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The gift of faith — Family faith formation @ home: June 27

 

Note: This session involves the use of art supplies. Gather those items your family would enjoy using and have them available.  

Welcome 

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: Mark 5:21-42

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, invite those gathered to close their eyes and imagine themselves in the crowd gathered around Jesus as they listen to the text read again.

Connecting through story

Art can tell stories too. Today, view these three pieces of visual art and consider for each…

  • What do you notice first?
  • What part of the story is it telling?
  • Where is the emphasis?
  • What does it make you wonder?
  • How does it help open your understanding of the text?

Image 1: “The Woman with an Issue of Blood” by James Tissot

This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.

Image 2: Mural in the “Encounter Chapel” of the Duc in Altum in Israel.

Photo by Carl Rasmussen; www.HolyLandPhotos.org.

 

Image 3: “Touch of Faith” by Yongsung Kim.  Click here to view the painting.

 

Connecting with our lives

Engage in dialogue:

  • Why was the woman intent on getting near Jesus?
  • What was her deepest hope?
  • Where was her faith?
  • What actually heals the woman — Jesus or the woman’s faith?
  • How would you define faith?
  • How would you describe your faith to someone who didn’t know you?
  • How has faith helped you in life?

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion:

  • In our tradition, we believe faith is a gift from God. It does not originate within us, but rather is the work of the Spirit in us and through us.
  • John Calvin, our theological ancestor, defines faith as “a firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence toward us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit.”
  • Today’s text with the woman’s unwavering faith is an interesting juxtaposition to last week’s text of the disciples’ anxious faith during the storm on the sea.
  • These two stories (last week’s calming of the storm and this week’s healing) also show Jesus as Lord and ruler of nature (the storm) and human brokenness (the woman’s illness).
  • The emphasis in this text could be misplaced if one was not careful. It is Jesus who heals – not the garment itself and not the woman’s faith – but the personal power and encounter with Jesus.

Invite each person to create a piece of art that illuminates a part of today’s text that speaks most strongly to them (or the whole story).

Prayer

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.

 

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