The week of November 26th – During the month of November, your family is invited to focus on the virtue of gratitude and reflect on how you can appreciate the ways in which others have helped you. Find a time this week to gather as a family, say a prayer, listen to or read a prompt, respond as a family to what you have heard and then act on the suggestion for the week.
November Virtue Gratitude: letting others know you see how they’ve helped you.
What is a virtue? A virtue is something that God does in us to change the world around us.
GATHER together in prayer
LISTEN through scripture; readings; stories; music; videos
RESPOND to what you have heard
ACT in service to what God is calling you to
Gather together as a family and pray this prayer of thanksgiving:
Our God you have created a wondrous place in which to live.
With childlike eyes we see the beauty and grandeur
of mountain and forest, of river and seashore.
We marvel at the infinite variety of species that form the jigsaw of life
birds and beasts, flowers and trees.
We give thanks for the variety of cultures that weave the tapestry of humanity
east and west, north and south.
We give thanks that in the midst of all this you have a place for us
and we give thanks for the variety of our own lives
things we have done and things we have learnt,
for those we love and those who care for us.
We give thanks for the variety of ways in which people serve us
with advice and learning, with skills and training,
with concern and understanding, with trust and sharing.
We give thanks for all we have received
and that we are also given the opportunity to serve others.
Grant us the vision of who we are and what we can offer others in your name. Amen.
(Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand) http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/for-ministers/worship-resources/special-services/stewardship/prayers-of-thanksgiving
Have one person in your family read Matthew 20:1-15 (The Labors in the Vineyard).
This Bible passage can be found online at Bible Gateway via this link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+20%3A1-15&version=NRSV
Today’s reading is a type of story Jesus often told called a “parable.” A parable is a simple story that takes something familiar – like workers doing a job – and uses that story to help people understand a difficult or unfamiliar idea. The great thing about a parable is that different people learn different things as they listen to it. There is no one right way to understand a parable!
In this parable, some of the workers think it’s unfair to be paid the same amount of money for different amounts of work. The workers who worked the longest in the vineyard feel they should have been paid more. It’s not always easy to be grateful, especially when we feel like something is unfair or someone got something we think they don’t deserve. What do you think this parable is trying to teach us? What do you think the point of the story is?
When is it hard for you to be grateful? What can your family do to help support you during those times? Have each member of your family write down examples of times when it was hard to be grateful. Take turns sharing and brainstorm together ideas for how to honor each situation and also find something to be grateful for.
Optional Activity – Talk about whether or not you think it’s possible to find something to be grateful for in every situation. Is gratitude always an option? Are there times when gratitude isn’t possible?
Food for Thought – Quotes about gratitude
Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude. A. A. Milne (Winnie-The-Pooh)
We are surrounded by God’s benefits. The best use of these benefits is an unceasing expression of gratitude. John Calvin
Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. John Milton