Oktoberfest at Your House!

A "fest" is a joyful celebration any time, anywhere. Explore different types of fests that are Bible-based and fun opportunities to put good thoughts into action. Learn how to "feast" on God's goodness!

By Caryl W. Krueger

Categories: Family

It's time for a "fest" right under your own roof. Certainly many towns have festivals in October and call them Oktoberfests, but fests have become so popular, they seem to pop up each month of the year. Exactly what is a fest? The word comes from the Latin for "feast," but nowadays it is any type of joyful celebration, any time. So, for this month's activity, let's choose the most popular fest: the Oktoberfest, known for its happy conversations, togetherness, and good food!

This joyful event at your house can be Bible-based, featuring a month of happy occasions with family and friends, games, parties, and some unique activities. And, it doesn't need to take much of your parental time. With school back in session and the weather changing, this is a logical time for a change-of-pace celebration. You can have many events, but here are five "fests" to get you started. The following Bible quotes are from "The Message" by Eugene Peterson.

The Dinner Hour Fest: Did you know that it says in Psalm 100: "Bring a gift of laughter." "Enter with the password: Thank you!"
Try having supper together at least four times this week. Ask everyone to bring something humorous (the gift of laughter) or something to be grateful for. After each comment, give a rousing "Thank you!" This will be far better than silence, complaints, or TV with dinner.

The Reach-Out Fest: A suggestion from Deuteronomy 32: "Ask your parents what it was like before you were born, ask the old-ones, they'll tell you a thing or two."
Invite someone of another generation for an easy meal or dessert. Take turns as you both tell what activities you enjoyed as kids and what you enjoy today. Discuss ideas from other times that are still worthwhile today and activities today that the older generation might enjoy (with the help of kids).

The Discovery Fest: Read the story of finding the lost sheep from Luke 15.
Each family member has a part in this game by hiding something of value (a bracelet, a favorite book, a signed baseball, a baby's book, a charge card, the dog's favorite toy, an old photo). Then, everyone is to hunt for these out-of-place lost items (except the one who has hidden them.) When all are found, talk about the sentimental or monetary value of each one. Then, make a list of what is really important for the family to "find and keep": time together, helpful conversation, support, an understanding of God's loving care for each one. Then, discuss how to keep from losing these valuable items.

The Problem-Solving Fest: Psalm 66: says: "All together now - applause for God! Sing songs to the tune of his glory. Say of God: We've never seen anything like him. When your enemies see you in action, they slink off like scolded dogs."
Consider the problem of someone misbehaving - a family member or public figure, and how it takes the joy out of family/community life. The object is to have the "wrong-doing" not the "wrong-doer" slink out of thought. Suggest forgiveness, appreciation for God being in charge of all His/Her children, and regular morning prayer until the problem is solved.

The Daily Fest: Talk with all family members about having a daily conversation with God as it says in Philippians 4: "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray...let God know your concerns."
This closeness to God can bring comfort, happiness, and good conclusions. See that everyone has at least five minutes of quiet prayerful time at the start of each day.

These five "fests" are celebrations that can start you on many months of joyful living and "feasting" on the goodness of God, available to each of us.