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Related Bible reading(s): Matthew 13.31-33,44-52

Welcome to ROOTS at home for 26 July

Worship at home resources for everyone linked to Matthew 13.31-33,44-52

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.


For families


Another parable – story with hidden meaning – today helps us to learn more about God’s kingdom: what it’s like, how much it’s worth and who it’s for. We can be thankful that we are invited to share in these secrets of God’s kingdom. Let us pray that we would value God’s kingdom in the way that this Bible passage asks us to.



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

You could listen to this track to begin your time of worship together: Greatness of our God, Newsboys on United

God, your kingdom is like:
a mustard seed – full of possibilities;
yeast – it helps us to grow;
treasure – worth searching for;
a precious pearl –
worth giving everything up for;
a net – ready to gather us in.
Help us to discover these secrets.



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


Bible story

Open the Bible at Matthew 13.31-33,44-52: Jesus gives his followers five examples of what the kingdom of God is like.


The hidden parables

Print off the reading and cut it into the five sections, representing each of the five symbols of the kingdom. Put each part in an envelope and number them one to five in order, then hide them around your space. Encourage everyone to take part in a ‘treasure hunt’ to find them, open them and read the story in order.

Here are some parables that Jesus told the crowd:

The parable of the mustard seed

‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, sown in a field. It is the smallest of seeds but grows up into a huge bush, and the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.’

The parable of the leavened bread

‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman mixes with three lots of flour, until it is all leavened and ready to rise.’

The parable of the hidden treasure

‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. Someone finds it, hides it again, and then is so very, very happy, he goes and sells everything he has to buy the field.’

The parable of the fine pearl

‘The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant who is looking for fine pearls. He finds one very special and valuable pearl, and goes and sells everything he has to buy it.’

The parable of the good and bad fish

‘The kingdom of heaven is like a net. The net is full of fish, of all shapes and sizes. It is pulled ashore. The good fish are put in baskets while the bad fish are thrown away. And it will be like this at the end of time when the angels will separate the good people from the bad.’



leavened yeast is added to bread to help it rise;

merchant a trader.



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


The whole story

An exploration of the images in today’s passage 

You will need: four tables, one for each station, set up as follows:

  • Mustard seed table – mustard seed (enough for one each); glue; paper; pencils, crayons and felt pens.
  • Yeast table – dry yeast; sugar; warm water; balloons that have been inflated a few times; empty 500ml water bottles.
  • Pearl table – beads of one size but different shapes; plastic pots or cups; a lidded box containing a large ‘pearl’; thread.
  • Fish table – four fishing rods, made from garden sticks with a piece of string and a small magnet on the end; 8 cut-out fish shapes with a paperclip on each head.

If you have enough people, the group can be split into four and rotate around the stations. Otherwise all move together.

  • Mustard seed table – Invite everyone to glue the seed on the paper, asking them to wonder what it will grow into and to draw it.
  • Yeast table – To an 500ml empty water bottle add about 2cm of warm water. Add 2 teaspoons of dry yeast. Swirl the bottle and add 1 teaspoon of sugar, then stretch the balloon over the bottle neck and see the balloon stand up (this could take up to 20 mins to work).
  • Pearl table – Have each kind of bead in a separate pot or cup, and the box in the centre containing the large pearl. Invite everyone to thread the beads, and to wonder what is in the box. Open the box to reveal the great pearl.
  • Fish table – Set up a fishing game with the rods and the 8 fish. Let everyone have a go at catching the fish by hovering the magnet end of the rod over the paperclips.


Frame it!

Divide everyone into groups of three or four. Invite them to create still life images of God’s kingdom today, using props, words or drawings, as desired. Ask a volunteer from each group to take a photo of their image. If possible, print the photos off and display 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 - 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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