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Don’t get even

Family resources leading to Sunday 6th September 2020

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost – Year A

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. ~Deuteronomy 6.4-7

Family Closeness

Game

Blind Draw

Everyone is given a sheet of paper and a pen. You have three minutes to draw a picture of something that everyone agrees to…but you must either close your eyes or be blindfolded or have the light turned out.

Sharing

  • What is the hardest thing about being (your age) years old?
  • What is the best thing about being (your age) years old?
  • What things don’t boys understand about girls?
  • What things don’t girls understand about boys?

Story

With your family read: Matthew 18.15-20

(for a way of explaining/talking about this reading with children look at http://www.sermons4kids.com/dont_get_even.htm )

Questions for Discussion:

  • Why do you think it might be wise to point out someone’s sin against you in private first?
  • What kinds of sins do you think this instruction might cover?
  • Are there things people might do which should immediately be taken to someone in power like a parent or teacher or police officer?
  • Why might it be necessary to take someone with you if someone won’t listen to you when you point out their sin?
  • How did Jesus treat tax collectors and sinners?

Prayer and Celebration

Prayers of Confession

Prayers of confession are a normal part of a Christian’s prayer life. All of us, including children, do things we wish we hadn’t, or don’t do the things we should. Confession (saying sorry and asking God for forgiveness) is something that parents should model to children. There are various ways we might engage our children in prayers of confession.

Burning Prayers

Your family might like to individually write down things they would like to say sorry for. These prayers might then be placed in a bowl and burnt as a symbol of God’s forgiveness.The following words might be used to help children have a language for this type of prayer: I got really angry today.  I think I know why, and I wish I wouldn’t.  I feel so out of control.  I feel disappointed.  Jesus, I am sorry for any hurt I have caused today.  Help me to be gentle.  Help me to love more and more.  Help me to love.  Help me to put aside the things that hurt others, you, and me.  I am sorry for . . . .  Grant your grace to me, that I might grow more into who I am, and who you call me to be.
Words from Scripture might be used to help children see that God takes away our sins from us and forgives us.These could include:“If you sin, Jesus Christ always does the right thing, and he will speak to the Father for us. Christ is the sacrifice that takes away our sins and the sins of all the world’s people.” (1 John 2:1–2, CEV)
How far has the Lord taken our sins from us? Farther than the distance from east to west!” (Psalm 103:12, CEV)

Service

  • Explore creative ways you could raise the profile of a particular charity that you would like to support.
  • Talk about why it is good to give to charity in secret. Read Matthew 6.2 – 4
  • Discuss how you might get the balance between these two right and why they are both important.

Bonus Family Activity

Collage of Dreams

Use photos, words and pictures from old magazines, glue, sparkles etc to make a collage of the things your family would like to do with their life. This might begin by each member making a list of 10 or 100 things that they would like to do in their life…like skydive or write a book or learn to ride a bike. Alternatively the collage might be about things your family might like to do this year together. Put the collage up somewhere visible to remind you of your dreams and plans.

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