Blessings for children

1. Edible blessings

A fountain penYou will need: a packet of rice paper (multi-coloured rice paper is ideal - you can get it from good sweet shops); non-toxic felt tip pens (t is very important that you use pens which have ink that is safe to eat - to be on the safe side, you could use thin brushes or unused fountain pens and food colouring).

Method

It may be a good idea to ask those who are going to take part to wash their hands (if necessary, at the beginning of your time together).

Explain that you are going to write blessings for each other, ones that you can actually eat after you have received them. If you think people will need help or inspiration, give some example blessings for everyone to copy or use as a basis for their own. Hand out the rice paper and the pens, and invite everyone to write a blessing on a piece of rice paper. After everyone who wished to take part has written a blessing, swap the papers and read each other's blessings. At the end of the meeting, invite everyone to eat their blessings.

Some biblical blessings

'The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace' (Numbers 6.24-26).

'Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord' (2 Peter 1.2).

'May the God of peace ... equip you with everything good for doing his will' (Hebrews 13.20-21).

'The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you' (2 Timothy 4.22).

For more ideas like this, see Sue Wallace, Multi-Sensory Church, Scripture Union, 2002, p27.

2. Hat blessings

A green hatWrite a number of blessings/Bible verses or simple words of encouragement on small pieces of paper, fold them up and place them in a hat (or other receptacle), making sure that there are enough 'blessings' in the hat for each one. At the end of your time together, invite each child by name to rummage in the hat and pull out a blessing/verse which they can read out or have read to them, then take home. Encourage everyone else to be praying for God's blessing whilst they are rummaging too. Some examples could be:

Nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ;
You are his for ever.

May you know the blessing of
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit
with you for ever.

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face to shine on you
And be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face to you
And give you peace. Amen.