Joy Jar

For the last month at Spirit of Joy! Lutheran Church, we have been talking about joy - what joy means, where it comes from, and how we experience.

Last Sunday, we talked there are times when it is hard to find joy - times when life is hard, or maybe we just have a bad day.

As a part of Growing In Faith Together (our intergenerational education hour) we made "Joy Jars" for just such days. This is a great project for any age group - our group ranged from 6 months old to 80+ years old.


  • A jar (we used plastic storage containers from a discount store, but anything will work that has an opening large enough to reach into)
  • Squares of paper in 3 different colors
  • Supplies for writing and decorating 
And that's it! 

On the three colored pieces of paper, we wrote things that give us joy
  1. On one color piece of paper, write memories that make you happy when you think about them.
  2. On a second color of paper, write Bible verses or stories that make you happy or give you strength.
  3. On a third color of paper, write activities that give you joy.
If you are doing this activity as a group, do one color at a time and discuss them around your table. What memories give you joy? What stories in the Bible give you strength? What activities give you joy? 

When you are done, take you joy jar home and put where you can find it quickly (perhaps a family devotional space, if you have one). 

When you have a hard day, when you are upset, worried, sad, or angry, reach into your joy jar. 

If you pull out a memory, spend some time savoring that memory.

If you pull out a Bible verse or story, look it up. Read it out loud. Pray the story. Make a sketch or a piece of art based on it. Share it online with friends. 

If you pull out an activity, go and do it. 

Be joy in the world.  

Hear more about our ministry at Spirit of Joy! - connect with us on facebook and sign up for my weekly email devotional

Want to learn more about Intergenerational (Cross+Gen) ministries? Check out this great retreat and learning event in Colorado this October