Thank You for Bedtime
Harvest is about counting our blessings every day
by Revd Richard Lamey
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider that we can be grateful every day - even for the things we don’t like very much!
Preparation and materials
You will need a dressing gown, some edible mushrooms (the children will not be eating these, but you may wish to check for allergies) and a homework book.
Optional: you may wish to familiarize yourself with the story of the ten men with leprosy, which is found in Luke 17.11-19.
Ask the children what is meant by the term ‘harvest’.
Listen to a range of responses.
Harvest is a time of year when we are reminded about how fortunate we are to have plenty of food and many other material possessions. It is a time when people show generosity and kindness as they give to others who are in need.
Harvest is a time when we are reminded to be thankful for all that we have. But are we really thankful for everything that we receive?
Show the dressing gown to the children and ask, ‘Who likes going to bed?’
Show the mushrooms to the children and ask, ‘Who likes mushrooms?’ (You will probably get a wide range of reactions!)
Show the homework book to the children and ask, ‘Who loves homework?’
So, do we really want to say thank you for everything?
Maybe the key to being thankful for everything is to remind ourselves each day of all the good things that happen in our lives day after day. Harvest is an event that happens once a year, but being thankful can happen all the time!
Sometimes, we need to stop and think about things that we take for granted. For example, bedtime may seem boring, but it actually tells us that we have parents or carers who care for us enough to know that we need plenty of sleep to be happy and healthy. So, when we are told that it is time to turn off the TV and head upstairs to bed, it’s actually a sign of being loved and cared for. We can be very thankful for that!
Some of you might not like mushrooms or certain other foods. However, any food can be a reminder that we have plenty to eat in this country, whereas children in other parts of the world will go to sleep feeling hungry tonight. So even foods that we don’t like very much can help us to be thankful that generally we have plenty to eat and drink, and thankful that we have some choice about what to eat.
Some of you may not like doing your homework! You may prefer playing out with your friends. However, there are millions of people in the world today who still cannot read and write. This stops them from getting jobs and keeps them in a cycle of poverty that they cannot escape from. So even our homework can remind us that we are fortunate to have a good education that will help us in the future. We can be very thankful for that!
Set the children a ‘harvest challenge’. The challenge is to find one thing to be thankful for every day. It would be good if this challenge lasted longer than the Harvest season – it would be great if it continued every day for the whole year! Life is a gift and we need to make the most of it by being thankful every day of our lives.
You may wish to use the story of the ten men with leprosy, which is found in Luke 17.11-19. Emphasize that only one man was grateful enough to say thank you.
Time for reflection
Harvest is about sharing what we have with others, and also about saying ‘thank you’ to God and to our families.
When you get home tonight, who could you say ‘thank you’ to for the way in which they care for you?
In school today, who could you say ‘thank you’ to for the way in which they care for you? Your teachers? Your friends?
Let’s all remember to say ‘thank you’.
We thank you for everything you give to us, even the things we don’t really enjoy!
Help us to be grateful people who say ‘thank you’ every day.
Help us to say ‘thank you’ to those who put us first and care for us so much.
Help us to say ‘thank you’ by sharing with those who have less than we do.
‘Autumn days’ (Come and Praise, 4)