When I put together the Held in Hope series, we included activities in the books to help families dealing with issues of illness and death.
I’m putting together some activities for a funeral next week, so I’m doing an activity from Sam’s Special Book. In the book the children remember being told that Jesus said He’s going to prepare a place for us, and that in His Father’s house are many rooms. The activity is quite simple: we imagine what our room might be like.
I’ve done this at workshops and it’s a simple, creative way to think about God preparing a place for each of us. I create a large scale house. The size will depend on how many people I’m doing it for. As I am doing it for just a few children, I’ve taped 2 A3 sheets together and draw a large house across them. I’ve cut a sheet of A4 red paper in half long-ways, cut off the corners, and attached it on the top as a roof. I’ve then cut A6 pieces of white paper to be the rooms. We’re going to read the story together, then spend some time imagining and creating our rooms in ‘God’s house’ which Jesus spoke of in John 14:2:
“There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I wouldn’t tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you.”
I’ve found that as we do this, is allows us to have hope in a time of sadness, to imagine heaven and the place the person we miss is now, and to anticipate with happiness meeting Jesus and living with God for ever.