Families together at times like these
Devotion 1: Anxiety versus Peace
Collect one piece of nature each to place on the table or in the middle of where you are gathering. This could be a leaf or a blade of grass or a flower. If you are in an apartment building or don’t have access to the outside, you could instead google amazing places in nature and look at it together.
Read this out loud: “The world is a bit of a strange place at the moment. The spread of the Covid-19 virus is making people stressed and upset. We can make choices about how we respond to what is going on and God wants to help us with this. Today we will think about two choices we can make: to respond with anxiety or to be filled with God’s peace.”
- What makes us feel anxious?
- Is it okay to feel anxious?
- Talk together about the difference between normal worries and anxiety. It is okay to be concerned about getting sick or our friends and family getting sick. But, it’s not good for us if that worry takes over and turns over into anxiety.
- Misinformation causes anxiety. Make sure to correct any myths your family may have heard about the virus. Reassure them.
What does God have to say about this?
Choose one person in your family to read Matthew 6:25-34. Choose a version that is easy to understand. You can find one online here. You might like to take turns reading it or read one verse each.
When you have read the passage, watch this YouTube clip together: Do not worry (YouTube clip by Quiz Worx)
Look at the collection of nature in front of you. Ask this question and think about it silently for a moment before you discuss it:
Why do you think Jesus made them look at grass and flowers and birds?
- Make sure that each member has the opportunity to share their thoughts.
- Discuss how God loves the world God made, right down to a blade of grass or a single bird. How much more God loves us! God cares for them, and God will care for us.
Have someone in the family read this out loud:
“The opposite of anxiety is peace. Peace is not the absence of a crisis. It doesn’t mean that the whole pandemic is going to go away. But it means that we can stop letting anxiety control our lives. We can be sure that God loves and cares for us. We are important to God. When we are tempted to worry, we can stop, take a deep breath and remember this. We can talk to God about the things that upset us, and we can know that God hears us and God cares. When we do this, we experience God’s peace. “
Choose one or more of these options:
- Have each family member pick up the nature object they chose. Invite them to hold it in their hands silently and talk with God about how it makes them feel to know that God cares about them more than lilies or birds.
- Listen to this song (or sing a song of your family’s choosing) Your Wings by Lauren Daigle
- Go outside as a family and collect a bunch of flowers and foliage. Place it in a jar on your table. Talk together about how this will be a reminder during the week that God loves flowers, leaves and God loves us! When anyone in the family is feeling anxious, they can come and look at this bunch and remind themselves again of God’s gift of peace.
- Print off one of the Prayers for the Anxious from illustratedministry.com Print off one copy per person, or one between two. Read the prayer together first, and then encourage the family to think about these words as they colour them in. Display this somewhere where it can be seen.
Finish by praying this prayer as a blessing. Say it all together (Numbers 6:24-26 CEV version)
“I pray that the Lord
will bless and protect you,
and that he will show you mercy
May the Lord be good to you
and give you peace.”