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Welcome to ROOTS at home for 5 July 2020

Worship at home resources for everyone linked to Matthew 11.16-19,25-30

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 



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 ( 2002-2020.
Reproduced with permission.


The world ablaze:
Prayers for difficult times


For families


Jesus calls us in this passage to come to him and learn from him. Now more than ever we may feel the need to be self-sufficient and ‘keep going’. Take time as you worship together today to give over anxieties, concerns and ‘to-do’ lists to God and learn to rest in him.



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

Father God,
we come to you to find rest today.
Help us to be ready to learn from you.



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

Bible story

Open the Bible at Matthew 11.16-19,25-30: Jesus reassures us that no matter how busy life is, if we ask him, he will share our burdens and give us rest.


Explain that this story happens in a marketplace. Encourage everyone to help pack some shopping, e.g. fruit, vegetables, bread and tinned food into a large rucksack. Put on the rucksack and then read the story as you walk around the room. When Jesus asks the crowd to come to him, take off your rucksack. Finish by showing everyone a picture of a yoke and talking about what it was.

Geoff Hays,

Jesus was speaking to the crowd. ‘What are you like? You are like children playing wedding and funeral games. You sit and watch and shout to each other, “We played the flute and you did not dance.” “We were sad and wept and you did not cry with us.”

‘John the Baptist came,’ Jesus said to them. ‘He did not go around eating too much or drinking. And what did people say? They said, “He has a demon in him!” Then I came along, eating and drinking and what did they say?

They said, “That man eats too much! He drinks too much! He is a friend of tax collectors and even sinners!’’ But God’s wisdom is proved by its results.’

Jesus started to pray, ‘Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You have hidden these things from the wise and the clever and revealed them to children. This is what you want. My Father has given me everything. Only he truly knows the Son. And only the Son truly knows the Father. But the Son wants to tell others about the Father too.’

He said to the crowd, ‘Come to me, anyone who is tired and carrying a heavy load, and I will give you rest.’ Then he looked at the people around him and said, ‘Take the yoke I give you and learn from me. I am gentle – my yoke is easy and the load I give you is not too heavy. You will find rest for your souls.’



demon also described as an evil spirit; spiritual forces that trouble people – sometimes this might be interpreted as mental illness;

sinners people who are not living life as God intends;

yoke a curved piece of wood put across the neck of an animal pulling a plough or cart, and so a burden to be carried.



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


Take my yoke upon you

Experiencing what a burden really feels like 

You will need: images of yokes (put the word ‘yoke’ into a search engine and click the images option); a garden cane (1m); a thick towel; some duct or parcel tape; two lengths of strong cord (2m each); two plastic buckets; sand or other items to place in the buckets.

  • Display the images of yokes. Explain that you are going to make your own version.
  • Wrap the towel around the garden cane and secure with the tape. 
  • Double the cord and attach the looped end to one of the bucket handles. Tie the other end to the cane. Repeat for the other piece of cord. 
  • Invite someone to try out the yoke. Can they lift the buckets?
  • Next, add some of the sand to the buckets. Can they still lift them? Is it easier if someone else comes to share the yoke?
  • Give everyone a turn with the yoke.


Wisdom revealed 


  • two large sheets of paper - one headed ‘WISE’ and the other ‘UNWISE’. 
  • marker pens
  • a selection of recent newspapers
  • scissors
  • glue sticks.

Invite everyone to cut out examples of wisdom and folly from the newspapers, then stick them onto the appropriate sheet. Discuss their choices. Are there any names they would like to add to the sheets?


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 - Lockdown relaxed?


In conversation with the Scriptures: Already but not yet

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


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


A prayer of intercession

Loving God, as we reflect on the words of Scripture
and learn from the wisdom of your Son,
so we pray in his name:

for the people of the USA as they mark the anniversary of their independence;
for discernment for those who will vote in the presidential election in November
and for integrity for those who are standing;
for healing where injustice and racism have caused great pain and division
and for courage and unity where changes are beginning to be made;
for the nation as a whole as the rate of unemployment and the death toll continue to rise.
To you, God of love, we entrust our prayers.

We pray for all entrusted with the gift of teaching children and young people;
for those who struggle to learn and for those denied an education;
we pray for more resources, more opportunities, more equality.
To you, God of love, we entrust our prayers.

We pray for all who care for those with serious mental health issues;
for those who work with patients who potentially pose a threat to others
and those who feel bowed down with their responsibilities,
who are struggling under the weight of the decisions they have to make;
for those with family or friends who are depressed,
and for all those engulfed by mental turmoil.
To you, God of love, we entrust our prayers.

We pray for the people of Hong Kong, of Tibet and for the Chinese Government;
for the people of Israel and Palestine and their governments;
for all places where in the past there has been violence,
where today there is unrest
and where the future is full of fear and mistrust.
To you, God of love, we entrust our prayers. 

We pray for wisdom to learn from, and to act on, the mistakes of the past –
as a community and as individuals.
Where there have been disappointments may we learn courage.
Where there have been setbacks may we learn resilience.
Where there has been division may we learn generosity of spirit.
Where there has been self-centredness may we learn humility
To you, God of love, we entrust our prayers. 

We pray for churches throughout the world,
that we may learn new ways of sharing the gospel.
We give thanks for the vision and compassion, the integrity and faithfulness
of our national and international church leaders.
We pray for all leaders and pastors in our local church families.
We pray too for those who have been damaged by religion,
for one another in our daily encounters,
and for those we hold in our hearts who we would love to see come to faith.
To you, God of love, we entrust our prayers
in Jesus name.


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