Sunday, February 7, 2016

Faithful Families Resources February 7 2016

Some people are born into wonderful families. Others have to find or create them. Being a member of a family is a priceless membership that we pay nothing for but love.        
 ~ Jim Stovall

Family Closeness
Toilet Paper Facts
Pass a toilet roll around your family and invite them to break off as many pieces as they like. Once everyone has done this, each person counts the number of squares that they have and then must tell the rest of the family that number of things about themselves. For example, if someone has three squares, they share three things about themselves. It might be something they like or something about school or work. They should be things that the rest of the family may not know.

Questions for stimulating discussion in your family.
  • What is something you like about yourself?
  • What is something you are good at?
  • What is something you wish you could do? 

With your family read:  Luke 4.1-13
 Questions for Discussion:
  • What do you think it would be like not eating for forty days?
  • How do you think Jesus would have felt at the end?
  • What did the Devil tempt Jesus with?
  • How did Jesus respond to the Devil’s temptations? 

Prayer and Celebration
Wednesday 10th February is Ash Wednesday, the day marking the beginning of Lent, the forty days preceding Easter Day. This is traditionally a time of repentance (saying sorry and turning from sin). The resources for prayer and celebration for the next six weeks will focus on ways your family might “celebrate” well this season. Lent is a good time to focus on God’s care and provision and on our dependence on him, but also on saying sorry.

Why do we have “seasons” of the church year? In a wonderful way they help us to tell more fully the story of faith, the story of Jesus. During Advent we are alerted to the coming of Christ, not only as a baby 2000 years ago, but also of his return. In Epiphany we become aware of the presence of God in our world and the mission of Christ to proclaim the redeeming kingdom of God. This season, Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, forty days before Easter focuses on repentance, turning from sin, turning from self worship, remembering that God is our creator. Lent also focuses on the covenant or promises God has made with his people through the ages and now.

Often in Lent people give up something they enjoy like chocolate or coffee or ice-cream or TV, this is a form of fasting to help us remember our ultimate dependence on God. Sometimes people take something up like the reading of scripture more intently or more regular visits to church.

Lent is a season of remembering to say sorry to God for missing the mark. While Lent is a time of repentance and penitence it does not have to be a morbid time as we also look forward to the Resurrection of Jesus at Easter. Why not use some symbols to help your family get a feel for the Season of Lent. Some of the following things could be used during your family prayer time or mealtime ritual to mark the season.

Smell:  Rosemary.
Taste:  Salt.
Colour: Purple.
Feel: Hessian
Sound: “I’m sorry”

This is a possible prayer to use during this season at the meal table or other times.

God calls us to say sorry for wrong doing.
God calls us to remember that he made us.
God calls us to remember his promises.
God calls us to live a new way,
not by might,
not by power,
but by faith 

This Lent why not give something up and donate the money you save to charity.

Family Time
 Promise Banner
Each week of Lent create a panel each with a different picture for a wall hanging. This could be done simply on pieces of A4 paper with coloured images or more spectacularly using 50cm square calico, connect each panel together with string so they hang. Each panel will reflect a different story from the Lenten season.
Week 1: Genesis 9.18-17: Picture: Rainbow
Week 2. Genesis 17.1-7,15-16 Picture: Footprints
Week 3. Exodus 20.1-17 Picture: Stone Tablets
Week 4. Numbers 21.4-9 Picture:Snake on a Stick
Week 5. Jeremiah 31.31-34 Picture: Heart
Week 6. Mark 11:7-10. Picture: Palms.
(Seasons of the Spirit 2002)

(This material is based on and draws from earlier Faithful Families emails by Stephen Harrison and Richard Browning: An Unless Ideas Production.) Unless otherwise noted all material on this blog is copyright Stephen Harrison and Richard Browning

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