IV. Lessons from Hannah3 
Mothers are special people.  There are many exceptional character traits that are just normal for moms.  Your mom is probably not famous, but she does little things every day that are pretty special.  Here are some truths from our story about Hannah.
1. Hannah experienced disappointments and was sad sometimes, but Hannah and her husband went to worship even when she was sad.
Romans 12:15; Hebrews 10:24-25 — We are not happy all the time.  Sometimes even Mom is sad.  We should try to encourage our moms like Elkanah did Hannah.  Even when we are sad, it is important to attend and be part of our church.  What are things you can do to encourage your mom?
2. Hannah told the Lord about her problems and believed God would answer her prayer.
 Hebrews 4:14-16; 7:25 —  Jesus is our High Priest who understands and prays for us.   We can pray directly to Jesus who understands our feelings, both joys and sorrows.  He even prays to God the Father for us!  Do you thank your mom for praying for you? Do you pray for her?  Have you asked her what you should pray for her?
3. Hannah knew her son was a gift from God.
Psalm 127:3-5; Genesis 33:5; 48:9 — Christian moms know that children are a blessing from the Lord. They really belong to the Him.  Parents have a responsibility to love “their” children and raise them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  Do you listen to your mom’s teaching like it says in Proverbs 1:8?
4. Hannah wanted her son to love and serve the Lord.
Deuteronomy 6:4-8; Proverbs 23:15-18;  I John 3:4 — There are many things we can do to make our mothers proud of us.  Nothing is more important to a godly mother than that her children are walking in the truth and serving the Lord with all their hearts.  Are you making your mom proud by loving the Lord and walking in His wisdom?
5. We don’t have to sacrifice animals because Jesus is our sacrifice for sin.
John 1.29, 1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 8:13-14 — We don’t have to sacrifice animals every year like Elkanah and Hannah did.  Jesus, our perfect sacrifice, died once to paid for all our sins.  Have you believed in Jesus like it says in John 3:16?
1   Note that this story is in the Easy English version and has been shortened for younger children.  If you have older children you might prefer to read the entire chapter out of the version you usually use.
2   If you read the full chapter, be aware that Elkanah had two wives (polygamy).  At some point you will want to discuss this topic with your children.  Here are a couple websites that offer some thoughts on the subject from a biblical perspective. (  
3   You will notice that there is not really a script to read.  The leader should explain each lesson in their own words and use the questions to generate discussion.  There may be more lessons and questions here than you can fit into one devotion time.  Choose which lessons you think are most helpful for your family. 

 (Optional Hymns)
· “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” 
· “Giving Thanks for Mothers”  
· Ask your mom for one of her favorites.
IV. Closing:
1. Each child should “rise up” in turn and express  appreciation for their mother.  (The parents should also praise their mothers as an example.)
2. The father should take a few minutes to praise his wife (his children’s mother) and close in prayer. If the father is not available, mom or an older child can close in prayer.
(Fun Stuff): 
Bible Trivia: Who am I?
1. Who saw her son die on a cross?  (John 19:25)
2. Who was the mom of John the Baptist?  (Luke 1:57-59)
3. Who was the first mother on earth?  (Genesis 4:1)
4. Who was Joseph’s mother?  (Genesis 30:22-25)
5. Who told her daughter to ask for John the Baptist’s head for a prize?  (Matthew 14:6-7)
6. Who called herself, “The Mother of Israel?”  (Judges 5:7)
7. Whose mother brought him a new coat each year?  (1 Samuel 2:19)
8. Whose mother does Paul greet in the letter to the Romans?  (Romans 16:13)
Q: What did mommy spider say to the baby spider?
A: You spend too much time on the web.
Q: What did the mother broom say to the baby broom?
A: It's time to go to sweep!
Q. What do you call a small mom?
A: A minimum.
Q: Why did the monster’s mother knit him three socks?
A: She heard he grew another foot.
I called my mother up when they announced I won a Nobel Prize. She said, "That's nice — and when are you going to see me next?"    —-Steven Chu, Nobel Prize Winner
When Mom says, “Because I’m your mother.”
Q: Is there a biblical basis for mom’s explanation, “Because I’m your mother!” 

Bible Trivia Answers:  1. Mary   2. Elizabeth   3. Eve   4. Rachel   5. Herodias   6. Deborah   7. Hannah   8. Rufus

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