Lean on God — Family faith formation @ Home: June 6, 2021


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: Psalm 130

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

For the second reading of the text, ask each person gathered to read a verse aloud taking turns until the psalm is completed.

Connecting through story

Watch and listen to “Lean on Me” covered by Playing for Change.

  • What do you think is the message of the lyrics?
  • Why is that message important?

Connecting with our lives

 Engage in dialogue:

  • Why do you think Psalm 130 opens with the words, “Out of the depths, I cry to you, O Lord!”?
  • Why do you think the psalmist cried out to the Lord? What are some things that might be happening in the psalmist’s life that would cause him to cry out to the Lord?
  • Later in the psalm, it talks about waiting for the Lord. What do you think it means to wait for the Lord?
  • The psalm also talks about finding hope in the Lord. What do you think it means to find hope in the Lord?
  • Why do you think the psalmist could wait and have hope in the Lord?
  • When have you turned to God? What was going on that caused you turn to God?
  • In what ways did it help to lean on God?
  • How did you know God would help you and be there with you?
  • Who else has God put in your life to lean on and be there for you when you are struggling?
  • How does it help to have someone to lean on?
  • When have you been there for someone else when they needed someone to lean on?
  • How have you provided hope for them?

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion:

  • One of the important teachings of the church (as we reflected on during Advent) is that in Jesus God became human and lived among us. This means Jesus experienced the same fear and hurt that humans experience and, because Jesus returned to God, God now understands human fear and hurt in a very real way.
  • As early as Genesis we read in Scripture of God’s people crying out to the Lord, and God hearing and responding. It is a central part of Israel’s identity story with God (Exodus 3:1-10).
  • Knowing, telling and retelling the story of God’s active response to our needs, pain and well-being helps us to be confident that God will hear us in our current crisis.
  • The relationship between story, memory and hope is strong. We tell the stories of God’s activity in the world and in our lives — including the grace-filled ways in which God has, and continues to, love us. Story prompts our memories of God’s faithfulness in the past, which leads to the firm and certain hope that God will be faithful, grace-filled and loving with us now.
  • In verses 3, 4 and 8, we see the psalmist remembering God’s gift of forgiveness and redemption, which fuels hope in the present context. It is this confidence in hope based on God’s acts (not our own) that sustains our waiting on the Lord.
  • All the verses of Psalm 130 work together to remind us that no matter the crisis, pain or emotion we are experiencing at the moment, God is constantly present for us…inviting us to trust and lean on the One who loves and redeems us beyond measure.
  • God knows, as humans, we often need concrete reminders of God’s presence and strength so God gives us loving people in our lives to lean on as a way of manifesting God’s steadfast love.

Invite those gathered to make a list of (or draw) the people God’s has sent for you to lean on. During the closing prayer, give thanks for their presence in your life and for God’s steadfast love.


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.