Faith +Open: Once everyone in the household is gathered light a candle to remind us of Christ’s presence with us always and open with prayer. Pray this prayer, one of your own or a combination of the two. Dear God, we call to you for help and you call back to us with words of healing and promise. We are grateful that it is your call to us that draws us near to you in our times of helplessness, sorrow, joy and gratitude. May we use our lives to call out to people around us to share your voice with those who need to hear the healing words of your Son. We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
Faith + Share: Read aloud Mark 10:46-52. With younger children read from the Spark Story Bible, page 338, or your favorite children’s Bible. After reading it through once have different people read the different parts: Bartimaeus, Jesus, the crowds. Or even act it out!
With children: Bartimaeus was blind and alone. He was probably scared some of the time not knowing who or what was around him. Even though Bartimaeus could not see Jesus with his eyes, he knew immediately when Jesus was close and he called out to Jesus for help! Following the sound of Jesus voice he jumped up and went to Jesus not worried about falling, running into something or someone or getting hurt. Bartimaeus didn’t need his eyes to know that Jesus was there! He knew in his whole being. Bartimaeus reminds us that we only need to listen and follow Jesus’ voice and we know that Jesus is always close to us even when we can’t “see” Jesus! What are some ways that we can help us to “know” that Jesus is close? (Ideas: prayer (talking to God), reading the Bible, family and friends who love us and care for us, helping to care for our family, friends, and people we don’t even know!)
With youth/adults: There is a lot going on in this short story and feel free to ask your own questions and go down a different path than the one I will take here! But some questions and thoughts that I have are about the crowds in this story. The crowds wanted Bartimaeus to leave Jesus alone and not bother him. Bartimaeus, as a blind beggar utterly alone, was not part of the “in crowd.” He was to be avoided, unclean, a nuisance at best, and a scar on society at worst. This “worthless” person shouldn’t be bothering Jesus! But Bartimaeus ignores the crowd and continues to call out for mercy/help (best translation would really be that he says “mercify me”) to Jesus. The crowds must have been shocked when this cry stopped Jesus cold in his tracks! “The least of these” is what caught his attention, not the rest of the crowds or disciples with him! Jesus then calls out to Bartimaeus and the crowds suddenly change their tune. Hey Jesus is calling you Bart! You had better go! This story is not just about transforming Bartimaeus but transforming the crowd (us) as well. The crowd around Jesus thought that they were the “in group” with the disciples and were quick to try and keep the less desirables out. But Jesus transforms the crowd from gatekeeper to conduit. By hearing Jesus calling to Bartimaeus, the crowd then becomes the encourager of Bartimaeus to go to Jesus! I would like to think that someone even took him by the arm and guided him for safety! Both the crowd and Bartimaeus are transformed together to be all together with Jesus. For Jesus, both the insiders and the outsiders were in equal need to transformation and he brought them together for the purpose of a whole community which then Bartimaeus became a part. So how are we sometimes the “gatekeepers” keeping those we don’t think are desirable away from God? How can we hear Jesus voice calling to those on the margins and become a conduit for encouraging and pointing people to the one who can transform each and every one of us and all of who we are to be “made well” or whole with God? How might the person we least expect point us to Jesus?
Faith +Close: At the end of your Faith + Share time extinguish the candle and share one word/phrase about the conversation on Mark 10. Leave a little time for silence and then either use the Faith + Blessing below or close with a simple “amen.”
Faith + Serve: We have lots of opportunities to serve here at LCM. This month, let’s send 50 children from Molholm Elementary school to the outdoor lab! Without some assistance many children at Molholm may not be able to participate in the outdoor lab. We will be doing a baked goods sale in October at LCM to support this project so look for more information soon! But in the mean time have a jar or a glass set aside in your kitchen that you can label “Called into the world.” Every time you or a family member eats a piece of bread or other baked good place some spare change in the glass. Even a penny will help! Collect this change throughout the month of October and bring it in on October 28th-Reformation Sunday-and watch how a little bit from each of us combines to great abundance!
Faith + Blessing: As you leave for work or school each morning make on the sign of the cross on the back of each other’s hand and tell the other person, “Remember Jesus is calling you.” Jesus calls us to him and into the world to share God’s love with everyone!