Gather around a candle in the coziest spot in your home to read the Parable of the Lost Sheep from Matthew 18:12-14 or from your favorite children’s Bible. Share highs and lows from the day, then tell stories about times you have been lost—in a store, on a trip to an unfamiliar place, in the woods, etc. You may also have stories
of feeling lost because you don’t know what to do—taking a test, being hurt by a friend, losing a job, etc.
Talk about what it felt like to be lost, and what it felt like when you were finally found. Remember that even when we are lost, God finds us.
Reading the Bible helps us know more about God and God’s love. Ask everyone to search the house to find all the Bibles you have. Gather them together and compare them. Grown-ups, do you like a Bible with extra features for study and journaling? Kids, which one do you like best—pictures or no pictures? Find the Old
and New Testaments and count all the books in each (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament books). Are there any books of the Bible you haven’t heard of? What book of the Bible are you most familiar with?
If you have a family Bible, explore what is inside—family tree, birth dates, baptism dates, marriage dates, death dates? Where does your family keep this kind of information? If you do not have a family Bible with these dates, consider starting one.
Ask these questions of each other:
• When did you receive your first Bible? Who gave it to you? Do you still have it?
• When is your favorite time to read the Bible: morning, middle of the day, or evening?
• Share a story about a time when a Bible story or verse helped when you felt lost.
Play a game of Hide and Seek. For extra fun, play it in the dark. When you are done, celebrate that everyone was found and enjoy a snack of popcorn and your favorite drink.
We learn more about God’s love by reading the Bible. As a family, plan to donate a Bible to your church’s library or a Sunday school class or buy a children’s Bible and gift it to a new baby.
Say this prayer or blessing at the close of your time:
Thank you, God, for finding us when we are lost. Thank you for our Bibles. Thank you for our family. Amen.
I know that many people, including colleagues, friends and acquaintances have not been silent when it comes to the unrest and injustice we are witnessing as a nation. The murder of George Floyd has become the tipping point and what we have experienced and seen with our own eyes has woken the majority of our nation up. Unfortunately, it has taken too many lost lives of our Black and Brown brothers and sisters for many of us to come to that realization and reality.
I pastor a church community that is predominately Euro-Caucasian but is diverse in thought, experiences and theology. My silence has been driven by anger. I’m in a daze. I’m fed up and frustrated. I want to say something profound and unifying. Something, anything, that can bring opposite viewpoints together in order for people to be judged on their character, rather than where they fall on some spectrum of color, politics, religion, sexuality, etc. But I got nothing… nothing but tears, anger and a spirit of helplessness. I don’t understand! Lord have mercy!
Know that as a man, a white man, I stand with my friends of color! I stand with Black Lives Matter! As a pastor, I recognize that I minister to a diverse group of people in how they view and interact with the world around them. I always try to be sensitive to their needs and their viewpoints. But my calling by God asks of me to speak prophetically from time to time, even if it might make others uncomfortable. This is one of those times. I encourage you to listen to the stories of others, especially those members of your family, friends, co-workers of color. Active listening is working hard to understand the message and meaning of what you are hearing. Then the conversations can begin. I encourage you to read up and educate yourself on challenges we face concerning race and the church. We have added a few resources for you to use in that process, including one for families with children and youth.
We have a problem! Let’s acknowledge it and own it. It’s a heart problem! It’s a spiritual problem! It’s about broken systems that need to be reformed and overhauled. Now is not the time to throw stones but to learn how to be allies with those most affected. Now is not the time to whitewash the stain of racism but to look at it square in the eye, acknowledge it and to say out loud that it has no place in God’s Reign! That we stand side-by-side and hand-in-hand with our brothers and sisters of color, in order, to prayerfully, respectfully, and lovingly work and advocate for justice, peace…shalom!
These are hard, uncomfortable days. But, this the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
In fear, trembling, humility and hope,
Rev. Mark Rambo
by Carolyn B. Helsel and Y. Joy Harris-Smith
by Michael W. Waters
by Sandhya Rani Jha
by Drew G.I. Hart
by Bryan Stevenson
by Robin DiAngelo
by Ibram X. Kendi
by Ijeoma Oluo