Families together at times like these
Devotion 4: Loneliness versus Community
A family stack: Have your family/household stand close together. Family member 1 places their right hand, palm down, in the middle. Family member 2 places their right hand on top. Family member 3 places their right hand on top, and so on until all the right hands are stacked on top of each other. Do the same with your left hands. The challenge is to move the hand on the bottom of the stack up onto the top. Then the next hand moves onto the top. See how fast you can keep moving all your hands!
Because of Covid-19 it is not safe for us to hold hands with other people outside our house. That means we can feel very lonely, as we can’t spend time with other family members and friends. While we can see them on a screen, we can’t give them a hug! Loneliness is a real concern for many people in our families, communities and around the world. Let’s think about how we can make the choice to be a community even though we are apart.
Do you have a friend or family member who you know is feeling lonely? Share their names (there will be a time to pray for them later).
What does God have to say about this?
As a family read Matthew 14:22-34. You can find it online here.
Peter wanted to put his faith into action, so he stepped out of the boat. At first things were going well. He kept his eyes on Jesus. But then he looked down. Peter noticed the waves and the wind, and he started to panic. That’s when he began to sink. No matter how difficult things seem, we are not alone. Jesus is with us.
Download and watch the ‘Storm on the Lake’ section of this video (from 56 seconds in)
Jesus reached out his hand and saved Peter. Who is lonely that we could we reach out and help today? (We might not be able to hold their hand, but we could phone them or send them a message).
Have someone in the family read this out loud:
“The opposite of loneliness is community. God asks us to reach out to others. God gave us families and friends to share life with. And God has given us the Church as the family of God. Even though we cannot meet with other people, we can still care for one another. God is always with us, even though we might feel lonely and locked up in our houses. Remember, keep your eyes on Jesus. You are never alone!”
Choose one or more of these options:
- Download and print off a ‘Bubble map’ sheet, one per person. Click here to download. Fill this sheet with the names of your family, friends and neighbours. Put these sheets up around the house where you see them often. You could:
- Choose one name on the sheet a day to pray for.
- Choose one name a day to send an email or message to.
- Listen to this song (or sing a song of your family’s choosing): He’s got the whole world in his hands. Tyler Perry has created a whole world challenge. He asked his friends to sing a verse of the song and upload it. It’s a long clip so watch parts of it. You could record your own verse!
- Find a footpath or concrete step. Get a bowl of water. Dip a finger in the water and use it to write on the ground the name of one person each who is feeling lonely. Spend some time as a family praying for these people.
Finish by praying this prayer as a blessing. (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.”