Updated: Mar 25
Hosted by the Faith To Go team in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, David Tremaine and Charlette Preslar, and joined the each week by a special guest, the Faith To Go Podcast highlights themes from the Sunday Gospel reading for you to take into your faith discussions and reflections throughout the week.
Activity Time: Pack it Up
Supplies: empty backpack or bag, piece of paper, writing utensil
Bring an empty backpack or bag out. Tell everyone that you are going on a trip to the wilderness and you want to make sure you pack well. What kinds of things should you put in your bag? (ideas might include: snacks, jacket, flashlight, sleeping bag, etc). Pick enough things from the suggestions that will fill the bag, have people gather them, and stuff the bag until it is full, really full. Get out a piece of paper and fold it into 8. Tell everyone that there are other things that you will need for your trip, things that you might not have in your house, but that everyone probably has in their heart. What are some of those things? (courage, happiness, love, patience, etc) tear the paper into strips with one word on each section. Have people fold them really small and then shove them into the bag, around everything else that is already there. Close by sharing that even when we think we have packed everything we need, there is always room for the things God gives us for the journey.
Story Time: John the Baptist
Watch this video together and then use the discussion questions below to reflect as a family. (Please watch this video from 0:00 to 2:10. That is the substance for the conversation.)
1. Who was John the Baptist?
2. What did you notice about him that was funny?
3. Do you think that we treat people he seem different than us the same as people who seem like us?
4. Why or why not?
5. John the Baptist was a prophet, someone who points to God. What things point us to God now?
Dinner Time: Point To God
Below is a prayer with which to start your meal and then discussion questions to explore this week’s topic with your family while you eat.
Dear God, Thank you for messengers and prophets, especially John the Baptist. Help us to remember that we need to watch for things that point us to God. Remind us that when we head down the wrong path that we can always turn around and choose a better one. Help us to listen and look for you in all things.
1. What do you think it means to be someone who points to God?
2. Who is someone who helps you keep on the path that is best for you?
3. Can you think of a time that you helped others stay on the right path?
4. Can you think of a decision you made this week that was hard?
5. Do you think you made a choice that represented your true self?
6. If not, how could you have chosen differently?
Bedtime: Reflections for Children at the End of the Day
During your bedtime routine, invite your children into a time of reflection about their day, maybe by saying, "Did you know that God really wants to know what happened in your day today, and that God is always listening whenever you need to tell God something?" Then continue with these questions:
1) What are some things that happened today that you want to tell God about?
2) What is one happy thing that happened today? What is one sad thing that happened today?
3) Did you see God or feel God with you when those things were happening? Where did you see or feel God when those things happened today?
4) Read to your children this week’s scripture selection, then ask the questions that follows.
Matthew 3:1-12 (God’s Word, My Voice)
A long time ago, John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, showed up in the desert, shouting, “You had better change your ways, people. For God is very near.” The prophet Isaiah wrote about John when he said, “There is someone out in the desert telling people to make way for the Lord because he’s coming.” John was a funny kind of guy. He wore camel skins with a leather belt, and he ate bugs and wild honey. He attracted a lot of attention and people came from the cities to check him out. They asked him to baptize them, knowing they needed to change. John saw people he thought were hypocrites because they thought they were God’s special people who did no wrong. When he saw them he yelled at them, “You are a big pile of snakes. You’d better change your ways too. Don’t think just because Abraham was your ancestor that you’re going to get by with things. God could make all of these rocks here children of Abraham just like you if he wanted to. If you don’t listen to God now, deep in your heart, you might as well be a chopped down tree that’s thrown into the fire. I’ll baptize you with water, but someone much, much greater than me is coming soon, and he will pour the Holy Spirit on you and light your souls on fire for God. He is ready to make everything new for God.”
Did the story remind you of anything that happened in your day today?
5) What are some things that you want to tell God that you are grateful for today?
Share some of your conversations in the comments below: