Devotions

Message from Katie Ryan

“Then Jesus told another story: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man planted in his field. That seed is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows, it is one of the largest garden plants.  It becomes big enough for the wild birds to come and build nests in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32

How can the kingdom of heaven start as something so small, so tiny, like a mustard seed? What even is the kingdom of heaven? These questions ran through my brain as I started to write the March Sunday School lessons for our children.

What does God’s kingdom look like? We see here that it starts small, like a mustard seed, “the smallest of all seeds. But when it grows, it is one of the largest garden plants.” How can God’s kingdom be small? Maybe because God created because of one small word: love. This small, four letter word grows into something huge, like the small seed grows into a tree that is big enough for the birds to come and build nests in. 

We, like the birds, come into his kingdom for shelter, food, protection. A place to be together and build our homes. We come to the tree for fellowship, to love each other, to serve each other, and to bring others in with us. We come to God’s kingdom to shelter us from the storms. Trees need the wind and rain to help their roots grow deeper as they create a firm foundation. These challenges, they push us to grow deeper in our faith: to stay strong and never lose hope.  

Matthew again brings up the mustard seed in chapter 17, saying “I tell you the truth, if your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there, and it will move. All things will be possible for you.”  Our faith, as small as a mustard seed, can move mountains. If you feel small, lost, or lonely during this time, remember the small mustard seed. You are reading this because you matter, and you are a part of God’s family and our church family. Keep the faith.  You will move mountains.

Posted by Katie Ryan

Washing Feet Devotion

Spa time!

Bible Background: John 13:1-17 (excerpt from the Deep Blue Storybook Bible)

 [Jesus gathered with his disciples in the Upper Room for the Last Supper.  He knew that it was going to be his last Passover feast with his friends.] The friends watched as Jesus got up from the table and tied a towel around his waist. Then Jesus poured water into a big bowl.

What is Jesus doing? thought the friends. The friends watched as Jesus began to wash their feet. “Jesus, what are you doing?” asked Peter. “I don’t want you to wash my feet. My feet are so dirty. Besides, it’s the job of a servant to wash feet. It’s not your job. You are our teacher.”

“Peter,” said Jesus, “it is important that I wash your feet.” So Peter let Jesus wash his dirty feet.

When Jesus finished washing everyone’s feet, he took off the towel and put away the bowl of water. “Do you understand why I did the job of a servant and washed your feet?” asked Jesus.

“No,” said Peter and his friends, shaking their heads.

“I wanted to show you God’s love,” said Jesus. “So even thought I am your teacher, I di the job of a servant and washed your feet,” said Jesus. “I want you to serve others. Helping others is one way to show God’s love.”

 How to Talk to Your Kids:

  1. How do you think Peter felt when Jesus washed his feet?
  2. Would you like to wash someone’s feet? This isn’t something we really do today, unless we are going to get a pedicure!  But a long time ago, when Jesus lived, this was a normal thing for a servant to do for his master. 
  3. Peter was surprised when Jesus decided to wash his friends’ feet. He wasn’t their servant, was he?  Why do you think he was going this?  He was teaching them something important: to share God’s love by helping or serving one another.  Jesus was teaching his friends that we are no better than anyone else, and our job is to love one another.
  4. How do you like to show love to your family, friends, even strangers?

Prayer:

“Lord, thank you for giving us so many ways to love each other.  You have shown another great example of how you are always here for us, how you always forgive us, and how you unconditionally love us.  Help us love others as you love us.  Amen.”

 Activities to go with this:

  • Sweet Foot Scrub
    • Mix together equal parts (1/4 – ½ cup) sugar and coconut oil.  Option: Add flavored essential oil.  Store in a jar or Tupperware.  Make one and leave it for a neighbor!

 

Posted by Katie Ryan

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