Topic: New Beginnings
Families will understand that God in his infinite mercy and love for us grants us new beginning not just in a new year but throughout the year.
Begin with the Sign of the Cross +. Choose a prayer leader. Pray together. Invite family members to echo back each line of the prayer after the prayer leader.
Dear Father, You are the God of love.
We thank you that you are with us in every change and transition.
We trust in your word that says, “the Lord Your God goes with you.”
Therefore, as we enter into this new year,
we will not worry about the unknown ahead of us.
Instead, we will trust in your word that says,
“we must not be anxious for anything
but in everything through prayer and supplication,
we will make our requests be made known to you.”
Guide us, Lord, and comfort our hearts in this new beginning of a year.
There are many beginnings in our lives. There is the ultimate beginning when we are born. We begin to grow. We begin to mature. We begin new schools. We begin new jobs.
Each year we begin a new year with new adventures. God is behind all our beginnings. God says in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be determined and confident. Do not be afraid of them. Your God, the Lord himself, will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.” And again, in Matthew 28:20, “. . .And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” As we have entered into a new year, be mindful that whatever the year brings, God is always with you.
Invite each family member to think back on 2020. The WHOLE year. Not just from March 17th to the end. Discuss the following questions with each of your family members:
- What was the high point of your 2020? Remember! There are always silver linings behind every cloud.
- What was the low point of your 2020?
Allow time for each family member to answer their high/low points of 2020.
- If you could change anything from 2020, what would it be?
- What would you like to see happen in 2021?
- Do you feel closer to God now than you did in 2020?
Invite a family member to read Matthew 9:9-13.
After reading, explain that Matthew, a Jewish man, was a tax collector during a time when Israel was being ruled by Roman authority. Point out that the Romans believed it would be better for a Jewish man to collect taxes from Jewish people. This meant that tax collectors were traitors because Jewish tax collectors would ask for more money than was required because the Romans said they could keep any money over the required amount. The Roman Empire would support any amount that the tax collectors charged so in the end the Jewish tax collectors were not only traitors but thieves. They were considered to be the worst of all sinners. Jewish religious leaders considered tax collectors as outcasts and would spit on them. ☹
Explain that Matthew had a bad reputation (beliefs or opinions about someone) because of his job and not on him as a person. Stress that Jesus saw beyond the job that Matthew did and saw Matthew as a person. Jesus offered Matthew a new beginning in his life as a disciple.
Discuss the story using the following questions:
- How do you think Matthew felt when Jesus not only looked at him and spoke to him, but also called him to be his disciple and eat with him?
- What do you think Matthew thought about his new beginning as a disciple?
- What do you think your reputation in in the eyes of others?
- Are there people in your life that might be glad you spoke to them or offered them a second chance?
- How might you lead others to Jesus in this new year?
- What does a person have to do today to get a new beginning from Jesus?
Watch video appropiate for your child/ren grade level.
Elementary School level: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb__4XB3AOg
Middle/High School level: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIdlFmuu4mM
Below is a list of activities that can be done as family. Please choose an activity to do as a family until the end of the Religious Education year. If you continue past the end of RE that is AWESOME!!!!!
As a family, choose one of the following activities to participate in together as a family until the end of the Religious Education year (April 28, 2021).
- Ritual Night (one night a week have dinner together, have a story night, movie night, game night, etc.)
- Unplug Day---one day a week the WHOLE family unplugs from cell phones, video games, tablets, iPads, TV etc.
- Volunteer Day---one day a week choose a way to volunteer as a family (shovel a neighbors driveway, call a neighbor to check in on them, write a letter of gratitude to someone, pray for someone, donate clothes, etc.)
- Family Exercise Day---choose one day a week that the whole family (together) can go for a walk, do push-ups, go snowshoeing, etc.)
2021 is a new year and time to begin family time anew.
Begin with the Sign of the Cross. Join hands and pray the Our Father together.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our
trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.