2 October 2022
Bible readings for today
God our shield and our rampart,
it is your strength, not the size of our faith
that supports us in all life’s difficulties;
may we be content to simply serve,
and, when our labours are done,
all gather as equals around your table;
through Jesus Christ our Liberator, who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Faith like a Mustard Seed (Luke 17:5-10)
There are multiple references to mustard seeds in the gospels, and it may be helpful to share both concepts with our children to unpack this powerful metaphor. In this passage in Luke 17, Jesus says "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you." The Gospel of Matthew expands on this illustration, and says "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Matthew 13: 31-32) Having this extra parable description of faith as a mustard seed may help you retell the story today.
Mustard Seed Activities
- Small bottle craft (Hunt and Host)
- Bracelet (Ministry Ark)
- Crafts, seed bombs and other ideas (North Scottsdale United Methodist)
- Playdough Mat (Flame Creative Kids)
- Cupcake activity (Flame Creative Kids)
A beautiful retelling of the parable in Matthew.
You may be inspired by this telling of Matthew's parable story in how you can tell the story to young children.
The Church of Scotland have some resources for this Sunday's lectionary readings. You can find them here
Care for Creation
If you are looking at Care for Creation this week, as part of Season for creation, then check out the Church of Scotland's EcoChurch resources for this Sunday. They have a good video resource for the lectionary readings too.
Ooh, we love this week's Visio Lectio from Rev. Sarah West, shared here with permission. Check out her website at visiolectio.com
Passing on our faith (2 Tim 1:1-14)
In the opening lines of of this Paul talks about the faith that lived in Lois and Eunice, and that he is sure is alive in Timothy too. This is a great way to highlight the passing on of faith between the generations, and how this can be a beautiful part of an intergenerational church.
As we see in our gospel passage, Jesus talked about having faith as small as a mustard seed, yet this is big enough to make a difference in our lives and to other people’s lives.
Guarding our treasures
In 2 Tim 1:14, it says "Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us." Our faith is our treasure and it’s the most important treasure we will ever have.
Brainstorm ways we can guard that treasure:
Who was Timothy?
Paul was a man who spread the news about Jesus in many countries of the world and Timothy worked with him. Paul wrote to Timothy to support, help and guide him in his faith.
About 2 Timothy
In the second letter to Timothy, Paul is near execution and offers a personal challenge to Timothy to keeping following Jesus no matter the sacrifice and risk. The Bible Project have some helpful resources in understanding this letter.
Handing down your faith
Think of a someone who has taught you about/shown you what it is to live for Jesus. Has there been someone in your family who has shared stories about Jesus with you? What was it about them or about what they said that made a difference to you?
St Patrick's Breastplate
The prayer of St. Patrick's Breastplate calls on the protection of Christ in specific ways. This could be good to use as a Communion reflection, or in times of worry.
A guarding prayer
Christ be with me, Christ within me
Christ behind me, Christ before me
Christ beside me, Christ to win me
Christ to comfort me and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger
Christ in hearts of all that love me
Christ in mouth of friend or stranger.
Click this link for a printable of the prayer that you can colour and decorate yourself, from Look to Him and Be radiant blog'
The Sarum Prayer
You can make up actions to go with it; there is also a sung version
God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at my end, and at my departing.
Prayer for our church
God of all people.
We thank you for our church, for all the people who worship here and for all the people who have followed you and passed on their faith to us.
We thank you for the courage of those who have followed you when it has been difficult or dangerous.
We thank you that you give each of us treasure that doesn’t cost anything, that never goes rotten and that we can never lose so long as we hold onto it: the treasure of your love for us and of your son Jesus who gives us light, grace and strength.
Help us to keep following you, especially when we are afraid or sad or tired, knowing that you are always with us.
In the name of Jesus,
Prayer of confession
God of love,
When we forget to pray
Fill us with your love and warm our hearts.
When we are embarrassed about following Jesus
Grant us courage, joy and a sense of God’s presence with us
When we are afraid
Fill us with your love and strengthen our faith.
In Jesus’ name,
(inspired by 2 Timothy 1:7)
“…for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice,
but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.”
Sometimes we feel afraid.
Give us your spirit of power.
Sometimes we feel upset.
Give us your spirit of love.
Sometimes we feel confused.
Give us your spirit of self-control.
Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to live in us.
~ written by Joanna Harader, and posted on Practicing Families. http://practicingfamilies.com/
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