The Israelites journeyed for 40 years in the wilderness before they were allowed to enter the Promised Land. Because he had sinned, Aaron was not going to be allowed to enter Canaan. As they approached Mount Hor, God told Moses to take Aaron and his son, Eleazar, up on the mountain because Aaron was about to die. When the three of them got up on the mountain, Moses took Aaron’s priestly clothing and put them on Eleazar. Now you might think that was mean or gross, but it was really showing that the duties of the priesthood were being passed from one generation to the next. It showed that, now that Aaron was dying, Eleazar would be in charge.
After this, Aaron died on the mountain. When Moses and Eleazar came down the mountain and the people realized Aaron was gone, they mourned for 30 days. That sounds like a long time, and it was, but they did this to show how important and respected Aaron was.
The actions of the Israelites show us how we should behave when giving and taking on responsibility. Aaron willingly allowed the symbols of his authority to be passed to his son, showing that he believed his son was ready. And then the people all showed respect for what he had done by mourning his loss. When someone shows enough trust in you to turn over responsibility to you, you should show them respect by doing the job well and not criticizing how they had done it. For example, if your parents turn over the responsibility of the trash to you, first you should do the job well to show you are trustworthy. Second, if there is something you want to do differently (like put the can out at night instead of in the morning) be respectful enough to ask nicely if that would be okay and if not why. You may not think of taking out the trash as important, but we often must prove we are trustworthy in small things to prove we are ready for big things. Take all your responsibilities seriously and you will eventually get to be responsible for the big stuff!
Activity for younger kids
Have them act out taking Aaron’s garments and placing them on Eleazar. You could use a coat and scarf or anything special you could pass from one to the other (or parent to child).
Discussion for older kids
What are some responsibilities you would like to be trusted with? Discuss together the steps they can go through to gain more responsibility.