During this "40 Days of Faith" (Lent), we encourage you to try the Family Dinner Liturgy once a week. We hope that this will be a fun way to take a moment to turn toward God together as a family. How do you do it? It’s easy.
Family Dinner Liturgy: "The Righteous and the Humble"
(Together holding hands)
We make room for you,
Come and fill us with your Spirit.
(Any kind of candles; as many as you want)
(This is worth memorizing. A grown-up can say the blessing as she/he looks into everyone’s eyes OR everyone can recite this together for each other.)
“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you
and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
Story of the Week | The Righteous and the Humble
(Families with young kids might want to skip this part.)
Mark 2:13-17, Luke 18:9-14
It is easy for us to think that doing the right things and keeping all the rules will please God and make Him love us more. Many people in Jesus’ time thought so, too. So they were often confused about Jesus’ Upside-Down Love.
One time, Jesus was having a party with some unpopular people. These were the people who didn’t always do the right things and did not keep all of God’s rules. Many people despised them, but Jesus was friends with a lot of people like this. So some religious leaders asked Jesus, “Why do you eat with such bad people?” Jesus told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor. Sick people do. I am like a doctor. I have come for those who know they need help, not for those who think they are already righteous.”
Then He told this story: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, known to be a great rule-keeper. The other was a hated tax collector.* The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like those bad people. I am definitely not like that tax collector over there! I fast twice a week and I give you a tenth of the money I make. I keep all of your rules.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance and couldn’t even lift his eyes to heaven. He prayed with sorrow, ‘O God, be kind to me, for I am not good and I break your rules.’ I tell you, this tax collector received so much more from God than the Pharisee. Those who lift themselves up are brought down and those who understand they need help are lifted up.”
That, too, is upside-down!
*People thought of tax collectors as the worst kind of people because they took money from the Israelites for the Roman empire. They made profit by taking more money from people than they owed.