Sunday Reflection: Jesus’s teaching

This week was one where I just couldn’t get my thinking going beyond the traditional exegesis for the RCL texts. 

When I saw what I had been searching for all week I had to scratch my head. Did I really understand what I was seeing? The Mark 10:17-31 must be about riches, that’s what I had always been told that’s what most commentaries cantered on. Right. But it was not what I was seeing. I must be wrong. I’d best check this out again, and I did. 

So today I will share with you, and you can return to the morality teaching from this text or like me wonder if there is something more.

In Mark, we are told that a wealthy man, who was rich both financially and morally (he kept the commandments), asked Jesus how to get into the Kingdom of God. Jesus didn’t judge him, we are told he loved him, and in love there is no judgement. He replied that he would have to sell everything, and we know that the man left feeling disappointed. We don’t know why? Some translations include the line because he had many possessions, as if that justified his emotions. This young man is learning, learning that there is still more to do. He has heard the words, and we do not find out if he eventually does what Jesus asks, but we do know that after asking the initial question he has not asked any others. His learning at this point in the story is over. He has an apparent answer.

Later Jesus teaches the disciples, by initially making a statement and then as is his usual method teaches with a metaphor. Catching on that there was more, Peter speaks up, identifying that they, the disciples have already done what he asked of the wealthy man. Peter is thinking deeper, going further than the wealthy man did. Jesus doesn’t stop there, he still has more for them to think on. 

Like a tetraheden dice, there are many sides and many facets to explore in this piece. Like the disciples, we’re going deeper with Jesus’s teaching, we too are taken on a journey that if we choose to follow it is far deeper than a simple moral outcome to the story. When we teach our children to dig deeper, when we don’t give them pat answers but struggle with the story with them we are teaching in a way that connects them to the story, that teaches them to find themselves in the bigger story of God and we are teaching our children like Jesus taught the disciples.

After seeing the Gospel story through the lens of teaching, it wasn’t hard to see teaching in the First Reading the story of Job, as well as fielding questions, Job is searching, another learning approach, today we can search for answers on the internet, from books, by meditating, by drawing, but we are still searching like Job, for God, even when we, like Job, cannot, at that moment find Him. These are lifelong skills for all of God’s children, and this is what we as parents are trying to do with our children, teach them to always search for God.


Wendy L.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.



Photo by Ann H on


For anyone looking for ideas to help share God’s word with everyone including the youngest.

Whether you are preparing traditional worship or an all age or Intergenerational service.

OR you are a parent wanting something for your children to use either in face to face or broadcast services, as you parent from the pews or couch

Or during family devotion times.

I use easily found ideas to help you share the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) readings with children. Instead of sifting through many websites, facebook , pinterest, instagram, and blog posts; this is a ONE STOP SHOP where I have done the sifting for you to find theologically and developmentally appropriate material for your congregation or family.

Though you will find simple ways into the text here THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THOUGH THAT YOU CAN DO IS SHARE YOURSELF AND YOUR FAITH. I firmly believe that it is in the relationship, that the Faith formation of the next generation truely starts. You will notice that there are very few prompts or questions on this page. This is to allow your child to do the thinking and to work out what is important to them from the texts. Sometimes they may give you an insight or even ask a question? There are no wrong insights or crazy questions, and you are enough, enough to listen, enough to work it out together, ENOUGH to share your love of GOD with your child.

Here is a great presentation on children’s spirituality, but most importantly from the 40 minute mark on, it speaks about the imporantance of teaching through story and explains the process I recommend you use with children.


We are still in the longest liturgical season, the season after Pentecost. This season takes up half of the year, and it’s liturgical colour is green. There are no major celebrations during this season, and some refer to it as Ordinary Time. For me it is a time to celebrate everyday joys, to see God in the ordinary, in the everyday, and to hear the everyday stories of Jesus.


If worshipping at home. You may want to set up a space/alter/focal spot, to bring out when you worship or to keep out everyday.

You can do this by setting up a candle, and add the things that remind YOU of God, a cross, a Bible that everyone likes to read from, a word, a special object, even something from one of the readings.

If able to worship in the Church buildings pack a special backpack, as well as filling it with your Covid Safe equipment, add the books or materials required to help your young ones relate to today’s readings.

For adults and older students you might like to take a journal with which to record anything that grabs your attention during the service. Write a precis of the message (traditional or sensory word), draw or write a response in and keep a record of emotions. You could use a template like this free download





You might like to start with the Lord’s Prayer if at home, or say the Lord’s Prayer within a set place if following along in a service. Here are 4 options


A more contemplative version

Or for a more Intergenerational approach try Number 1 on the Table Settings album by Liturgical Folks

Prayers of the People: Draw a large open Cross, then everyone can draw or write a prayer to add to the cross (inspired by a Messy Church idea)

FIRST READING: JOB: 23:1-9,16-17



(I chose this book to represent Job’s search for God, no matter what he might or might not find Job will hunt for God)

Make or draw your own treasure hunt. (Parents can set a search treasure hunt up before time for chidlren to hunt. Depending on the age of the children. (scattering toys or treats or Bible verses around the room or along the pew for the child to find) You might even like to try something like this from Muddy Church

PRAY: Put your found pieces down in front of you,

As you pick up each piece pray whatever comes into your heart.

PSALM 22:1-15

LISTEN Psalm Settings from Liturgical Folk No.3.

Psalm 22: Don’t leave me!

My God, my God, how could you leave me?
Just when I needed you most, you are gone!
I am eaten up by pain,
my life is pouring down the drain
Around and around rage the forces of hate.
Is this the end? Is this my fate?
The answer bursts open the grave –
Christ, who died, is alive!
Tell the world, for all time –
death is defeated, Christ is alive!

A rewrite by Rev. Purdie

How does this Psalm make you feel? Use emogies to demonstrate.

DRAW: You might like to draw a picture to respond to this Psalm.


READ: The Book with no pictures by B. J. Novak


A Storypath suggestion

SING The Word of God (Hebrews 4:12)

PLAY: Find a magnifer or use the one on your phone to study anything around you, the timber in the pew, the ant on the floor, your favourite toy, etc. I wonder what it feels like to be looked at as deeply as God looks at us?



OR READ The Spark Storybible. A Camel through a Needle pp.238-241

OR The Spark StoryBible A Rich Man’s Questions pp278-279

OR Meet Jesus in Mark by Matthew Sleeman Mark 10:1-22, the last paragraph and Mark10:23-52 the first 2 paragraphs.

Colouring -In


Help me God

To seek you

Above everything else

And always to be

empty before you


SENDING HYMN Tell the World by Hillsong Kids Learn the actions here


Wendy L.

Please check local guidlines before using items that are not mine especially if you are using this page for congregational use. Please acknowedge this page if you find it useful.Thank you.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.


In Australia, Monday is the Anniversary of the Uniting Church in Australia, some Uniting churches may use the readings for the Anniversary on Sunday, instead of those for the Pentecost 3A readings. You may want to share this video on Monday or during the service on Sunday.

(note there are some mistakes with the logo, see if you can pick them)

The readings below are for the After Pentecost 3 readings




Just a few things to note about this presentation of the story,

1) Though we do not know how old Ishmael is he is recently weaned so probably 4-5 years old and the video represents him as older,

2) The reason Ishmael and his mother needed to leave was due to a request from Sarah and had nothing to do with the way he responded to his brother.

MAKE: Recreate the story of Hagar and Ishmael You can make these characters and use some of them to recreate the story

You might like this history lesson from to share with the younger members of the family

The story is also an opportunity to explore the close relationship between Jews, Muslims and Christians.  All are the children of Abraham.  Rather than dig into the details of the story, introduce the symbols for each faith and briefly explain how all are related.  The Jews are the descendants of Isaac.  One of those Jewish descendants was Jesus.  Muslims are the descendants of Ishmael.  All are descendants of Abraham.  Pray for peace in the big family of Abraham.


Praying without words Ishmael said nothing that is recorded in the Bible but God still heard him

You could use a sand pit, or some flour. With your finger, trace a pattern or a picture in the sand/flour. When you have finished smooth the surface.

Make the picture or the pattern a reflection of your thoughts, your prayer to God.


PSALM 86:1-10,16-17

Psalm 86: An Undivided heart
Bend your ear to us, O God; we need you! (cup your hand around your ear)
We cry to you and keep on calling. (pretend to rub your eyes)
We know that you will answer us! (clasp your hands in a prayer shape)
Is there another god greater than you? (plead)
Is anything greater than what you have made? (arms out wide)
Certainly not! You alone are God! (put your arms above your head)

an exert from, actions in Brackets by me

How does this Psalm make you feel? Describe that feeling, show it on your face or body or draw it, or point out what it feels like from a set of emotional cards or the Bears App

SECOND READING: Romans 6:1b-11

READ/WATCH: David gets in Trouble by David Shannon a suggestion by


DO: put a few drops of food colouring in a small bowl of water, then place a sheet of paper in the water and watch the paper change colour. OR you can put a cut flower in a vase of coloured water and watch the flower’s colour change. When we immerse ourselves in God’s teachings we change.

GOSPEL READING: Matthew 10:24-39

This is a complicated reading with many different themes. After much thought I have decided to share the advise to read Sam and the Lucky Money by Karin China as it concentrates the idea that the way we respond to life depends on what is important to us.

Family Activity: There is a suggestion at the end of the video, as a family think of ways that you can show the love of God with others in your community.

DRAW or go and find those things that are important to you.


Help me God

To always have you

as the most my most important thought

and may it shape all I do




EASTER 7 YEAR C: Ideas to help you share this weeks RCL readings with the 3’s and under.

How wonderful that you have bought your young child to church, don’t waste this opportunity to share the faith stories and experience the wonder of worship.

If you are a parent or Guardian

Prepare a special church bag in advance each week so that you are ready for the rush on Sunday Morning.

Sit towards the front so they can see what is going on.

Sing or sway during the Hymns

Read during the Bible readings,

Pray during the prayers,

Colour, Draw or Craft during the sermon.

Craft or drawing or play are for spiritual responses not for a perfectionist piece that can be shown off. Don’t throw these out when you leave the church. Keep them at home in a special box, and bring them out to remind your child what has been happening or use as future prayer points.

Remember that little ones will need their own space to move and wiggle,

You have bought your child to worship. Enjoy engaging them in it.

If you are a small congregation without a Child and Family Minister have an area available near the front for parents/guardians to worship with their children, and print off this information so that it is readily available or direct them to this site. Set up an area with books and toys in it that will enhance their spiritual experience. (Ie not just toys for “keeping them quiet”).Spiritual Delights or Toy Box tat! andMake the books appealing

If you would like these ideas as a PDF file sent to you each week, please contact me.

FIRST READING: Acts 16:16-34

READ: The Lion PictureBook Bible pp.364-365

OR The Beginners  Bible Earth Quake in Prison, pp.500-503

PLAY: What do you do when you are in a difficult situation. Pray, call for Mum or Dad, Sing, pat the dog, hide, etc. Parents might like to make some cards of these possibilities. Put the cards down then ask your child to point out the picture of what they do, then ask them what Paul and Silas did.

PRAY: SING any song you know make it into a prayer


Rejoice! The Lord is King!
Lift up your heart,
lift up your voice; rejoice;
again I say, rejoice.

Power! All the forces in the planet (punch out your fist thrusting from your body)
are powered by the Lord.
Love! All the love in the universe (Make a love heart with your hands)
flows from the Lord.
Joy! All the happiness in the world (Jump)
is given by the Lord.
Thanks! All our thanks we give back to you. ( spray open your hands at shoulder level as you push them forward from your body)

My thanks again to Rev. Purdie

DRAW: quarter a page with a texta to make four spaces. Draw a picture for each of the four strong words in this Psalm, Power, Love, Joy and Thanks.
SECOND READING: Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21

READ: The Jesus Storybook Bible p.348 Read from the second paragraph down.

LOOK: There are a lot of symbols we use in this reading. So point out the symbols in your church, they may include the alpha and omega, the lamb or the Bride as mentioned or you might have some other symbols around the church.


We wait for your world to come (hands on your waist)



GOSPEL READING: John 17:20-26


PLAY: Play with Babushka Dolls, or nesting toys to signify that we all rest in Christ.


NOO! You are not finished even if the service has. Now is the time to continue teaching your child beyond the walls of the church. 

Use the craft or drawings during the week to talk about the service or the stories.

Use any of the readings during the week, at bedtime, as story time or during the day in play or prayer.

Enjoy sharing your faith with your child.


Wendy L.