Week of December 9, 2019: In the Wilderness (Ages 11-18)

Updated: Mar 25


Faith To Go Podcast: In the Wilderness

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.



Reads: Angels Unawares

From NPR


Questions:


1) What does it mean that so many different people throughout history have sought home in a new country?

2) What was challenging for you about this story?

3) Did anything in the story push you to act? If so, how?

4) Where do you see God in these stories of immigration?

5) How might we be called to respond today?






Views and Qs: We Need To Talk About Injustice

Watch this video together and then use the discussion questions below to reflect as a family.



Discussion Questions:


1) What do you think social justice has to do with the kingdom of heaven?

2) When has the right thing been the hard thing in your life?

3) What do you think Bryan Stevenson means when he talk about "realities shadowed by suffering?"

4) What do you think about the basic challenges of living in a complex world?

5) How does our humanity depend on everyone's humanity? What does this have to do with the incarnation?



Feast and Faith: Preparing the Way

For this week’s dinner discussion, we are talking about John the Baptists exclamation in the desert to "prepare the way of the Lord."


Prayer -

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so

guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our

wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to

you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always

to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our

Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.


(A Prayer of Self-Dedication, BCP pg. 832)



Discussion –

In the gospel this Sunday John the Baptists proclaims that his mission is to prepare the way in the wilderness for the comign of the kingdom of heaven. One way of reading this proclamation is to think about all the ways we can work in the world to "level the playing field" or make all things equitable and just:


Questions

1) Where do you see the need for justice in the world?

2) Where do you see this need in your life, your neighborhood, your community?

3) What makes it hard to see God moving in the world?

4) What is one way you can respond to this need in the world?

5) How do you think God works with us to bring these changes about?


Final Nugget: John is calling on everyone, including us, to prepare the way for the kingdom of heaven. This week, think about what "the kingdom of heaven" means to you. How can you respond "for the welfare of [God's] people" this week?




Stay and Pray: A Devotion for Families at the Close of the Day Each week we feature a way for your family to reflect and pray together. For families with older children this is an at home liturgy for your family to participate in together. It is a daily devotion for families adapted from The Book of Common Prayer.


Before you begin, take a few moments to decide who will read the scripture reading and who will read the collect and closing.


Read the Psalm and Lord's Prayer in unison.


After a moment of silence, begin with the Psalm.


Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

(read in unison)


1 Give the King your justice, O God, *

and your righteousness to the King's Son;


2 That he may rule your people righteously *

and the poor with justice;


3 That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people, *

and the little hills bring righteousness.


4 He shall defend the needy among the people; *

he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.


5 He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure, *

from one generation to another.


6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown field, *

like showers that water the earth.


7 In his time shall the righteous flourish; *

there shall be abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more.


18 Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, *

who alone does wondrous deeds!


19 And blessed be his glorious Name for ever! *

and may all the earth be filled with his glory.

Amen. Amen.


Gospel

(read by assigned person)


Matthew 3:1-12

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said,


“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of the Lord,

make his paths straight.’”


Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.


But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.


“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”


Prayers for Ourselves and For Others (take this time to each offer one person/event that you would like to hold in prayer as well as one thing you are thankful for)


Dear God, tonight I ask your prayers for.......


and I give you thanks for ..........


Amen


The Lord’s Prayer

(read in unison)

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy Name,

thy kingdom come,

thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

and the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen


The Collect

(read by assigned person)

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



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