The gift of grace — Family faith formation @ home: July 11


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: Ephesians 1:3-14

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

Read the text a second time antiphonally, alternating verses between two readers or two groups of readers.  Remember that this is a personal letter, so read it as if you are conveying a personal message.

Connecting through story

Watch and listen to “I’ve Loved You Since Forever.”

  • What do you think this story can teach us about the love of God?
  • What did each person in the story do to earn the love they have for one another?
  • What is better about being a “we” than a “me”?


Connecting with our lives

 Engage in dialogue:

  • What do you think it means to be chosen?
  • When did God choose us?
  • Why did God choose us?
  • What did we do to earn being chosen by God?
  • What is grace?
  • What does grace have to do with being chosen?
  • If grace is a gift that is freely given and completely unmerited, what should we do with such a valuable gift?
  • How do we say thank you to God?
  • What does it mean to live for the praise of God?
  • How do you live differently because you know God chose you and loves you beyond measure?
  • Who does God “not” choose?
  • How do you say “thank you” for the gift of being chosen as God’s beloved child?

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion:

  • The concept of being chosen is an important one in our Reformed and Presbyterian faith — not because it makes us more special than anyone else, but rather because it makes God special.
  • We are chosen as God’s children because of God’s goodness — not because of anything we did or anything we have earned.
  • We are God’s child because of Jesus the Christ who made us siblings with him in God’s own family.
  • God’s love makes us precious in God’s sight — just like all whom God loves are special and precious in God’s heart.
  • It is Jesus who gives us our value and makes us worthy of God’s love. There is nothing we can do to make God love us or to be good enough for God’s love — all of that is done by and through Christ.
  • This unmerited, undeserved and unearned gift is called grace.
  • Jesus Christ is the embodiment of and the means through which we receive grace.
  • To be chosen by God – to be loved by God – compels us into a different way of life. We are to spend our lives saying “thank you” to God.
  • We show our thanks to God by living lives that are please to God and that praise God.
  • Being loved and chosen by God does not mean we can do anything we want, but rather it changes what we want so that our desire is to do that which pleases God and honors the gift of grace we have received through no work of our own.
  • All whom God loves and chooses have a responsibility to live as God’s own loved children sharing and showing that love to all the world.

Listen to Kelly Clarkson sing “I’ve Loved You Since Forever” and let it sink in that before the foundation of world God loved you. Then ponder how you will say “thank you” to God with your very life for this amazing gift of grace that makes you and God a “we.”  If you are inclined, share your thoughts with those gathered.




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.