Every Friday I visit the Senior Kindergarten class for fifteen minutes of combined religion and music. We sing songs about Jesus and being a Christian, and we sing them in ways that reinforce the musical skills I teach in their Tuesday music class. It's November, so giving thanks is a good theme for a lesson. I went in planning to teach the doxology ("Praise God from whom all blessings flow"), but I also talked about Paul. We discussed the introductions to Paul's epistles yesterday in my Bible study group, the introductions in which he says "I give thanks to God for all of you." I think giving thanks can make one, if not a happier person, one who is better able to float through the trials and vicissitudes of life--the petty annoyances, the routines that drag you down, and the really big things that send you hurtling in directions you hadn't planned at all. Giving thanks to God keeps you focused on what God is doing, which is a source of hope and movement, or just contentment.
I'd like to say that the kids really got into this--being thankful--but I fear it was too much about being, which is pretty abstract for kindergartners, and not enough about doing. Anyway, we moved on to "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice," because that, too, comes from the Apostle Paul. And we sang the song about that, and each child individually echoed the "rejoice" that is sung on the C above middle C, near the top of a kindergartner's comfortable range. It was fun to see their faces as they heard what great singing sounds could come out of their mouths on such an energetic word. We sang the doxology, but by then Sophia was clamoring for a prayer and Ellie Schnack, the kindergarten teacher took over. Sophia wanted to pray for her friend whose dog had died. And we had to pray for Charlotte's mother who was having surgery to fix her ear infection. And then somebody else had a friend whose dog--no, it was a cat!-- had died. Wiggles were everywhere as the children echoed their teacher's petitions, and some wandered off while others thought of more people to pray for. No well-defined ending to the class, but thanks and petitions and praise God from all blessings flow--it all kind of flowed into my day.