Change text size: A A A Change contrast: Normal Dark Light

ROOTS response to Covid-19 pandemic

Subscribers - log in for worship-at-home resources. FREE resources for everyone - non-subscribers see the ROOTS at home panel on the home page.

Related Bible reading(s): John 14.1-14

Welcome to ROOTS at home for families

Resources for worshipping together at home

ROOTS is a partnership of denominations and other Christian organisations and has been publishing lectionary-based worship resources online and in print since 2002.

Copyright

You are welcome to copy this material for use in your own resources e.g. printed sheets or web pages including audio/video recordings. If you do so, please include this acknowledgement to ROOTS:
© ROOTS for Churches Ltd (www.rootsontheweb.com) 2002-2020.
Reproduced with permission.

Read our article ROOTS at home - support for nurturing faith at home (www.rootsontheweb.com/faithathome)

 

Introduction

John 14.1-14 is one of the famous ‘I am’ sayings from John’s Gospel.

We often think about this passage as Jesus preparing a place for us in the future but, in your worship today, explore the idea that this is Jesus talking about how we can have a relationship with him, despite the fact that he is not physically with us.

You might also be able to apply that to other friends and family you are or have been separated from. See Bible notes for more information on the passages for today.

 

Gather

Use this prayer as you begin your time of worship together. Nominate a leader or all join in together.

Response lineDo not fear.

Father, Creator,
God is with us:
Do not fear.

Jesus, redeemer,
God is with us…

Holy Spirit, sustainer,
God is with us…
Amen.

 

Read

Share the Bible story using the idea below to help you explore it together.

 

Bible story

John 14.1-14: Jesus tells his friends that he’ll be with them for ever as he shows them the way to his Father’s house.


Say what?

Ask for two confident volunteers to act the parts of Thomas and Jesus, reading the lines from the passage. Another volunteer can read the rest of the passage as a narrator. You could ask for a third person to take the part of Philip - there are no lines to say, but they could act this part by expressing the emotion without words.

Geoff Hays, www.geoffrey-hays.co.uk

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I will be going away soon, but don’t worry, because I am going to prepare a place for you in my Father’s house, which has many rooms. When the time is right, I will return and take you there, so that we can all be together.’ Wanting to know where this place would be, Thomas asked, ‘How will we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. I will show you the way to God the Father.’ But Philip wanted Jesus to show them the Father. Jesus sighed. ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still don’t recognise me?’ Jesus continued, ‘Believe in the Father and believe also in me, because I am in the Father and the Father is in me. If you can’t do that, then look at the things I have done and you will know what God the Father is like. If you believe in me, you will be able to do even greater things than I have done. All you have to do is to ask in my name and I will do it for you.’

 

Talk

Spend time reflecting on the Bible passage, using the questions below as appropriate.

Talk together with children

  • What does Jesus say to his friends about the way to his Father’s house?
  • Is it always easy to understand what Jesus means? Is it helpful to know that his disciples asked him questions?
  • What difference does it make if we believe that Jesus is always with us?

 

Talk together with young people

  • What stands out to you the most about what Jesus says here?
  • If you were one of the disciples, what would you like to ask Jesus?
  • What does it mean for Jesus to remain with us?

 

Activities, songs and prayers

Choose from the activities below and do any or all of them in any order you wish. Some are designed for younger children and some for young people. However we hope using a mix will work for any ages in your household.

 

Play

May I come this way?

Ask a leader to stand with their back to everyone. Each child in turn asks, ‘May I come this way?’ The leader replies, ‘Yes, you can take (insert number) giant/small/normal steps.’

Continue, changing the number and type of steps each time. The first child to reach the leader is the winner.

 

Create

Jesus signpost

Encourage the children to decorate arrows with ‘Jesus’ on one side (template). Display these on the wall to resemble a signpost.

As you do this you could play/sing the song Simply Trusting Jesus, Same Boat Music.

 

The way of love

Create a reminder of Jesus as the way

You will need: map of the local area, heart template, scissors, A4 card, glue, pens.

  • Divide up the map of the local area so that each person has a section. Ask everyone to cut a heart shape out of their map section, using the heart template as a guide.
  • Encourage everyone to fold a piece of A4 card in half and stick their heart on the front. They can then design the card for someone as a reminder that Jesus loves the places where we are, and calls us to follow him as the way.
  • Invite everyone to draw on their map heart shape a simple line to create a ‘way’ through the local area, praying for that particular place and thinking of those who live there. You may be able to distribute the cards to people who live in those particular areas.

 

Think/reflect

Spend some quiet time reflecting on the passage, as well as what you have been doing in the activities you chose.

 

Seeing both sides

Give out a strip of paper to each person and ask people to write the words of John 14.7 along it. Invite them to twist the strip and glue the ends together to make a Mobius strip (detailed instructions).

Talk about what Jesus meant when he said that we can see the Father by seeing him, and how this symbol can help to represent this.

 

Pray

Finish your time of worship by praying together in any way you choose (there are more prayers on our Prayers page).

 

Go with me

Place a large map of the local area on the floor. Give each person a few stickers or marker pens and ask them to mark out the places where they might be taking their daily exercise or shopping or where they pray that Jesus might bring God’s love. As they do this, encourage people to pray quietly that they might follow Jesus and do his will.

Filled with the Spirit,
(make a bird with your hands)
giving glory to God,
(lift your cupped hands above your head)
send us to others
(arms open in front)
until Jesus returns.
(hands raised and outstretched)
Amen.

You may wish to use the additional resources below to worship together and/or the activity sheets for children.

 

Sing and listen

Preview songs on YouTube, buy online and download.

Key to abbreviations for hymn book titles

Under 5s
Turn your frown upside down (CJP 606)

Jesus is the way (Tune: Row, row, row your boat, words by Emily Hoe-Crook)
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is,
Jesus is the way,
Never feel alone again,
He is here to stay.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is,
Jesus is the life,
Jesus shows us how to live,
Jesus is alive.

Under 12s
I will not leave you, Shout Praise Kids on Promises
One way, Hillsong Kids on Super Strong God

12+
Your love never fails, Jesus Culture on Revelation Songs
Lord Jesus, you are faithful (CJP 420)

 

Listen: Suggestions from Young People

Preview songs on YouTube, buy online and download.

Steady, Blanca on Shattered
I will, Citizen way on 2.0
Confident, Steffany Gretzinger on Blackout

See also Same Boat @ HOME

 

Live your faith

Every time you see a signpost this week, pray that Jesus would show you the way he wants you to go.

  

Activity Sheets

(Links to the PDFs for these can also be found at the end of the page.)

Activity Sheet English

 

Colouring Sheet English

 

Activity Sheet Welsh

 

Colouring Sheet Welsh

     

 

Notes on the Bible story for parents and carers

  • This passage is perhaps most well-known for its use at funerals, with the promise of a place prepared in the future, yet Jesus offers more than that. As well as showing what is to come, Jesus promises that he will remain with the disciples, even when he is physically gone from them.
  • In his unique writing style, John illustrates the complex relationship between God as trinity in the now (present reality) and the not-yet (promise of the kingdom to come). This relationship is so close that whoever has seen Jesus has seen the Father. This is why Jesus can assure the disciples that they will not be left abandoned, and that he himself is the way that they need to travel – he is both the means and the route: ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’
  • There is a theme within these readings of being joined to God in an unbreakable relationship. 1 Peter speaks about believers being built together like living stones. Jesus assures his disciples that he is the way for them and that they will be united with him. In every case, this bond is to overflow in prayer, worship and service. The Gospel passage ends with a command and a promise (v.12): ‘the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do’. Through a life lived in ‘the way’, we are commissioned to follow Jesus’ example: feeding the poor, caring for those who are hurting, sharing God’s love.

Click on the image to view a larger version.

Geoff Hays, www.geoffrey-hays.co.uk
General information and website help
020 3887 8916
ROOTS for Churches Ltd
86 Tavistock Place
WC1H 9RT
Registered Charity No. 1097466
Subscription services
01603 785910
ROOTS for Churches Ltd
13a Hellesdon Park Road
Norwich NR6 5DR
Stay in touch
The ROOTS ecumenical partnership
Bringing together Churches and other Christian organisations since 2002
© Copyright 2002-2020, ROOTS for Churches Ltd. All rights reserved.
This resource is taken from www.rootsontheweb.com and is copyright © 2002-2020 ROOTS for Churches.