What We Plant, We Will Reap: Thanksgiving (Karma) includes a downloadable Spanish version of the story

Children’s Story

Materials: 

  • Pictures to share during story

Preparations:

  • Prepare any necessary materials.
  • Invite children up to steps of altar.
  • Reader of story sits in a chair with children sitting on floor in front of her.
  • Include children’s story, even if there are no children in your congregation, to welcome families who may come to the service.
  • You can add your own creativity to the stories.  You may feel comfortable using props or presenting them just as they are written.
  • Feel free to adjust the content to fit your time frame.  However, for the spiritual development of the child, we encourage keeping as much of the Ascended Master’s Teachings as possible.

Time: 10 – 13 minutes depending on storyteller’s delivery and children’s responses.

Click here for a printable version of the story.

Click here for a printable Spanish version of  the story.

Good morning and welcome.  Happy Thanksgiving! Today is a special day.  Who can tell me some facts about the first Thanksgiving celebrated in our country?  (Allow children to answer.)

Our country also celebrates Thanksgiving to give thanks for our freedom and the Constitution that allows us to have these freedoms.

Have you ever wondered if other countries celebrate Thanksgiving?  (Allow children to answer.)

Most countries have some kind of thanksgiving celebration to give gratitude for their good harvests. That means that the holiday is in the fall, just like ours because that’s when we harvest our plants, isn’t it?

Thanksgiving in Canada occurs on the second Monday in October.  Here is picture of Thanksgiving in Canada.  It looks similar to canadianthanksgivingours doesn’t it?  (Show picture.)

In Korea thanksgiving is celebrated during the full moon in September to give thanks for a good harvest.  (Show picture.)

Here is a picture of a thanksgiving celebration in the United Kingdom.  (Show picture.)

Some of the other countries that recognize Thanksgiving include China, Malaysia, Australia, India and some countries in Africa and South America.

Although our country includes showing thanks for our freedoms, all the countries have two things in common – celebrating a good harvest and giving gratitude to God for his blessings.

cardThanksgiving is a day to remind us to give gratitude EVERYDAY, not just one day of the year.  Gratitude is a virtue and the more we express it, the closer we become to God.  Would any of you like to share something, small or large, that you are thankful for?  (Allow children to answer.)

Our story today is a fable, meaning it has a moral or lesson that teaches us something.  This story is one that could take place in any country in the world.  Let’s hear how the virtue of gratitude plays a part in this story.

 

What We Plant, We Will Reap

            Many moons ago, in a country in a land far away, two brothers lived with their father in a house situated on a large and plentiful farm.  The younger brother worked hard and was kind to all he met.  The elder, knowing he was to inherit his father's prosperous farm, was arrogant and proud.  He scorned his younger brother and ignored his aging father.

Every night after supper, the father would say:  “Remember, my sons.  What you sow, you will reap.  In other words, what you plant and care for, you will eat.  Give gratitude to God for his blessings, but also when life brings you challenges, when the harvest seems small and when sadness enters your world.”  The younger son nodded politely, for he loved his father and honored him.  But the elder son would yawn and walk away.  With sadness, the father would watch him go.

Years passed and the father was old and ready to leave this world.  He beckoned his two sons to be close to him.  “Remember, my sons.  Nothing is as important as God and family.  Give gratitude to God for all you have. Share this property and work together.  I leave this land to both of you.”   And so saying, he died.

The elder brother was furious.  The law of the land said that an elder son inherited everything.  After his father’s funeral and ignoring the last wish of his dying father, the elder brother approached his brother, “Younger brother, our father was old and ill and not thinking clearly. The law of the land states that the oldest son inherits all of his father’s land.  Therefore, I am claiming the land as my own.”

The younger brother could not believe what he heard.  He said, “Brother, did you not hear the words of our dear father?  Honor God and family?”

But the elder brother would not listen.  Instead, he replied, “Younger brother, this is what I will do.  Out of the generosity of my heart, I will give you a small plot of land.  Be satisfied, as I do not need to give you any.”  And with that he dismissed his brother.

Heartbroken, the younger brother left the family home and walked until he reached his modest plot of land.  Day by day he worked hard and in the evening, he remembered his father’s words.  He prayed and thanked God for all he had.

As the months went on, the younger brother built himself a mud cottage, thatched from straw that dropped from passing carts.  He worked for others to earn seeds for planting.  Each day he tended his small crops carefully.  Eventually, he was able to marry and have a family of his own.  Here is a picture of a farmer working hard.  (Show picture.)

As the years went on, the younger son bought more land, built a larger home and extended his crops and harvest.  But he never forgot the words of his father.  Every night he repeated the same message to his own children.  “Remember, my children.  What you sow, you will reap.  In other words, what you plant and care for, you will eat.  Give gratitude to God for his blessings, but also when life brings you challenges, when the harvest seems small and when sadness enters your world.”

In the meantime the older brother had become lazy and cruel to his servants.  His crops had withered and yielded small harvests.  He had to sell pieces of his land just to have enough money with which to buy food.  He would order his servant, “Go and sell the land farthest from my house,” and the servant would do as instructed.

Many years had passed and the eldest brother had but one servant left, for he had sold so much land that he had no need for more.  One cold day the older brother summoned his servant.  “Servant, we are out of food and have no means to warm the house.  Sell some more land and purchase the provisions we need.”

However, the servant did not move.  Instead, he replied, “Sir, we have no more land to sell, except for this small plot on which the house rests.”

The elder brother could not believe this.  How could he have lost the vast fortune that had been his?  “Then fetch the man to whom the land was sold.  Perhaps I can persuade him to share.”

The servant left and within a few hours returned with the man who now owned the land.  The servant led the man into the chambers of his master, where his master sat in a superior position.  The man approached and stood before him.

The elder brother stared at the man, for he looked familiar.  And then he understood.  “Younger brother, is that you?” he asked with surprise in his voice.

“Yes, dear brother, it is I, your younger brother.”

At first the elder brother felt rage that the man who had bought all his land could be the very one he had sent away.  But then he felt sorrow and remorse.  He fell to his knees and with tears streaming down his face, he looked up into his younger brother’s face, and asked, “Can you ever forgive me for my cruelty and harshness? I sent you away when our father asked us to work together.  I have not given thanks to God for all that I had and now I have nothing.  I will come work for you and tend your fields, if you would have such a person as I.”

The younger brother gently took the hand of his brother and bade him to stand.  “Elder brother, I have never forgotten the words of our father.  Everyday I prayed to God and gave thanks for all his blessings, even in those times when the harvest was small and challenges appeared.  And I prayed that some day we would again work together as a family.  That day has finally come.”

And so the two brothers worked and prayed and played together for the remainder of their years.  And every night they would end the day by giving thanks to God.  Here is a picture of the two brothers working together. (Show picture.) And they continued passing on the same message of gratitude to their children and then later their children passed it on to their children.  And even today, those who follow their Father’s teaching to give gratitude to God will always be happy and blessed, whatever comes their way.

Farmers harvest rice on a rice field in

 

CONCLUSION:

What do you think the moral of this story is?  (Allow children to answer.)  Yes, give gratitude to God for everything, even when life brings us challenges.

Can you remember to give thanks for something in your lives each day, like your freedoms, your parents, food and friends?

Let’s end by saying the mantra, “Hear, Oh Universe, I AM Grateful!” (Recite together 3x.)

Thank you for sharing in our story.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

Children’s Spiritual Story Library


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