Focal verse:

You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).


My children never lack ideas for play. Some days it’s building a fort with blankets and chairs; other days it’s playing cheetahs in the wild. Then there’s the endless Lego creations and, of course, hide-and-seek and tag at the park. Most days they invite me into their play. “Come, look, Mama!” and “Can you play with me, Mama?” are common refrains. In their world, play is what they know and how they spend much of their days. Unfortunately, over time many of us lose our sense of playfulness.

When my kids play their eyes light up and their laughter floats throughout the house. They want their friends to know this joy and fun too. What would it look like this summer to infuse a sense of play into your faith? Do you have deep joy when engaging in worship and activities at your church? Does God’s word light you up and inspire you to share with others? God gave us the gift of play to bring joy into our lives but also to foster community.

This summer think about the activities that help you have fun and connect with God. Being more playful together this summer will look different for every family. Maybe it’s taking a hike and praising God for creation. Perhaps it’s inviting a family to join you for a picnic in the park to break bread with one another. Maybe it’s finding a new-to-you children’s Bible and making your way through the stories as a family.

As our kids show us, there’s no one way to play, and we have much to learn when we watch our kids in action. So here’s to a summer full of joy, laughter and smiles, and friends along for the experience.


  • Grab some ice cream as a family and share where you’ve felt God’s presence (I’ve heard these called God’s shivers, moments where God feels present to you).
  • Take a nature hike with friends and family. While you’re outside, notice all of creation and give thanks.

Service opportunity

Organize a neighborhood picnic or party at the park hosted by your church or maybe a Sunday school class. Gather together for play and fun; give thanks to God for the gift of community.

Prayer practice

Say a prayer of thanks for the toys and games your children play. Invite them to share why they love what they’re doing. Encourage one another to see God’s presence with them as they play.

Kimberly Knowle-Zeller
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, spouse of an ELCA pastor and co-author of The Beauty of Motherhood: Grace-Filled Devotions for the Early Years. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, Mo. Her website is

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