Tag Archives: Faith + Home connection

Faith + Home Connection August 2013 Luke 15: 1-10 Pentecost 17 Year C

FaithCross_BibleALT This passage in Luke is two parables about something being lost and found. This particular text lends itself to being acted out with younger children or youth. A short game you can play with young children to introduce the concepts is to play “hide and go seek” or to hide an object for them to find and bring to you. (You could even hide a coin or two!) Then read the story or act it out.

FaithCross_ConversationALT For children: Have you ever lost something special to you? What was it and did you find it again? If you didn’t find it how did you feel? If you did find it how did you feel? Have you ever been “lost” or separated from your mom or dad in a store? It’s kind of scary isn’t it? Your parents were so happy when they found you and I bet that you were happy too! Jesus tells us that God looks for us everywhere and all the time. There is nowhere that we can go that God won’t find us! No matter what we do or what we say God will find us and love us! God

For youth/adults: Sometimes it feels like we are so hidden from God that we can never be found. The alternative rock band Evanescence asks two questions in their song Tourniquet-“Do you remember me, lost for so long?” and “Am I too lost to be saved?”* Jesus offers these parables to give a resounding “YES!” to the first question and an equally forceful “NO!” to the second question. God searches for us high and low in order to bring restoration and grace to us. There is nothing that we have to do to receive this grace. The word “repent” in verses 7 and 10 is not about confession but is from the Greek word metanoia which means to turn around or to change one’s mind. God always offers us the opportunity to turn toward God-over and over again-every single day. How will you rejoice with God about this gift? How will you share this good news with someone in your daily life?

FaithCross_ConnectALT These parables highlight the importance of ALL people to God, especially those that are vulnerable in our society or culture. Contact a local Children’s Hospital or a local hospital that delivers babies and find out if there is any need for diapers, hats, layettes or blankets. See if you neighbors will help fill the need!

FaithCross_PrayALT Dear Jesus, you search for us in places that we think we can’t be found. We want to turn to you and rejoice with you for loving us all. Amen.

FaithCross_BlessALT (Make the sign of the cross on one another) God rejoices over you.

*This song is found on Evanescence’s album from 2003 Fallen. The official video can be found on YouTube.

Faith + Home Connection March John13: 1-17, 31b-35

FaithCross_BibleALTGather the household to a spot where are all comfortable. Maybe the dinner table, the family room or a child’s room. Read the story of John 13: 1-17, 31b-35, “Jesus washes the disciples’ feet” from a favorite early reader Bible or children’s Bible.  This Bible story is traditional read at Maundy Thursday worship services. Have a bowl of water, a wash rag and a towel handy.

FaithCross_ConversationALT As you read or tell the story take the time to stop and wash the hands of those in your home. In Jesus’ time feet would get dirty as one went about one’s day. In our culture and time hands are far more likely to be dirty and need washing. Use a favorite scented soap. After you have washed each other’s hands and finished the story talk about the points below or add your own thoughts!

For children: We take care of things that are very important to us. We clean our toys if they get dirty, clean our rooms, our clothes, shoes, etc. Jesus washes the disciples feet, does Jesus think that the disciples are important to God? Jesus says to love one another as Jesus has loved us. Jesus cares for us and takes care of us-how should we treat our friends, families and neighbors? How can we show people that we love them like God loves them? Can we give food to people who are hungry? Can we talk to someone who is sitting by themselves at lunch? Can we share with our friends or siblings?

For youth and adults: Sometimes it’s difficult to talk about the importance of God in our lives. Even as a pastor I find this not always easy! But Jesus says in verse 35 that people will know where are hearts are, with God, by how we treat other people and how we talk to others. Clearly our actions can be louder than our words. But how could we talk about our faith in a non-threatening and natural way? An idea could be to just say, “when I was talking to a friend at my church yesterday….” or “it was so fun and meaningful how my church collected 100 toothbrushes for children in need….” or just be excited about whatever your church community is doing! Practice it now and then talk to friends and neighbors and invite them to Holy Week or Easter worship!* 

FaithCross_PrayALTCleansing God, we are so grateful that you wash us with your care and love. We pray to be this same love in our church, families and community.  Send us to the ones who need to be shown your love. In the name of your Son who showed us your love, amen.

 FaithCross_BlessALT Make the sign of the cross after everyone’s hands have been washed : You are loved and have been made clean.

 FaithCross_ConnectALT Lent is a natural time to reach out to the neighborhood around us. To connect your Maundy Thursday worship with loving one another and Jesus instituting Holy Communion have worshipers bring a non-perishable food item for a local food bank or pantry. As you celebrate Holy Communion and Christ’s presence in this service, bless the food that will nourish the bodies of those in need. Thank you for showing God’s love to others!

*Lutheran Church of the Master in Lakewood, CO is currently focusing on invitation to the neighborhood. Visit www.lcmonline.org for more info.