Monday 13th July
The Sower and the Seed
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
The Parable of the Sower
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Jesus tells us about 4 lots of seeds. Some fell on the path – but the birds ate it. Some fell on the rocks where there was no soil and too hot so they shrivelled up and died. Some fell in the weeds and didn’t grow much as there wasn’t enough room. Some fell on good soil prepared properly and it grew strong. This parable tells us two things- how to plant seeds properly in order to grow them. Also that if we want to grow as good Christian seedlings we need to make sure we are doing the right things. Saying our prayers, listening to what Jesus tells us to do, be kind.
Activity- plant a sunflower seed or cress seeds and place them on the windowsill. What do we need to make them grow properly? What do human beings need to make them grow properly?
How will you grow in the future, and what will you become?
Lord Jesus, some of the things you say are hard to understand.
But one thing we do know is God loves us and cares for us whether we understand or not and he will help us to grow and understand.
Monday 6th July
How Does Jesus Help Us?
Matthew 11: 25-30
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
We all know how difficult it is to carry heavy bags of shopping , or a suitcase, or books for school. We also know how lovely it feels when we put the heavy bags down. Our arms feel so much lighter. Today, Jesus give us a wonderful offer. He says: "Come to me all who carry heavy loads and I will refresh you." All those things which weigh heavy on our minds or hearts and make us worry if we bring them to him and talk to him in our prayers about them- he will ease our worries and ease the weight of them.
Jesus, in you I find rest and peace, I can talk to you about anything, my worries, my fears, my happiness, my sadness, my anger and disappointment. You always listen and understand.
June 29th: Doing Good
Reading: Matthew 10: 40-42
40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
Activities for this week:
Thankyou, God, for this body of mine.
It can shout and help and play.
Help me to use this body of mine to show love every day.
June 22nd: What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?
Reading: Matthew 10:24-39
‘A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; 25 it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!
26 ‘So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.[a] 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
32 ‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33 but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.
34 ‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 For I have come to set a man against his father,
and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.
37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
Suggested Activities this week
Make a chart for the week and mark up whenever you have done something kind for someone either as an individual or as a group.
Discuss the sorts of things you could do.
Have a discussion about how it feels to make a good choice over a bad one, even if you would prefer to do the bad choice!
You gave up everything for us because you love us.
Help us to do loving things for one another even if they are hard work.
Theme: Jesus sends out the Disciples to Help Others
Matthew 10: 1-8
10 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
When Jesus was on earth he often taught crowds and crowds of people. He also chose people to be his followers, so he could spend time with them and train them for when he was no longer going to be with them and so that they could carry on his work.
He chose 12- can you name them? The good thing was that he sent them just as they were, with his blessing and his love. They were also told to travel light. What do you think they would need for the journey?( read the passage and discuss).
Get a back pack and put in it what you would need for school when you go back. Then empty it and pack what you need to be a disciple- discuss why you’ve put those things in and what they are for.
What do you think it means for the disciples to heal people? How might they do this? How are we healed today? Is it just medicine that is used to heal people, or are there other ways for people to become sick and therefore be healed?
If you could reach crowds and crowd of people and have influence over them, what would you teach them? What would be the important messages you would share?
Why do you think Jesus advised to go to the communities that were not necessarily in support of Christianity?
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is despair, hope;
and where there is sadness , joy.
Matthew 28: 16-20
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The Holy Trinity: God the Father , God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
"Tri" means 3 and the word Trinity describes the 3 different parts of God, as above. This is one of the most complex concepts in the Christian faith.
Get some paper and pencil and draw an object from lots of different angles and viewpoints. The object is the same but has different aspects to it.
What are all the different ways to describe God? Eg Father, Word, Almighty Son, Holy Spirit. No matter how we try to describe Him, He is still God .
How would you be described in more than one way? Would different people describe you differently? Do you fulfil different roles for different people? Can you be a son, a brother AND a cousin? A wife, a mother AND a daughter?
Our God is so BIG, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing that he cannot do! The rivers are his, the mountains are his, the stars are his handiwork too! Our God is so BIG, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing he cannot do!
Sunday 31st May was Pentecost. This is a massively important time in the Christian year, where Jesus had left Earth and God sent the Holy Spirit to be amongst Christians always.
Acts 2: 1-22
2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 “‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’[c]
At this extraordinary event, disciples filled with the Holy Spirit started to praise God and shout out their love for him! They didn’t care what other people thought of them (other people thought they might be drunk! But they were wrong!). All they wanted to do was thank and praise God and tell everyone about him. It must have been like being at a concert with your favourite musician playing, where you dance and sing and show how much you love them! The disciples ran out to share their good news and it spread all over the world. All these people became the ‘Church’ and that is what we are called to do- to tell everyone about God’s love. It was the Birthday of the Church!
Breathe on me as you breathed on the disciples that day and set me on fire with your love.
Let me feel the joy.
The Ascension of Jesus
Last Thursday (21st May) was Ascension Day, which is a very important festival in the Christian calendar. This passage tells us about what Luke said happened.
Luke 24: 45 - end
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven marks the end of an important three-part even in the Christian belief of what happened to Jesus: crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. The message Jesus leaves with his followers is that how we live our lives on Earth dictates what will happen when it's time to leave Earth. It's a message to think carefully about our actions: how we treat others, how we forgive, how we are grateful. If we spend our lives criticising, being unkind or not helping; if we spend our lives being greedy and only thinking of ourselves; then this is not the way to Heaven and eternal life.
Jesus says: BE KIND. #WhatWouldJesusDo? #WWJD?
Let us Pray
Help us to think of others at this difficult time, and not just of ourselves.
Help us not to be selfish.
Let us show kindness, support, appreciation and gratitude for what we have.
In the name of Jesus
This week's theme: Being Obedient!
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
In this passage, Jesus asks us to see obedience as a mark of love.
At the moment, we are being asked to trust our leaders during this lockdown. We are also being asked to not do things we would like to do, such as seeing family. This is a huge ask. Surely it is okay to see our grandparents? Yet, nevertheless, we obey for the greater good. It takes an enormous amount of faith to not do what we would like to do, but Jesus asks us to trust. Do we have experience of this usually in everyday life?
Whilst playing with your electronic toys you are in control. Whatever you want it to do, it does. However, if they had been able to ignore you, or argue, you wouldn’t have been able to use them as effectively. God has plans and he uses us- however, we are never forced into doing it. We have free will. Our obedience isn’t forced because it is a sign of his love for us and our love for him. If we show our love for him in doing what he instructs us to do- he promises 3 things:
1. At Jesus’ request, God will send a helper – the Holy Spirit – to be with us always.
2. God will love us always.
3. Jesus will show himself to us, even though in the world’s eyes he is invisible: for example, we see Him through the kindness of others.
ACTIVITY: Brainstorm all the times when you have a choice about whether to obey a request or not. What happens if you do/ don’t obey? Why might you choose to obey or not obey? Have a discussion around this. Does it depend who is asking and why? What mood you are in?
Experiment with always obeying!
Here I am, Lord: body, heart and soul.
Grant that, with your love,
I may obey Jesus
I may be big enough to reach the world, and small enough to be at one with you.
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it
Think about roads- how useful they are, stopping you falling over a cliff or driving into the sea. A road takes you to the shops, to the park and can stop you getting lost. Jesus says that he is like a clear roadway that we can travel on through our lives and to heaven. He is like the best smoothest road ever and will take us safely to our home at the end of our lives on earth, to live with God foreverACTIVITY: Get a road map and ask your partner to pick a destination and work out the best route to take. Plan a treasure hunt/ create the map. Create directions for a path around obstacles for a friend to follow.
I know you are the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Let me walk safely with you each day through all its troubles by walking your Way which leads to heaven.
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Activity for this week:
Talk about how a shepherd looks after his sheep. What might he protect them from? We all need food and drink, shelter and sleep like sheep, but we are not just bodies: our spirit is important, too. He feeds our spirits with the words in the Bible and through the people we meet, through the beauty of creation. He whispers in our hearts the sense of company of our friends to help us as well.
ACTIVITY: assign everyone a “guardian angel” (Shepherd) for a day, and also a person to guard. That guardian angel must look out for the other person all day. They could choose some random acts of kindness to perform, all in secret. At the end of the day, everyone guesses who their guardian angel/ shepherd was.
You are my shepherd and I’m one of your sheep. Thank you for loving me and looking after me, protecting me and putting me first.
Monday 27th April
This week, think about how important it is to have people with us. This is especially hard for us, during the current lockdown, when we cannot see all of our families or any of our friends. How many different ways can you think of to still keep in touch with your friends?
Try to find a new way to contact someone this week. Maybe you could write a letter to someone that you are missing!
Stay safe, and remember that we don't need to be right next to someone to feel close to them!
Walk with me Jesus
Today and every day.
I want to walk with you, Jesus, right through my life. Amen.
Monday 20th April
This week's response to the reading:
We can’t see the air around us but we know it’s there because we are alive breathing it in and out. We can’t see Jesus, but we know he is there with us and he can see us. He can also hear us when we talk to him in our prayers.
Activity: Use a white candle and draw a picture of Jesus in wax on a sheet of paper- then use a colour wash and paint over the picture of Jesus so that Jesus can be seen.
Let us Pray
Lord, Who cares if I can’t see you? (shrug shoulders with hands open)
I certainly know you are here (nod)
Who cares if I can’t touch you? (shrug shoulders with hands open)
I certainly know you are here! (nod)
You love me (hands on heart)
You Listen to me (touch ears)
You see me (point to eyes)
And you talk to me. (fingers to the mouth)
I know you are here with me.
HE IS RISEN! HALLELUJAH!
Easter Monday and Week Of 13th April
Matthew 28: The Resurrection
Ideas for your activities this week:
You could make an Easter Garden: https://request.org.uk/restart/2017/02/23/make-an-easter-garden/
Have an Easter Egg Hunt, or plan one with clues for other people in your household!
Make a rainbow for hope and display it in your window.
we thank you for the precious gift of new life;
may we never take it for granted,
but live each moment in the fullness of life that Jesus has gained for us.
Week Commencing Monday 6th April
Theme: Easter Week
Reading: Matthew 21 verses 1-11
This week's activity:
Think about the story of Jesus coming into Jerusalem on a donkey. How would YOU welcome your favourite celebrity into your village or town?
Make Palm branches either out of paper, or from evergreen trees.
Find a way to make someone YOU care about feel special!
Hosanna! Hosanna! Hooray for Jesus, the King on a Donkey! You gave everything up for me. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good and his love endures for ever. Amen.
Let us reflect on this time of sadness with the hope that you put in our hearts. Let us look forward to the better times to come. Amen.
Week Commencing 30th March 2020
Theme: Easter Light
Reading: John 11 Chapters 1-45
Read the story of Lazarus from the Bible reading today. You could watch it on our video link.
Think about how God is around us, even though we can't see Him.
Try to breathe in and out whilst holding your ribs, so you can feel the air going in and out.
Talk about the way we breathe air into balloons or inflatable toys in order to play with them.
Just as our bodies need air, so our spirits need God’s spirit. God gives us life and hope.
Find all the ways we can use the air in our lungs! (Singing, blowing up balloons, blowing bubbles through straws etc). Can you find any others?
God be in my head and in my thinking,
(hold head with both hands)
God be in my hands and in my doing.
( hold out hands)
God be in my heart and in my loving. Amen.
( hands on heart and then hands stretched out)