Faith - at - Home / Lent 6
We are almost through the season of Lent and ready for Easter. Some of us have probably broken, cheated, or given up on our Lenten fast. And yet, we will not be barred from the altar rail or from the Easter service. One of the great gifts of following Jesus is that he knows our every weakness and his love remains unchanged. This week, begin to make peace with your weakness, offering it to Christ as a gift, instead of carrying it in shame.
Adult to Small Child
Read: Luke 18:15-17.
Reflect: When the disciples and others try to dissuade Jesus from “wasting time” with children, Jesus is clear. The Bible even says he is stern about it. “Let the little children come to me” is the clear message. When we are in places where our children are unwelcome, we can take comfort in Jesus’ full message of inclusion.
Respond: Bedtime Blessing: At the end of the day, allow children to rest in the knowledge that they are loved and cherished by blessing them. After snuggling them into bed say something simple like “[Name], you are loved and blessed. May you have a restful and peaceful sleep.”
Adult to Elementary Child
Read: Luke 18:15-17.
Reflect: When I was a child I loved weddings. I loved the beautiful dresses, the flowers, and of course the cake. When someone in my family had a wedding, the excitement was even greater. It was during a family wedding reception (the party people have after the ceremony) that I encountered a situation similar to the children in this story. Only, I wasn't trying to see Jesus, I was just trying to talk to my new aunt. But some of the grown-ups thought she had more important things to do than talk to me, so they shooed me away, and told me to let her alone. Sometimes we remember being rejected more than we remember being welcomed. Which I why I am so grateful that Jesus always welcomes our hearts and prayers. Jesus is never too busy for anyone, no matter their age.
Respond: Think about a way that you could help WELCOME people this week just like Jesus. Could you make Welcome posters to hold up outside your church's front doors? Maybe you could make some cookies to welcome someone to your neighborhood or building? Or perhaps you could gather some friends and create a Welcome Club at school to help welcome new students? What ideas do you have?
Adult to Youth or Young Adult
Reflect: In Luke 18:15-17 and 19:45-48, we see the full breadth of Jesus’ personality and ministry. He goes from welcoming children to throwing people out of the temple. From gentle Lord to angry prophet, in these chapters we really see Jesus’ full human side. Especially looking toward Easter, we often focus more on Christ’s divinity than his humanity, but one of the most powerful aspects of Jesus’ life is that he really was fully human, and that we are also allowed to be fully human. Sometimes we forget that strong emotions are not something we have to stifle or avoid as part of our humanity. Jesus certainly didn’t!
Respond: Think about Christ as a fully human man. Discuss what you think are the key experiences required to be fully human. What experiences do you think he might have had that allow you to relate to him even more closely?
Adult to Adult
Read: Luke 22:24-28.
Reflect: Who is greater? Is it the person who sits at the table or the person who serves? In Luke 22, according to Jesus, the greatest among us are those who serve. To know that Jesus came to serve among us is a beautiful example of how we should treat others. I remember giving a ride to a woman who didn’t speak English. I didn’t speak her language, either. With gestures and signs, she was able to tell me where she needed to go. It was raining that day and I noticed she did not have an umbrella. A colorful silk hijab was her only protection from the rain. When I offered her my umbrella, her face radiated as if I had given her my most valuable possession. Looking back on that day, I realize that I had. I gave her love. The language of love is universal. When we serve one another, the world lights up in our first language, love. We may think that serving the homeless or hungry is our only option. Some of us may have childcare issues or even full-time jobs that do not allow us to serve in this capacity. All you need to do is extend your umbrella.
Respond: Serving God comes in many forms. How can you extend your umbrella this week?
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About our Contributors
Traci Smith is pastor of Northwood Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, TX, and the author of Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home. She is mama to four littles and lives with them and her husband, Elias Cabarcas, in their bilingual/bicultural home in San Antonio, TX. You can connect with her at www.traci-smith.com.
Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros is a Tejana poet, freelance writer, and speaker. Her work focuses on faith and Latinidad and has appeared in On Being, SheLoves Magazine, Rock & Sling, and more. She has forthcoming work in Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity, Christianity Today, and more. She keeps a blog at cisneroscafe.org.
Rev. Melissa Cooper is an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church. She is an Associate with Vibrant Faith, providing ministry coaching services in the area of intergenerational ministry, cross-generational communication, and camp and retreat ministry. Melissa also writes curriculum for children and youth. Melissa lives in central Florida with her husband, Will, and they are the parents to the cutest poodle you’ll ever meet. You can find her online at www.revmelissacooper.com.
Wendy Claire Barrie is a Christian educator who has served seven Episcopal parishes on both coasts since 1989. She is the author of Faith at Home: A Handbook for Cautiously Christian Parents (Church Publishing 2016). She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, Phil Fox Rose, and her son, Peter, and works and worships at Trinity Church Wall Street in Lower Manhattan.
Faith-at-Home Project Developer, Author, Formation Evangelist, Resource Curator
Jerusalem lives with family in rural Arkansas. She a minister, speaker, and formation consultant. She is also the author of At Home in this Life and A Homemade Year. Learn more about her at jerusalemgreer.com