Helping the Least of These: Matthew 25:31-46

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about how we can help the least of these in your name.  Help our time together to be holy time.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Matthew 25:31-46
Look up Matthew 25:31-46 in your family Bible, another Bible, or you can find an Easy to Read version here:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A31-46&version=ESV

We watched this story on youtube here:

Discuss as a family:
Who does Jesus ask us to help?  Why should we help these people?  What are some ways that we can help them?

Song:  I Just Wanna Be a Sheep
This song is a fun way to talk about wanting to be one of God’s sheep.  Enjoy!

Activity:  Make Your Own Offering Envelopes

A few months ago, I read a book by Robbie Castleman called “Parenting in the Pew.”  It is a hard book to get through and includes many hard truths, but, as I have had time to reflect on it with my husband, there are many things in this book that we believe will help our children to worship God in Sunday worship.

One of the ideas that I liked was inciting your children to decorate their own offering envelopes each week on Saturday night as a way to help them prepare for worship.  Our parish recently celebrated Loud Offering during the season of Easter, where children were encouraged to bring coins to drop into a metal bucket for God’s Global Barnyard.  My children loved contributing to this cause in this way, so we decided now would be a perfect time to follow up with this.

My oldest daughter and I made our own small envelopes with thin cardstock and by Stampin’ Up envelope maker.  You could also purchase small envelopes from the dollar store or other office supply store.  We invited the entire family to decorate them.  I put each child’s name on the back side of their envelope and encouraged them to decorate the front.  Here is the final result of a few:

WP_20160601_16_46_00_Pro.jpg

As they decorated, we discussed with our kids why we give to the church.  We talked about the people outside the walls of our churches that our offering helps as well as how it pays for the salary of the pastor and to keep the buildings that we worship in nice, safe, and welcoming for all the people in our community.  We also explained that it pays for fun things like Sunday School and Bible School, and the materials to make all of these things happen.  Our children watched as we wrote our own tithe checks and put them in our offering envelopes, as well.  Then, we gave each child their own offering money to put in their own envelope and seal.

When it came time for offering at church, I gave each child their own offering envelope to put in the plate.  (You might want to warn the people who count the offering of what you are doing, so they know what to do with it!).  They can’t wait to do it again next week!

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith!  I hope that this time was holy time for you.

Closing Prayer: (Can be a repeat after me prayer if you have non-readers in your family)
Dear God, we thank you that for holy time together as a family.  Help us to remember those who are hungry, and thirsty, and sick, and in prison, and naked and lonely and homeless.  Help us to see them and help them, just as we would help you.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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