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ROOTS response to Covid-19 pandemic

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Welcome to ROOTS at home for 21 June

Worship at home resources for everyone linked to Matthew 10.24-39

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

Go to: Resources for familiesResources for adults 

 

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.

 

The world ablaze:
Prayers for difficult times

 

For families

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?

 

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.’

 

Activities

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

 

God knows my head 

Play some quiet music e.g. O God You Search Me And You Know Me (CJM on Psalm Songs) as everyone spends some time feeling the shape and texture of their eyes, ears, noses, mouth and hair. Invite them to reflect that God counts every hair on their heads, and to thank him that he knows each person so intimately and values them.

 

Postcards

Remind others that they are valued by God

You will need: a selection of used postcards with different messages on the front, A5 card, pencils, pens, felt tips.

Remind everyone that each one of us is valuable to God, but sometimes we forget this. Can they think of someone who needs to know that they are valuable to God?

Look together at the different postcard designs. Invite everyone to design their own postcard with an encouraging message on the front for the person they have thought of.

They can give their postcard directly to the person, push it through their letter box, or post it to them.

 

Activity and colouring sheets

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

Activities for families - English

 

Colouring sheet English

 

Activities for families - Welsh

 

Colouring sheet Welsh

     

 

For adults

PostScript: Shocked into seeing

 

In conversation with the Scriptures: Already but not yet

Cherryl Hunt explores how we read Scripture, in conversation with John Parr

 

A prayer for schools returning after pandemic closure

God, we wonder where Jesus learned to read and write:
perhaps the Nazareth Synagogue.
We wonder what and where he played as a boy.
We remember he cracked a joke about children playing at weddings and funerals.

We pray for all children whose games are confined and frustrated
but all the more precious.
We pray for our schools as they begin to welcome children back,
making safe space for their learning, and their play,
which attends to serious things in life.

We remember Jesus growing up to be a great storyteller and teacher,
and so pray for teachers today,
blessing them for their story telling, encouraging and guiding,
especially when they have their own anxieties to keep at bay.

We remember Jesus as protector of the vulnerable.
We pray for all the staff, administrators, cooks, cleaners and caretakers,
with new and complex responsibilities keeping everyone safe.

We pray for any who are fearful of returning and any who are frustrated not to be able to.
Reassure them all that, as children, teachers and protectors of the vulnerable,
you are very, very close to them.
Assure them that we treasure them, and so do you.
Amen.

 

A prayer of intercession: When the going gets tough

A response to use after each section

Give them strength when they are struggling,
comfort when they are down,
and hope for the days ahead

The going has got tough Lord, really tough,
for those who continue to put in long hard shifts,
and for those who continue to work long hours,
in hospitals... in schools... in care homes… in their own homes…

The going has got tough
for children and young people,
those are struggling to learn away from school...
those who are missing their friends...
those who are afraid for their future and worried about exams...... 

The going has got tough
for businesses, for employers and employees,
those who are back at work in shops and other places
but are worried about viability and safety...
those who can't open their businesses yet...
those who are afraid they never will... 

The going has got tough
for those standing up for change...
those bowed down by years of injustice...
those enforcing the law...
those who feel let down by the law 

The going has got tough
for those awaiting surgery and treatment...
those who are in constant pain…
those who are suffering alone…
those who are grieving... 

The going has got tough
for our churches, our families, our communities –
and for each of us in different ways… 

But we pray for your strength in our struggles,
your comfort when we are down,
and your hope for the days ahead –
in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

 

Live your faith

This week's Live your faith sheet for adults with Bible notes, prayers, a picture and questions for reflection, a live your faith action

 

Father's Day ideas and prayers

Adaptable resources for use at home or for groups meeting online.

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This resource is taken from www.rootsontheweb.com and is copyright © 2002-2020 ROOTS for Churches.