Tag Archives: household devotion

Advent 2013 + Household Devotions


Just in time for the start of Advent!  A simple four week resource for gathering together to prepare your hearts and minds for Christmas. Please print, copy and handout (or share electronically!) to whomever you so desire.

This is a devotion that homes and families of all shapes and sizes will find to be worth their time in spending a few minutes together each week of this week Advent. These links will let you download whichever format works best for you.  Note that all the links will take you to our Mediafire site so you can view the files before you download them.

Booklet Style – prints as a landscape on 8.5 x 11 inch and folds into a booklet

A Page a Week – each page is one devotion, great for eReaders and tablets

Supplemental Images for make your own ornaments 

Here is an overview:

Faith+Connect-a ritual of lighting a candle, picking an ornament off your tree for your time together, and singing or listening to a Christmas song that fits the scripture for the day
Faith+Bible and Faith+ Chat–scripture and discussion prompts plus optional activities
Faith+Prayer–a prayer together
Faith+Blessing–a time to bless one another as the devotional time ends.

We encourage you to use this in your home and share with others. For all you wonderful youth directors, children’s ministers and pastors we encourage you to have this available for your congregations and visitors throughout Advent.

We love feedback so let us know if you used it and what you thought!
Link  supplemental pages

+Blessings to you all this Advent and Christmas,
Leta, Brigette, Gus

Faith + Home Connection Luke 7:36-8:3

20130520-224945.jpgGather the household around the dining table. Jesus was dining at a Pharisee’s house in this passage. Have some perfume or scented bath oil available. Share highs and lows for the day with each other and pray about them together.

FaithCross_BibleALTRead Luke 7: 36-8:3 The story of the woman forgiven and the women who traveled with Jesus.

FaithCross_ConversationALTFor children: When was a time that you had to tell a friend that you were sorry for something that you had said or done to them that wasn’t very nice? What did they say to you?Have you ever had someone tell you that they were sorry for being mean or not nice to you? What did you tell them when they said “I’m sorry”?  Did you forgive them? God loves us so much that God sent Jesus to tell us that God forgives us all the time, no matter what! That doesn’t mean that we can do whatever we want and it’s ok, we should try to love like Jesus loves us. But what that does mean is that when we mess up, we get to try again!

For youth/adults: The woman in the this story is so compelled by what she has heard about God through Jesus, that she seeks him out in order to show her gratitude. We don’t know if she has ever had any real contact with Jesus personally but we do know that she fully believes that Jesus reconciles her past and gives her a hopeful future where she is no longer in shame. Forgiveness is tricky, God forgives all sins and sinners, even people that WE may not think deserve it. We may lie a bit, or just innocuously cheat a little but other people who kill or steal large amounts or worse….do they also get the same forgiveness? Jesus is saying here, yes. That is difficult for us many days. What would it mean for our society if we really lived the way that Jesus forgives and reconciled? What would it mean for us personally? What would it mean to be able to go about our days “in peace”?

FaithCross_PrayALTForgiving Lord, your gifts of faith and forgiveness are freely given to us all and yet can be hard for us to accept. Help us to show great love to all people and for all of creation. Allow us to live our lives in the peace that only you can offer us. In Jesus name, amen.

FaithCross_BlessALTUse the perfume or the scented oil and make the sign of the cross on each other’s forehead or hand. Say, “Your sins are forgiven; go in peace.”

FaithCross_ConnectALTThe woman cleansed Jesus feet in response of God cleansing her whole being. Let’s focus on collecting toiletries for a local food pantry or shelter for the month of June.

May 2013 Faith + Home Connection Acts 2: 1-21

20130227-164821.jpg Begin by gathering together as a household and lighting a candle. Open your time by sharing the day’s highs and lows and praying for one another.

FaithCross_BibleALT Read Acts 2:1-21. For households with younger children I would recommend a children’s Bible such as the Jesus Storybook Bible or the Spark Storybook Bible. If someone speaks or reads in a language other than the one spoken in the home, have them tell the story (or parts of the story) in that different language. Or look up a translation on-line.

FaithCross_ConversationALTThis story is often referred to as the “birthday” of the Church. But it is more than that. It is also about how the good news of God’s unconditional and eternal love for all people IS FOR all people.

For children: When you meet a new person do you always understand everything that they say? Maybe they are from another country or even a different part of this country-each place has special phrases and words that have unique meanings. We sometimes have a difficult time understanding someone from a different place but God brings all people together and wants us to listen to each other. Each person, no matter where they are from, has a special gift given from God to share with us and other people. AND we have special gifts to share with people too! What is something that you do that maybe someone else in your family doesn’t? How can you use that gift to show other people God’s love? We don’t always have to use words to share God’s love-our actions of kindness and caring for people are important too!

For youth/adults: Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we are filled with the Holy Spirit each and every day of our lives. But God fills us with God’s Spirit that moves us to live as followers of Christ. God fills us and sends us out to be the Church in the world and not just in a building. What are some ways that your family (or congregation) lives out faith in the world? How do people in your neighborhood know that you are there to serve and be in relationship with them? It’s not just about “helping” people but truly living with them and listening to them and letting other people different from us break us open to pour out God’s love and grace on all people that we meet. Tell about a time when someone completely different from you impacted you in a life changing way. How did that person share God’s Spirit with you?

FaithCross_PrayALT God of all nations, continue to pour out your Holy Spirit onto all of your people. Show us how to love one another despite differences and confusion. Open us up to see all people as your people; send us to share radical love and grace; move us call on you every day of our lives. In Jesus name, amen.

20130227-164716.jpgTwo parts: 1) Notice when someone new moves into your neighborhood or comes to your church. Not only greet them and introduce yourself but bring them a simple meal as they settle in, or offer to help with younger children or another need. 2) Print off a map of a foreign country (any one will do) and learn about the people, language, culture, etc. Pray for the people in that country this month and see how you can support your global brothers and sisters.

FaithCross_BlessALT Make the sign of the cross on one another and say: Child of God you are filled with the Holy Spirit. 

Faith + Home Connection April 2013 John 20: 19-31

FaithCross_ConnectALT Gather the household to a location where all can be comfortable. Share the highs and lows of each person and then pray for one another.

FaithCross_BibleALT Have on hand a Bible and/or a children’s Bible. Read John 20: 19-31in parts. Ask one person to be the narrator, one to be Jesus and one to be Thomas.

FaithCross_ConversationALTFor children: Has anyone ever told you something that you didn’t believe? Tell about that time. Well Thomas didn’t believe his friends that they had seen Jesus. But then Jesus appeared to Thomas. Jesus knew that Thomas needed to see him to help him know that Jesus was really alive. We don’t see Jesus like Thomas did but we do see God in many different ways in our lives that let’s us know that God is with us always. How do you see God in your life? Just like Jesus came to Thomas, Jesus promises to come to us in our lives and be with us always-even when we are not sure if Jesus is really there-he is!

For  youth/adults: Thomas often gets a bad rap for his “doubting.” Thomas is actually a very faithful disciple in the rest of the gospel stories where he is present. The issue here is not that Thomas demands a little proof, but that Jesus comes to us and stands among us no matter what-even when we have a hard time understanding. Tell about a time when you knew that Jesus was present in your life. Tell about a time when you wondered or doubted that Jesus was present. Doubt is not the opposite of faith-doubt helps us to ask the questions that we are wrestling with to go deeper in our relationship with God. Thomas is the only one in John’s gospel to proclaim Jesus “Lord and God.” Out of Thomas’ doubt sprang a declaration of deep faith and recognition of who Jesus is. When was a time that you wrestled with some questions about God or to God that helped you deepen your faith?

FaithCross_ConnectALT April 2nd is officially PB and J day-so a church in Denver, CO USA, decided to honor that day by starting a service project for April 7th called “PB and J for Hunger”. Make as many PB and J sandwiches as you want/can and go to a location where those without a home may be and hand them out. Food scarcity and access to food is a large issue for many in our communities. You can also donate loaves of bread/peanut butter and jelly to a local food pantry for distribution.

FaithCross_PrayALT Dear Jesus, you come and stand among us even when we doubt. You welcome our questions and promise to be with us always and give us peace. Let us be open to share our questions and struggles with other people who may be questioning as well. We pray to share your unending peace and love with all people, amen.

FaithCross_BlessALT“Peace be with you, share that peace.” (Make the sign of the cross on one another.)