Daily Devos: WE HAVE SALT

PRAYER OF THE WEEK:

Dear God, thank you for everything you give us including the hard things to accept that you use to keep us well. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

COLORING PAGE OF THE WEEK:

Salt

drawing by Pastor Patrick Sipes

BIBLE STORY OF THE WEEK:  Mark 9:40-50 NRSV

“Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.  If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

“For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

What stumbling blocks have people put in your way in life? How have you grown because of them?  What are some ways that you use salt in your life? What does it do for you? How are you salt for others? How does it feel when you are at peace?

Family God Time: JESUS WELCOMES CHILDREN: Mark 9:33-37

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear God, we thank you that you welcome everyone as children, and that we have a place in your kingdom.  Help us to learn how to make everyone welcome.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Mark 9:33-37
Read about Jesus Welcoming Children in a children’s Bible or online here:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+9%3A33-37+&version=ERV

Questions to Ponder:

  1. What is something that you are really great at? How could you use that gift or talent to serve God?
  2. What is something that you really struggle with? Who could be Jesus for you as you struggle?
  3. How do you know that you are welcome when you go someplace?
  4. What are some ways that you could be welcoming to others?

Song:  God Welcomes All
Here is a song that we are going to be learning in church this fall.  It reminds us that all are welcome, young and old alike!

God Welcomes All Emily Scott Houston 2011 from All Saints Company on Vimeo.

Activity:  Welcome Placemats        
We are entering into a time of year when lots of our family members come to visit.  Instead of making a welcome mat that would get stepped on, I thought it would be fun to make welcome placemats that we include on the table when we have visitors.  I found the instructions here:  https://laughingkidslearn.com/how-to-make-paper-weaving-placemats/ (I used leftover colored cardstock from other projects.  We did not glue them together.  We did use glue dots to stick the banner to the front.)

This is what ours look like:
Welcome Placemats

Thank you for spending some God Time with your family!  I hope this was a holy time for you.

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
God be in my head, and in my understanding.
God be in my eyes, and in my looking.
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking.
God be in my heart, and in my thinking.
God be at my end, and at my departing.  Amen.

Daily Devos: JESUS WELCOMES CHILDREN

PRAYER OF THE WEEK:

Dear God, we thank you that you welcome everyone as children, and that we have a place in your kingdom.  Help us to learn how to make everyone welcome.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

COLORING PAGE OF THE WEEK:

https://www.theredheadedhostess.com/blog/home-and-family/holidays-home-and-family/easter-coloring-pages/

jesus-with-children-300x261

BIBLE STORY OF THE WEEK:  Mark 9:33-37 NRSV

33Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” 36Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

What is something that you are really great at?  How could you use that gift or talent to serve God?  What is something that you really struggle with?  Who could be Jesus for you as you struggle?  How do you know that you are welcome when you go someplace?  What are some ways that you could be welcoming to others?

Daily Devos: Jesus is Transfigured

Here is a new section of Family God Time:  Daily Devos!  In our family, we read the verses for the day while the food is being served for supper, and discuss the questions as we eat.  We pray the prayer before we leave the table.

You can get the whole week of devotions in a pdf file here:  Daily Devos Book Jesus is Transfigured 18

I hope this time will be a holy time for you and your family!

JESUS IS TRANSFIGURED:  MARK 9:2-8

Transfiguration001.jpg

PRAYER OF THE WEEK: Dear Jesus, this week we will take God’s advice and listen to you… (quiet time to listen) In your name we pray, Amen.

SUNDAY

MARK 9:2-3 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves.  And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.

QUESTIONS:  Have you ever been blinded by the sun?  What was that experience like?  What do you think it would have been like to be blinded by Jesus?  How would you have felt?

MONDAY

MARK 9:4-6 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus.  Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”   He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 

QUESTIONS:  Have you ever gotten the opportunity to speak with someone who you thought was very important?  What was that experience like?  Who would you speak to, if you could?  What would it be like to speak with Jesus?

TUESDAY

MARK 9:7-8 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”  Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.

QUESTIONS:  In this section, God tells us who Jesus is related to, and gives us an opportunity to think about this for ourselves.  Whose daughter or son are you?  Who loves you?  Who do you listen to?  Hold your answers to these questions closely as we enter together into the season of Lent!

Children’s Devotion Time February 2018: Jesus is Transfigured

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One of the churches in our parish has begun having inter-generational Sunday School once per month.  We call it “Children’s Devotion Time” or “CDT.”  Each child in the class has an older adult who serves as an individual mentor during devotion time.  It includes an opening prayer, a large group Bible Story, an age-appropriate leaflet about the day that they work on in child/adult pairs, a closing prayer, and a simple craft.  It is based on Family God Time, but done at church and for a larger group.  Join us in this new faith formation experiment!

You can learn more about just how we have set this up here: Children’s Devotion Time Instructions

Large Group Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to learn more about how you truly God’s Son.  Help us to learn and grow together.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Large Group Bible Story:  Mark 9:2-9
Read about the Transfiguration in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:   https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+9%3A2-9&version=ERV

We used the Spark Story Bible for our resource.  It was the story called “The Transfiguration.”  You can purchase your own copy here:  https://www.augsburgfortress.org/store/product/8122/Spark-Story-Bible-Sunday-School-Edition

Work in Pairs:
Each child/adult pair has a four-page leaflet to work on which is developmentally appropriate for the child.  They work through the leaflet together, taking as much time as they need.  This month, we used the children’s bulletin from Spark, available on Sundays and Seasons.  You can use the children’s bulletin from your church.

Large Group Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you are God’s Son.  Help us to always listen to you.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Activity:  Bury the Alleluia
One tradition that our churches practice on Transfiguration Sunday is to prepare for Lent (which begins on the  Wednesday after Transfiguration Sunday) by burying the Alleluia.  We say goodbye to the Alleluia because it is a celebration word that we save until the miracle of Easter.  You can learn more about this practice here:  https://www.buildfaith.org/saying-goodbye-to-the-alleluia/#gref

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Supplies Needed
A small box (we used shiny jewelry boxes)
A print out of the coloring Alleluia or “tracing” Alleluia on cardstock:  Transfiguration Alleluia 18Transfiguration Trace Alleluia 18
Scissors or paper cutter
Tape (we used gold washi tape)
coloring utensils

Instructions

    1. Cut out the individual letters of the Alleluia. Our younger ones will use the “tracing” Alleluia, and the older ones the “coloring” Alleluia.
    2. Tape them together on the back, accordion style.
      IMG_20180209_095833783.jpg
    3. Decorate them as you wish.
    4. Once they are decorated, sing a little Alleluia song. Our favorites are “Halle, Halle, Hallelujah” and the “Celtic Alleluia.”
    5. Fold your Alleluia up and place it in the box. Tape the box shut, and write “Do not open until Easter” on the tape.IMG_20180209_095854279_HDR
    6. Hide your box in an out of the way place that you will still remember by Easter.
    7. (I am planning to put jingle bracelets in the boxes and re-tape them just before Easter. We will open them in church on Easter morning!)

© 2018 by Pastor Breen Marie Sipes, Tri-Saints Lutheran Parish, Byron and Hardy, Nebraska.  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com Please give credit where credit is due!

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.