A Cup of Cool Water: Mark 9:38-41

My youngest daughters are just starting to learn how to drink out of a cup on their own, so this text seemed especially timely for our family. It came up church this fall, and seemed like a fun way to reinforce what we had done. Enjoy feeding your family’s faith this week!

Cup of Water

Supplies: God Time pillows, candle and holder (see “Gathering,” below), a family Bible with this story, access to the internet, cups for everyone and two buckets, masking tape (optional).

Gather: We like to sit in a circle on the floor for God Time. Finding some pillows or cushions to sit on makes it even more comfortable. My kids like to use pillow pets for this purpose! Once you are in a circle, light a candle (or turn on a battery-operated one; we use an LED tea light in a pretty metal container).

Story: Read Mark 9:38-41 in your Bible, or you can check out this version: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+9%3A38-41&version=ERV

Discuss: What did the disciples tell Jesus that they were doing? Did Jesus like what they had done? Why or why not? What does he tell them about others? What does he tell them about helping others? How can you help others in a simple way this week?

Song: Water to Drink
I came up with a song to go with Jesus’ words in this passage. You can find it here:

Enjoy!

Activity: Water Relay (Prepare to get wet 🙂 )
Let’s try to get some water to those who need it! All you need is enough cups for each person in the relay and two buckets, one filled with water and one that is empty. Give each person an empty cup and have them form a line. Put the filled bucket at the head of the line, and the empty bucket at the tail. Have the first person dip their cup in the bucket until it is full. Then, they pass the water by pouring it into the next person’s cup, and so on, until the water makes it into the second bucket. Keep doing this until you run out of water or your kids run out of interest.
If your kids are the analytical type, you could put a piece of masking tape at the top of the water line of the first bucket. When the race is over, put another piece of tape at the top of the water in the second bucket. How did the level of water in the first bucket compare to the second? If they are similar, great job! If not, try to decide together how you could make sure that more water makes it into the second bucket. Repeat the activity.

Prayer: (You can do this all together, or as a “repeat after me” prayer, depending on reading ability) Dear Jesus, we thank you for the gift of water, especially when we are thirsty. Help us to help all those who need help, just as you would. In your name we pray, Amen.

The Sheep and the Goats: Matthew 25

This God Time came about while my daughter and I were preparing to help out with our parish ELCA World Hunger Walk for Water.  She wanted to know why we were walking for water, and this Bible story from Matthew came to mind.  Enjoy feeding your family’s faith as you talk about helping others this week!

Supplies:  God Time pillows, candle and holder (see “Gathering,” below), a family Bible with this story, access to the internet, materials for the activity.

Gather:  We like to sit in a circle on the floor for God Time.  Finding some pillows or cushions to sit on makes it even more comfortable.  My kids like to use pillow pets for this purpose!  Once you are in a circle, light a candle (or turn on a battery-operated one; we use an LED tea light in a pretty metal container).

Story:  Read Matthew 25:31-46 in your Bible, or you can check out this version: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A31-46&version=ERV

Discuss:  We learn in this story that whatever we do one another, we are also doing to Jesus.  What are some examples that Jesus gives in this story?  How could we do things like that in our own family?  Community?  School?  WARNING:  Your brainstorming just might lead to action!

 Song:  Jesus Said!

My daughter and I wrote a song to go with Jesus’ words this week.  You can find it here:

Enjoy!

Activity:  Encouragement Noisemakers 

My daughter and I were making these noisemakers when she asked me about this Bible story.  You can make them to help one another to treat one another as we would treat Jesus.  When you catch each other being like Jesus, shake your noisemakers and say, “When you help others, you help Jesus!”

Here is the link to the activity:

https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/walk-for-water-encouragers-water-bottle-noisemakers/

Prayer:  (You can do this all together, or as a “repeat after me” prayer, depending on reading ability) Dear Jesus, we thank you for showing up in our lives.  Help us to see you in everyone we meet, and to treat them how we would treat you.  In your name we pray, Amen.

The Good Samaritan, part 2: Luke 10

For the past two weeks, we have been working on the Greatest Commandment and the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  This week, it is time for the kids to become the teachers!  They will learn how to tell the story with the popsicle stick puppets they made last week, and the story will go from their head to their heart.  Enjoy feeding your family’s faith this week!

Supplies:  God Time pillows, candle and holder (see “Gathering,” below), My First Hands-On Bible or a family Bible with this story, access to the internet, a copy of the activity sheet printed on cardstock for each person, popsicle sticks, glue, crayons or markers for coloring.

Gather:  We like to sit in a circle on the floor for God Time.  Finding some pillows or cushions to sit on makes it even more comfortable.  My kids like to use pillow pets for this purpose!  Once you are in a circle, light a candle (or turn on a battery-operated one; we use an LED tea light in a pretty metal container).

Story:  Read “The Good Samaritan” in the First Hands On Bible, your Bible, or you can check out this version: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10%3A25-37&version=ERV

Read the whole story this week.  You can do the activities in My First Hands On Bible, if you wish.

Discuss:  Review the Greatest Commandment from last week.  You can refresh your memory in the song section, below.

Ask your kids to tell you the story that you just read again.  Who was a helper?  Who was not a helper?

 Song:  The Greatest Commandment with Actions

This week’s song is a review of last week.  My family thought that it was so important that it needed to be reinforced again this week.  Here are the words with actions:

What is the greatest commandment? (shrug with palms up)
Love (arms crossed over your heart)
the Lord your God (point to heaven)
with all your heart (point to heart)
and all your mind (point to head)
and all your soul (sign language for Holy Spirit in front of your heart, left hand palm up,
right hand rising in tornado fashion from left hand)
and all your strength (muscleman arms)
and your neighbor as yourself (shake hands with someone nearby).

Repeat this until you have it down.  I promise that it will stick with you!

Activity:  Popsicle Stick Puppet Show 
Get out the popsicle stick puppets that you made last week (If you are just joining us this week, see last week’s post for the first activity).  Here is a pic of the completed project:

Completed Good Samaritan Puppets

It’s time to let the kids be the star of the show!  Here is a sample script of the show, if you don’t feel comfortable telling it off the cuff:

Good Samaritan Puppet Show Script

At first, I told the story and let my daughter show the story with the puppets.  Here is our amateur video of the story:

After doing this a few times, she decided that she could tell the story and do the puppets.  Unfortunately, I did not catch this on video. Of course, we had to send the video we did make to grandparents and we watched it again and again.  This time I didn’t mind, because it is now a story from the Bible that she can tell by heart!  Enjoy making your own puppet shows and videos as you feed your family’s faith! 

Prayer:  (You can do this all together, or as a “repeat after me” prayer, depending on reading ability) Dear Jesus, we thank you for those who are willing to help people in need.  Help us also to become like them, and like you.  In your name we pray, Amen.

The Good Samaritan, part 1: Luke 10

Last week, we learned the Greatest Commandment according to Jesus.  This week, we will continue the story and learn the answer to the question “Who is my neighbor?” in the first of a two part devotion on the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  Have fun feeding your family’s faith this week through Family God Time!

Supplies:  God Time pillows, candle and holder (see “Gathering,” below), My First Hands-On Bible or a family Bible with this story, access to the internet, a copy of the activity sheet printed on cardstock for each person, popsicle sticks, glue, crayons or markers for coloring.

Gather:  We like to sit in a circle on the floor for God Time.  Finding some pillows or cushions to sit on makes it even more comfortable.  My kids like to use pillow pets for this purpose!  Once you are in a circle, light a candle (or turn on a battery-operated one; we use an LED tea light in a pretty metal container).

Story:  Read “The Good Samaritan” in the First Hands On Bible, your Bible, or you can check out this version: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10%3A25-37&version=ERV

Read the whole story this week.  You can do the activities in My First Hands On Bible, if you wish.

Discuss:  Review the Greatest Commandment from last week.  You can refresh your memory down below in the song section.

Ask your kids to tell you the story that you just read again.  Who was a helper?  Why?  Who was not a helper? Why not?

Song:  The Greatest Commandment with Actions

My kids liked doing this so well that they rejected the song that I had picked out in favor of doing last week’s memorization again.  Here are the words with actions:

What is the greatest commandment? (shrug with palms up)

Love (arms crossed over your heart)

the Lord your God (point to heaven)

with all your heart (point to heart)

and all your mind (point to head)

and all your soul (sign language for Holy Spirit in front of your heart, left hand palm up,

right hand rising in tornado fashion from left hand)

and all your strength (muscleman arms)

and your neighbor as yourself (shake hands with someone nearby).

Repeat this until you have it down.  I promise that it will stick with you!

Activity:  Print out the activity sheets on heavy paper, one copy per person.

You can find them here: Good Samaritan Puppet Show

Let everyone color them as they wish, cut them out, and attach them to popsicle sticks.  Here is a pic of this project in process (it was too nice outside to color inside!):

coloring outdoors 1

Because there are so many characters, it took much longer for them to be colored than I anticipated.  That’s why this week’s devotion is part one of two!  Let them take their time with decorating them, and then put them in a safe place.  We will continue the fun next week!

Prayer:  (You can do this all together, or as a “repeat after me” prayer, depending on reading ability) Dear Jesus, we thank you for those who are willing to help people in need.  Help us also to become like them, and like you.  In your name we pray,  Amen.