June 28: Mission and welcome — Family faith formation at home


Invite various persons to bring a designated item and use this liturgy to begin your time of learning together. 

One:    Come, let us gather around and see how the Spirit will nurture our faith today.

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Christ, the light of the world.
(Place a candle on a table in your gathering place and light it.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:   The Love of God, who came to meet us in the world.
(Place a cross on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Wisdom of God, who speaks through the Scriptures.
(Place an open Bible on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Grace of God, who proclaims we are children of God.
(Place a symbol of baptism – a bowl of water, a seashell – on a table in your gathering space.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Our risen Lord, who meets us at the table.
(Place a symbol of communion – a plate and cup, a loaf of bread, grapes – on a table in your gathering space.)

One:    We are here, Holy Spirit, ready for your leading.

God sightings and prayer offerings 

Invite each person to share where they saw or experienced God this week. Invite each person to share something — a person, community, experience, event, etc. – for which they want to offer prayer. 

Good and gracious God, we thank you for all the ways you were and are present in our lives and in the world. [Invite each person to say aloud the sighting they named earlier.] We bring our prayers to you, prayers for… [invite each person to say aloud the prayer need they named earlier]. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Connecting with Scripture: Matthew 10:40-42

Read the Scripture aloud the first time using the New Revised Standard Version or the Common English Bible.

For the second reading, you may want to use this retelling to provide a broader context for today’s passage – especially if you have children as a part of your family gathering

Jesus had, and still has, a mission for his disciples. They were going to be responsible for continuing Jesus’ ministry one day and he wanted them to be ready. So, Jesus gathered them around him and began to teach them what they needed to know. Sometimes the things he taught seemed odd because everyone else around them were doing the opposite of what Jesus wanted them to do. However, Jesus was teaching them how live the way God wanted them to live – and God’s ways are often different than the way the world lives. It’s always best to do what God wants us to do.

Jesus taught them that they are to welcome people. Welcome the ones who tell about God’s love. Welcome those who live like God wants them to live and those who love God. He even said that when they welcome people they are not just welcoming that one person but it is the same as welcoming Jesus himself. He says we are to help people who need a friend or a drink of water or a meal or a helping hand because they are God’s children, too.

Connecting through story

Watch this clip from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

  • Why did Cindy Lou Who want to give the Grinch the Christmas Cheer award?
  • Why were the mayor and the people so resistant?
  • Why do you think Cindy Lou Who persisted even when others thought another choice should be made?

Connecting with our lives

Engage in dialogue:

  • Why do you think Jesus gave his disciples a mission?
  • Why do you think Jesus gave instructions on how disciples are to live their mission?
  • Why did Jesus emphasize welcoming people?
  • What does “welcoming” someone look like? Feel like?
  • Who is easy to welcome? Who is difficult to welcome?
  • What mission does Jesus give you as his disciple today?
  • What does it include?
  • What instructions would Jesus give you for living into your mission?

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion:

  • Jesus spent a lot of time teaching his disciples when he lived on earth.
  • He continues to teach his disciples today through Scripture.
  • We are Jesus’ disciples today.
  • The mission he gave to the disciples in the Bible is the mission he gives to us today.
  • Jesus wanted us to live according to God’s ways and to take on God’s priorities instead of the world’s ways and priorities.
  • The world’s ways and priorities are often in opposition to God’s.
  • The world sometimes ignores the people most in need of help, but Jesus teaches us they are the ones we should care about the most.
  • Welcoming people – especially the people the world tends to ignore and those in need – is a concrete way of showing God’s love and living like Jesus lived.

Spend some turning your thoughts about the mission Jesus has given to you into a personal mission statement. Write it down, embellish it with art, color, pictures, words, songs – anything that helps you connect and remember your mission in the future. Post it in a prominent place, make it the banner on your computer screen or set an alarm on your phone to remind you each day of the mission Jesus has given you.


Close your time together by praying for one another, your neighbor, community and the world.

REBECCA DAVIS is the associate professor of Christian education at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. A teaching elder and certified educator, she served congregations for over 20 years before moving into academic teaching. In addition to teaching and mentoring students, her passion is child advocacy and ministry.