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Related Bible reading(s): Matthew 13.1-9,18-23

Welcome to ROOTS at home for 12 July

Worship at home resources for everyone linked to Matthew 13.1-9,18-23

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

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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.


For families


Stories are a really important part of our lives: they may be how we settle down ready to sleep; how we pass on memories; or the way we share our faith.

Jesus often uses parables – a story with a hidden meaning – to share a key message and this week we think about how and why he might have done this.



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

Lord Jesus, as we gather today,
may we have eyes to see
and ears to hear
what you are saying to us.
Make us ready to learn
from your stories.



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

Bible story

Open the Bible at Matthew 13.1-9,18-23: Jesus tells simple stories, called parables, to help people understand an important message.

Words and pictures

Use this poem, substituting these words for pictures: farmer, seed, birds, thorns (see template). Then tell the story using the pictures.

A farmer went, his seed to sow, he did not know if they would grow.
Some seed fell on stony ground, some the hungry birds soon found.
Some fell among the thorns so tall, they stood no chance to grow at all!
But some seed fell on fertile ground, and soon the crops grew all around.

So many people wanted to see Jesus and hear what he had to say, that he had to sit in a boat and teach the people standing on the shore. He told them many things through parables.

‘Listen!’ Jesus said. ‘A farmer went out to sow his seeds. As he scattered them, some of the seeds fell on the path and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell onto rocky ground. At first they grew quickly, but when the sun came out they got all burnt up because they had no roots in the shallow soil. Other seeds fell among thorns, which grew up around them and choked them. Other seed fell on good soil and they grew into thirty, sixty, a hundred times more wheat. Listen!’ Jesus said again. ‘If you’ve got ears, listen!’

Jesus explained the parable of the sower to the crowd:

‘What did I mean by the seed on the path being eaten up?’ he said. ‘Well, that’s like when the good things that God has planted in our hearts get snatched away by the devil.

And the seed on the rocky path? That’s like when someone hears God’s word and loves it and is full of joy, but their enthusiasm disappears as soon as trouble comes their way.

And the seed among thorns? Well, that’s like when someone hears God’s word but worry and greed take over.

But the seed planted in good soil – ah, the seed in the good soil is like the person who hears God’s word, loves it and lives it, so it produces thirty, sixty, a hundred times more goodness in their lives.’



devil a personification of evil, also called Satan or ‘the evil one’.



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



Create seed trays to represent the four different environments for the Word:

  1. sand and a piece of old lino as a path;
  2. gravel or stones;
  3. weeds and thistles;
  4. good soil or compost.

Then do one or both of the activities below.


Cartoon strip

Create a visual summary of the parable

You will need: storyboard (template), pencils, crayons/felt tips.

Recap the four different places that seed landed in the parable using the seed trays you have prepared.

Invite everyone to draw four pictures on the storyboard template to retell the story as a cartoon strip.

Those who are able could write captions and/or speech bubbles to retell the story from the seeds’ point of view. You may need to act as a scribe for the captions that younger children suggest.


Where the seed falls

Read Matthew 13.3b-9 using the trays. Read verses 18 to 23 and add the following cards to each tray:

  1. the evil one;
  2. trouble;
  3. cares of the world;
  4. a healthy plant.


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 - reflection for the week


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

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