Scripture: Matthew 25: 31-46
Faith + Open: Gather together and light a candle. Ask someone to pray. If you would like use this prayer: Gracious God, you pour out your love to us in so many ways. We want to share that love with those around us. May we be a fountain showering the love and grace of your son Jesus Christ to those we know and those we don’t know, amen.
Faith + Share: Read Matthew 25: 31-46 or on page 318 in the Spark Bible. Have someone read the narration, Jesus’ part and the part of the disciples.
For adults: This text is challenging as it seems to indicate that some people will get into the flock (sheep) and some won’t (goats). But this passage is not about who is in and who is out. Jesus is pointing out to the disciples that yes, they have clothed the naked, fed the hungry and visited the lonely, but just as many times they have not. We have the capacity to be both a sheep and a goat. In the Lutheran tradition we explain this as being both saint and sinner simultaneously. Jesus redeems us and we have he ability to follow God and serve God’s world, yet, we sometimes do not do what we know we should. Jesus wants the disciples and us to be aware of our need for God in our lives and our ability to be either a sheep or a goat! How might it change you to see everyone around you, neighbor and stranger as Jesus? Would your actions/thoughts/feelings about them change? What would be one thing that you could add this month to reflect serving your neighbor as if they were Jesus?
For children/youth: Have you ever forgotten your lunch money for school or maybe a coat on day that turned out to be cold? Did someone help you by giving you lunch money (or the school letting you eat) or by giving you a jacket or sweater to borrow? How did that make you feel? They were serving you or taking care of you the way that Jesus would! When we help someone who is hungry or cold or lonely, Jesus says that we are taking care of people the way we would take care of Jesus if Jesus were right here right now needing something. God wants us to be as nice to each other as we would to Jesus!
Faith + Serve: There are many hungry and lonely people in our communities. Here at Bethel we collect food for the holidays to help people who cannot afford to buy enough to feed their family. Please consider donating food items so that we can serve even more families than last year! BUT let’s also let them know that we are praying for them and care for them as our brothers and sisters in Christ. Christmas cards will be available on November 20th at both services for you to write a note of Christian love and encouragement to those who will receive a food basket from us. Children are welcome to write a card or draw a picture as well! There will be a basket to collect the cards for a couple of weeks following. Please only sign with your first name.
Faith + Close: As you gather for a meal remember in your prayers those who do not have enough to eat both in this country and all over the world. Sing as a family “This little light of mine” to help us to remember to be the light of Jesus in the world!
Words: This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
All around my world, I’m going to let it shine, All around my world, I’m going to let it shine, let it shine let it shine, shine!
Everywhere I go, I’m going to let it shine, Everywhere I go, I’m going to let it shine, let it shine let it shine, let it shine!