Give Your Students a "Window" for Their Birthday

As long as I have been teaching Sunday school, we always have had some kind of special ritual for celebrating student birthdays. It doesn't need to be anything elaborate or time-consuming. It could be as simple as having the child come to the front of the room and having the class sing "Happy Birthday," and maybe even giving the child a small gift. (Our students love getting special helium balloons.) But even more significant for the child and the whole class would be the gift of a "window"... a type of window through which they can see something grander than their birthday, the song, the balloon, or being the center of attention. Suppose you had the birthday child come to the front and said something like this:
Joey, I am so thankful to God for how He has blessed you this past year. I have seen God’s faithfulness in how He provided you with some new friends this year. I have seen how God has given you a gift of boldness as you have volunteered so many times to read Scripture out loud during our lessons. Isn’t God wonderful!  I am so glad that God has made you a part of our class. Let's pray together and thank Jesus for your birthday. Let's praise Him for every day He has given you this past year. Let's ask Him to show you more and more of His love and greatness this coming year so that you will love and treasure Him most of all.
By doing something like this, we have turned the occasion of a birthday into something more than simply making the child feel loved. Yes, we want that child to feel loved and special, but more importantly, we want the child and the class to see the evidences of God's greatness and grace in the child’s life. So words like those above spoken to Joey become like a window through which we can point him and the other children to see Jesus. How do you celebrate birthdays in your classroom? What ideas can you share with us that would help us point our students God-ward during these events? Photo Credit: Zephyris
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