READ: The Apostle Paul traveled to many different places as he shared the stories of Jesus and of God’s love for the whole world. He would spend time in a town, making friends and teaching about the kingdom of God. When he left a town, there would be a group of people who continued to meet together, worshiping and learning about Jesus. Traveling took time in Paul’s day. There were no airplanes to make travel fast, and no phones or email. To keep up with the friends he had made and the new churches who were meeting in each town, sometimes Paul would write a letter to them. He would answer questions they may have had, or try to help them with a problem, or share a concern with them. When a church received one of Paul’s letters, they would read the letter aloud in their worship, just like a sermon.
In our Bibles we have a letter written by Paul to a church he had started in a town called Galatia. After he left, they had questions. Some people were claiming that in order to be a part of the church there were many steps that a person had to follow, and those that didn’t do everything weren’t fully a part of the church. Paul explained that this was not what he had taught them. When a person was baptized, that meant they were now all part of the same family, God’s family, the church. It didn’t matter where they were from, what language they spoke, what job they may have had, whether they were female or male--they belonged to Christ now. And that was all that mattered. (Galatians 3:23-29)
WONDER: I wonder what it was like to receive a letter from Paul?
I wonder what it is like to be baptized in water?
I wonder how it felt to be told you weren’t fully part of God’s family, the church?
I wonder how Paul felt when he heard some people were being left out of the church in Galatia?
I wonder what it feels like to be a part of the family of families, God’s family?
SAY: Paul loved the church in Galatia, and he wanted them to be a place that welcomed everyone. His letter to the church is an important part of our Scripture and helps us know more about God’s love for all people.
PRAY: Let’s pray. Thank you, God, for giving us a church to belong to, with people who love and care for us. Help us to share your love with one another. Amen.
Weekly Faith Conversations
Use these guides as conversation starters with your family. A short retelling of the scripture passage is offered, or you may want to look the story up in your own bible or in a children's bible. The wondering questions are written to open up faith exploration with children and adults.