Friday, April 28, 2017

Faithful Families Update for Third Sunday of Easter 2017


We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that she is someone today. 
 ~ Stacia Tauscher

Family Closeness
Animal, Vegetable or Mineral
Think of something that fits into the animal, vegetable or mineral category. The categories are Animal (people, animals, insects), Vegetable (anything that is a plant) and Mineral (any object that isn't alive). Your family then must ask you questions to work out what it is. This could be limited to twenty questions but doesn't have to be. All the questions must be answered with a yes or no, except the first which asks whether the object is animal, vegetable or mineral. This is a great game to teach your children, but they may need a little coaching; it is OK to give them some clues. This is a game for all ages.

These questions are to stimulate a sense of openness, sharing and discovery about your family. 
  • What is a small thing you have done that made a big difference to someone?
  • What is something small someone does for you that makes a big difference to the way you feel?
  • Remember a time when you were surprised by something. Tell the story to your family.
  • What is one small thing you could do for your family members to make a difference to their week?
  • One of your friends never gets any treats in his lunch box and always asks you to share yours. What do you do?

With your family read Luke 24.13-35: The road to Emmaus
(for a way of explaining/talking about this reading with children look at 

Questions for Discussion: 
  • What village were these two followers of Jesus going to?
  • Why do you think they were leaving Jerusalem even though people were saying Jesus was alive?
  • What did Jesus do that helped the disciples see who he was? Why was this action important?
  • How does the follower’s mood change throughout this passage of scripture?
The renowned artist Paul Gustave Dore (1821-1883) lost his passport while travelling in Europe. When he came to a border crossing, he explained his predicament to one of the guards. Giving his name to the official, Dore hoped he would be recognized and allowed to pass. The guard, however, said that many people attempted to cross the border by claiming to be persons they were not. Dore insisted that he was the man he claimed to be. "All right," said the official, "we'll give you a test, and if you pass it we'll allow you to go through." Handing him a pencil and a sheet of paper, he told the artist to sketch several peasants standing nearby. Dore did it so quickly and skillfully that the guard was convinced he was indeed who he claimed to be. His work confirmed his word!

How might people recognise us today as followers of Jesus? 
Prayer and Celebration
A simple way of praying this week involves your family using their imagination to see the things they wish to pray for. One of the adults will lead this and may choose one or a variety of the prayers listed here.

Invite your family to use their imagination to create in their mind a picture of that thing or person they wish to pray for. Below are some ideas for things you can pray for.  After saying the phrase, leave some space for silence as your family sees the thing they wish to pray for. You might like to finish with the Lord’s prayer.
  • A hurt that needs healing…
  • A friend in trouble…
  • Something to say thank you for…
  • A problem that needs solving…
  • Something to say sorry for…
  • Someone to say sorry to…
  • Someone who needs my friendship…
  • Someone who needs words of praise…

As a family or in your church think about how you might bless the lives of those who live around you. Reflect on those people in your local area, who may be your neighbours or go to church with you, who serve in the community. Examples might be teachers or police officers, charity or emergency workers. Think of ways that you might let them know they are valued. This could include small things like making a thank you card together as a family or making a biscuit or cake for them to take to work to share. How often do we stop to thank those who look after us every day, who take risks for us or do jobs that really aren’t that pleasant? Acting in this way builds habits of thankfulness and empathy in ourselves and our children.
Family Time
Love Poster
This week, create a Love Poster. On the top of the poster, write: "Love one another as I have loved you." Brainstorm practical ways family members can love each other the way Jesus loves your family. (Share bathroom time, take out the wheelie bins without being asked, say nice things to each other, etc.) Discuss the cost of each activity. (How will you have to change to live out what your family wrote down?) At the bottom of the poster, write the word "Sacrifice." Discuss the meaning of the word and how love demands sacrifice. End the discussion by reading John 15:9-14. Emphasize Jesus died for us because he loved us and was willing to sacrifice everything for us. Larry Broding (Copyright 1999-2002)

(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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