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Related Bible reading(s): Matthew 10.24-39

Welcome to ROOTS at home for families

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)

NEW! The world ablaze:
Prayers for difficult times

 

Introduction

What a wonderful repeated reminder Jesus gives us in this Gospel passage. We may not have the same difficulties as the disciples are facing and the challenges Jesus talks about. However, we could re-write this with our own worries and concerns and see Jesus’ response remaining the same, ‘Do not fear’. Why not try this as part of your worship together?

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.

Living God,
being a Christian can be hard.
Thank you for a safe space
to enjoy your presence
here and now. Amen.

 

Read

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

 

Bible story

Open the Bible at Matthew 10.24-39: Jesus tells his disciples that being a disciple may involve suffering, but that everyone is known and valued by God.

Do not fear!

Ask everyone to think of an action that describes the words, ‘Do not fear’, e.g. shaking their heads, wagging a finger. Ask them to listen out for ‘Do not fear’ as you tell the story, and every time they hear the phrase to repeat the action they came up with.

One day, Jesus was talking with his disciples. ‘Students are not better than their teacher,’ he said to them. ‘A slave is not better than his master. Instead they need to be like each other.’ He continued, ‘So do not fear. Everything that is hidden will be found and everything that is secret will be discovered. Anything I say to you in the dark, I want you to tell in the light. Anything that is whispered, I want you to shout from the rooftops!’

Jesus reassured them. ‘Do not fear those who try to kill you, as they cannot kill your soul. The only one you should be worried about is the one who can destroy both the body and the soul in hell. Two sparrows are sold for only a penny. But if one of them falls to the ground, God knows this. Even the hairs on your head are counted and known by God. Do not fear, you are much more valuable than the sparrows.’

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If you tell others that you are my follower, I will tell God in heaven that you are my follower. But if you say you are not my follower, I will tell God in heaven that you don’t belong to me. I didn’t come to bring peace; I came to bring a sword. Families will turn against each other because of what I say. Anyone who loves their family more than me is not good enough to be my follower. Anyone who is not willing to take up their cross is not good enough to be my follower. If you try to hold onto your life, you will give up true life. But do not fear. If you give up your life for me, you will hold onto true life.’

 

Talk

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

 

Talk together with children

  • Why do you think the disciples needed great courage to go and tell other people about Jesus?
  • If someone asks you what you did on Sunday, would you tell them you went to church?
  • How can we share the story of Jesus with others today?

 

Talk together with young people

  • How does it feel to be more valuable than sparrows?
  • Do the challenges in this passage outweigh the promises Jesus makes?
  • What does the passage tell us about being disciples of Jesus?

 

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

Tangram puzzle

Keep going even when it’s tricky

You will need: a set of tangram pieces for each person, printed on card and cut out.

  • Give each person a set of tangram puzzle pieces and ask them to make a square using all the pieces. It might be useful to keep a picture of the completed puzzle to hand!
  • If someone completes the puzzle very quickly, suggest they make some other shapes with the pieces.
  • Discuss how everyone got on at the end, and talk about how we can keep going when we find things difficult.

 

Create

Happy/Sad prayers

Invite everyone to draw a happy face on one side of a paper plate and a sad face on the other. Show the happy faces, then pray together:

Thank you, Jesus, that we can follow you.
This makes us happy.

Then turn the plates over and pray:

Sometimes life can be hard and that makes us sad.

Turn the plates over to the happy side for a final time:

But we know that however we feel, you value us. Amen.

 

Initials

Illustrate a phrase to remind us to keep going

You will need: paper and pencils/pens/crayons.

  • Ask everyone to write their initials in large letters, one under the other, down their piece of paper.
  • Encourage them to make phrases from today’s story from those initials, using the letters to form any part of the word. Remind them of phrases such as: Do not fear, known by God, you are my follower, take up the cross, hold onto true life.
  • If there is time, encourage everyone to decorate the whole page and illustrate the phrase they have written down.

 

Think/reflect

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

 

Difficult discipleship

Watch the video. Ask the young people to think about what challenges or sacrifices we might face when being a disciple. Come up with a list of what discipleship looks like today. You could also make your own video on what discipleship looks like in real situations.

 

Jumbled instructions

Print out a set of jumbled recipe instructions (below) and ask your group to rearrange them into the correct order. Remind the young people that sometimes a challenge in our discipleship journey is the distractions life can throw at us, but we can talk to God and ask for guidance to help us. If you have time, follow the correctly ordered instructions to complete the recipe.

 

Jumbled recipe instructions (correct way)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / gas mark 4.

Measure 200g each of sugar and butter into a bowl and whisk until creamy

Crack four eggs and add to the butter and sugar mixture carefully

Gently sift in 200g of self-raising flour and mix until cake batter is smooth

Pour the mixture into two non-stick 7inch (18cm) tins.

Place them in the oven till golden brown 15-25 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack before serving.

 

(Jumbled Way)

Place them in the oven till golden brown 15-25 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Gently sift in 200g of self-raising flour and mix until cake batter is smooth

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / gas mark 4.

Pour the mixture into two non-stick 7inch (18cm) tins.

Crack four eggs and add to the butter and sugar mixture carefully

Measure 200g each of sugar and butter into a bowl and whisk until creamy.

 

Pray

Finish your time of worship by praying together in any way you choose.

 

Throw and catch as you pray

You will need: a ball of thick yarn or string.

  • Ask the group to sit in a circle, facing inwards.
  • Take the ball of yarn and throw it to someone, making sure that you hold onto the loose end. As you throw the ball of yarn, mention something out loud that you want to pray for.
  • The person who has just caught the ball of yarn mentions something else they want to pray for and throws it to another person, making sure that they keep hold of the thread of wool.
  • Continue until everyone has had the opportunity to pray and the circle has become a web. Then pray:
    Sometimes life can get tangled up and seem difficult.
    Help us to remember that you are always with us so that we ‘do not fear’.
    Amen.

 

One more step along the world I go

Play follow my leader, walking, tiptoeing, jumping, etc., and end by pretending to trip or slip.

Follow in the footsteps of Jesus,
when you are walking…
when you are…
(add in other ways you are moving)

Jesus, catch us when we fall or fail,
and walk beside us through this week.
Amen.

Sing this familiar song together before you finish: One more step along the world I go

More prayers are available via the Prayers page.

 

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.

The Lord is my rock, Freedom kids

Lean on you, Hillsong kids on Tell the world
Jesus in my life, Hillsong kids on Super strong God

Love won’t let me down, Hillsong young & free on Love won’t let me down
Gotta live, Tedashii on Never fold

Hard love, feat. Lauren Daigle, Needtobreathe on The shack: music from and inspired by the original motion picture 
Alive again, Seventh day slumber on Alive again 
Run to you, Philippa Hanna on Speed of light

See also Same Boat @ HOME

 

Live your faith

When you find something difficult this week, count to 10 and remember that Jesus knows the number of hairs on your head. 

  

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

  • In this passage from Matthew we see Jesus preparing his disciples for their mission. He warns them of the threats and challenges they are likely to face. They are called to go out and take on their mission completely reliant on God, in order that they might build up trust and relationship with him.
  • Jesus warns that following him will not be easy, that there will be sacrifices and suffering, but that the Lord will be with them. He tells them not to fear all these things, including death, as no one is powerful enough to destroy both body and soul (vv.10.26-28). He also talks of our great value to God. He values us enough to know how many hairs we have on our heads, and so will protect and keep us.
  • Jeremiah – in the Old Testament – has also made great sacrifices; he is constantly persecuted, even by his friends, for the prophecies he brings. But what we sacrifice to be a disciple of Jesus will be repaid in abundance – as we are reminded in Paul’s letter to the Romans when Paul talks of the hope and freedom we have in Christ.
  • Being a disciple of Jesus doesn’t mean that all our problems will vanish, but our challenge is to continue striving to be a disciple even through the hardship, knowing that Jesus will walk alongside us. We are valued by him and rewarded through relationship with him.
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This resource is taken from www.rootsontheweb.com and is copyright © 2002-2020 ROOTS for Churches.