Children’s Sermon Second Sunday of Lent, Romans 4:13-25, March 1, 2015

Prepare:  For the children’s sermon you can either read the story of Abraham and Sarah from a picture Bible, or you can just re-tell the story in your own words. If you are going to read it, I recommend “The Jesus Storybook Bible” by Sally Lloyd-Jones.

For the worship station you will need a large piece of black or dark blue paper (or cloth would work, too!) and many, many gold star stickers.

20130822-223520.jpg  As the children gather, ask them if they have ever seen Cars 2 (or some other sequel). This may inspire more comments than you want, sorry. Ask them if Cars 2 would make any sense if they hadn’t seen Cars?

20130822-223633.jpg  OK, well today we have a sequel in a way.  The reading from Romans retells the story of Abraham and Sarah and their son Isaac.

(If you used the Genesis reading in worship already you can just refer back to it, but I think that it is always good for hear the story again a different way. I would encourage you to read to re-tell the story of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac here.)

When the Apostle Paul talks about this story he says that it is about more than God keeping a promise. Paul talks about Abraham and Sarah keeping their faith in God, even though the promise seemed impossible. I don’t know for sure, but I also think that how God kept the promise might not have been exactly what Abraham and Sarah expected. Maybe they thought that God would give them many, many children right then, not countless descendants from one son.

Sometimes we hear God’s promise to us and we might have ideas about how that promise should be fulfilled, but that might not always be the same as God’s idea. We, like Abraham and Sarah, need faith and trust in God, and we, like Abraham and Sarah, need to keep doing the good things that God asks us to do, even when we can’t see how the promise will be fulfilled in the end.

20130822-223749.jpg   Faithful God, we thank you for the amazing stories of faith in the Bible, especially when we have a difficult time being faithful. Help us to be faithful to our promises to you and to each other, and to work for good in all that we do. Amen

20130822-223908.jpg  May God’s promises be fulfilled in you.

FaithCross_Worship  Invite the congregation to make a wall of stars!  Each star is a silent promise to do something good for someone else or for the world. Create a prayer station for people to come and say a prayer and add a star to the paper or cloth.

~GB

Permission to use for nonprofit. When printing give credit to Faith Formation Journeys. Intellectual property rights apply.

Posted in Children's Sermons | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Faith + Connect March John 12: 20-33 Lent 4

20130822-223454.jpg Gather as a household. Share with one another where you saw or heard God today. Were those situations joyous or difficult?

20130822-223633.jpg Read John 12: 20-33.

For children: Have you ever seen a plant grow? Did you know that the seed that plants come from are technically dead? Seeds come from live plants and they are part of the plant that dies. Just left in the package all by themselves, nothing happens to them. But when they are given soil, water and sunlight what happens to them? They grow! But part of the plant had to die first. Jesus tells us that in order for us to grow sometimes we have to let another part of ourselves go. We might have to not always be first, or keep a toy to ourselves or help when we don’t feel like it. That’s what Jesus means by “losing your life” he means to think about other people first and you will change like the seed changes into a plant!

For youth/adults: When have you heard the voice of God in your life? Did you know that it was God right away or did you only recognize it afterwards? We might be a little squeamish about admitting that we have heard God’s voice as we can sound a bit unstable to the rest of the world, but God does still speak to us. Jesus even said that God spoke to the crowds not for Jesus’ sake but for them. God never leaves us alone and is always with us. Listen for God in your life today.
Another part of our Bible passage has to do with Jesus drawing all people to himself. We tend to think of Jesus dying on the cross about each of us individually, but what does it mean for us all to be caught up in Jesus arms? How does that change how you view your neighbor or coworker if they too are drawn to Jesus by Jesus? How do we treat each other differently if that were the case?

FaithCross_ServeALT Find a bulb/seed and begin to grow a spring plant. When the plant is about ready to bloom, give it away to someone who could use the message of new life. Decorate the pot with symbols of spring and Easter. Write a card that prays for them to know the new life that God offers us all.

20130822-224425.jpg God of life, your voice still speaks to us, open our ears to hear you and our eyes to see your work in the world. May the new life that grows in us be shared with your world. May our whole lives serve you and your creation. In the name of your son who draws us all to him, Jesus, amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +Your life glorifies God+

 

Posted in Faith + Home Connection | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Children’s Sermon Genesis 9: 8-17 Mark 1: 9-15 February 22nd

20130822-223520.jpg Ask the children (and the congregation!) “Have you ever had a bad day? A day when just nothing went right, or something bad happened that day and you were very sad and even mad? We all have those days, it’s part of our lives. Some days are really happy and joyful and some days make us cry or mad. When you are having a good day, how do you act or who do you talk to? What kind of words do you use to tell people you are having a good day? How about when you have a bad day? Who do you talk to, how do you act? Do bad days make you feel more alone? Maybe you have a harder time talking to people when you’re sad? I know that I do! When I’m happy, I tell people about my good day, the fun stuff I’m doing I usually have a fun Facebook or Twitter post, but when I’m sad or angry, I don’t want to talk to people, I kinda sit in my house on my couch all by myself and feel all alone. But sometimes when I’m sad people reach out to me and tell me that they love me and remind me that I am not alone.

20130822-223633.jpg The Bible is full of stories about people having both good and bad days, easy days and hard days. Today we read the end of the Noah’s ark story about many hard days of Noah and his family being cooped up on a boat with lots of stinky animals and the world being flooded. God knows that those were hard days for Noah and his family (and the animals!) and God was with Noah and his family even if Noah didn’t see God directly. But God said that God would put a rainbow in the clouds to show Noah and all of us that even if days look rainy, sad and hard, God is with us always, especially when it’s hard. And it’s not just in the Noah’s Ark story, we read it in the story about Jesus this morning too! Jesus is baptized, that’s a good day, right? But then Jesus goes out into the wilderness for 40 hard days. BUT we read that God’s Holy Spirit is with Jesus-when it’s a joyful time, such as at his baptism, or a hard time like being in the wilderness. Jesus was not alone, not ever. God even sent messengers, angels, to be with Jesus. God also puts messengers in our lives to tell us about God’s love for us and we can also be messengers to tell people whether they are happy or sad, that God loves them and is with them, even if they don’t know it or see it. How can we be messengers for God? What can we tell people about God’s love for all people, even if they are sad or had something hard happen to them? (Accept all answers)

20130822-223749.jpg God, we are grateful that you are with us always; when we’re happy or sad, feeling joyful or feeling alone. We want all of you people to know that they are never alone and are loved by you. Give us words to be your messengers of love always. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship We are all messengers of God’s love wherever we go. For this worship station have small cards (preferably with rainbows on them!), pens, markers and rainbow stickers available. During your open space or worship station time, invite all gathered to write a message of God’s presence and love to someone who needs to hear it that day. Encourage them to take as many as they need to distribute them to their friends, or neighbors. Young children can take stickers to give to friends and to remind themselves as well. Throughout the week encourage emails, cards, social media posts to remind people of God’s presence in all of lives and in the world.

20130822-223908.jpg +The good news is the God is always near you+

Posted in Children's Sermons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Devotion Page for March 1, 2015

15 March 1 - Second Sunday in Lent.pubHere is the devotion page for The Second Sunday in Lent, March 1, 2015.

Just click on the picture to download the PDF file!

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

Posted in Weekly Devotions | Leave a comment

Ash Wednesday with Children and Families

ffjChildrenSermon*This resource can be used in the home or in a worship setting where young children and families are present. The focus is on the fact that we all need to say that we are sorry and most importantly, hear that God loves and forgives us each and every day. The sign of the cross is a reminder that nothing separates us from God and that our whole lives are about pointing to God and sharing this love and forgiveness with the world.

Supplies: purple paper available for all cut into four (use 8 ½ by 11 inch paper, black chalk or ashes available, baby wipes, writing instruments, crayons, markers (*You may want to have Isaiah 58:9 printed on the back of the purple sheets.)

FaithCross_ConnectALT Read Psalm 51: 1-3. Explain to young children that David wrote this psalm knowing that he had hurt someone else and not been fair. He felt bad and was talking to God telling God that he had messed up. Remind all present that WE ALL mess up, it’s part of being a person. Have them all think of something that they are sorry about or how they messed up. Ash Wednesday is a day in the church that we specifically remember that we all mess up (we do this every Sunday with confession and forgiveness as well) and Lent is a season that we hear stories about how Jesus came to tell us that God loves and forgives us. We remember the story of Jesus being killed, which is sad and scary but we know that happens in life. God tell us even in scary things God is there no matter what. They can write or draw something that they are sorry for on the purple paper. Have families or small groups share if they are comfortable. Then gather them back to the large group.

FaithCross_BibleALT Start the conversation: “Today we are talking about how it’s important that we talk to God about everything-even stuff that we are afraid or ashamed to talk about with God because we know that it doesn’t make us look very good. BUT God says that we are very good no matter what! What’s hard for us is that we have to each and every day look to God and treat others how God treats us. How does God treat us? (Accept all answers) Yes, God treats everyone with love and care. God sent Jesus to show us that love and care and in a book of the Bible called Isaiah 58: 9 we read: “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, “Here I am.” (If you desire, have this verse printed on the back side of the purple sheets) This is what Ash Wednesday and Lent is all about. God said in Jesus, “here I am” to the whole world. The cross where Jesus died is also God saying “here I am!” in sad and scary places in our lives. We put a cross on our heads today because God says “here I am!” you to today and always.” Have those gathered use the ashes or the chalk to put a big cross over all of the things that they wrote or drew that they are sorry for. God says “here I am!” to forgive them and love them.

FaithCross_PrayALTPray a prayer of forgiveness for what they are sorry for. They can use their purple sheets as a guide if desired or just a general prayer could also work.

FaithCross_BlessALTYou can have them put ashes on each other’s foreheads or hands and say +remember you are dust and to dust you shall return. God says “here I am” in the ashes+ (Explain that wearing ashes on our foreheads in public tells the world that God says “here I am” to everyone!)

FaithCross_ServeALT Isaiah 58: 1-12 speaks about justice and how God not only meets us but sends us to share the good news of justice and peace for all to the whole world. Choose a partnership with a food justice, housing justice, peace organization, or highlight a partnership your congregation already has for the season of Lent with Isaiah 58: 6-10 as you Lenten focus.

 

 

Posted in Resources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Devotion Page for February 22, 2015

14 February 22 - First Sunday in Lent.pubHere is the devotion page for The First Sunday in Lent, February 22, 2015.

Just click on the picture to download the PDF file!

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

Posted in Weekly Devotions | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Transfiguration Sunday Children’s Sermon Feb. 15th, 2015 Year B

20130822-223454.jpg When you have something exciting to share who is the first person you tell? Your mom, dad, sister, brother, best friend? (Accept all answers) What was the last exciting thing that happened to you? (If they are stumped, suggest a birthday party, a new toy, new friend at school, new pet, etc.) We love to tell people about exciting events and experiences in our lives don’t we? Do we sometimes show pictures or even if it’s a toy, show people what it is that is fun and new for us? Yes! We like to share what’s important to us in our lives.

20130822-223633.jpg (You could read this story of Mark 9: 2-9 out of the Spark Storybook Bible or another children’s Bible if you like) In our story about Jesus today, Jesus and the disciples went up to a high mountain and Jesus began to kind of glow-like a glow stick. His clothes were bright white-they would have glowed in the dark! The disciples noticed that he changed and all of the sudden Jesus was also talking to Moses and Elijah who had been dead a long, long time! What do you think they were talking about? Maybe about God and how much God loves us all? I think so. How would you feel if you saw Jesus glow and talk to Moses and Elijah? Yes, scared and confused I think! This is how Peter, James and John felt too! They didn’t know what to do! But God did! All of the sudden God’s voice told them that this was God’s beloved son and that they should listen to him! How can we listen to Jesus? (accept all answers) Can we also watch what Jesus does? Yes! When Jesus helps people, should we help people too? Should we tell people that Jesus loves them? Should we treat people how Jesus treated everyone, as a loved child of God? Can we share the story of God with people? YES! Jesus is very important to us and we are very important to Jesus and we should tell everyone this exciting news just like if we have a new friend, pet, or toy! Jesus was bright like a light and this light shines through us to the whole world! This is the best story to tell of all!

*You can hand out glow sticks or the glow stick bracelets to remind everyone that the light of Jesus shines through them.

20130822-224425.jpg Jesus, we are so excited to tell the story of your love to everyone we meet. May the light of Jesus shine through us to your world. We know that you are will us always and thank you for loving us. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship Have a large piece of butcher paper cut out to look like an open book or have it fashioned as a scroll. Invite people during worship station time to write about an encounter or experience about Jesus in their life. You may want to have this out for a few weeks as we journey into Lent.

20130822-223908.jpg+God’s story lives in you+

Posted in Children's Sermons | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Children’s Sermon Epiphany 4B February 1, 2015 Mark 1:21-28

Posted in Weekly Devotions | Leave a comment

Weekly Devotion Page for February 15, 2015

13 February 15 - Transfiguration.pubHere is the devotion page for The Transfiguration of  Our Lord, February 15, 2015.

Just click on the picture to download the PDF file!

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

Posted in Weekly Devotions | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mark 1: 29-39 Children’s Message Year B Feb. 8th, 2015

 

ffjChildrenSermonPreparation: You will need: A large map of your town or neighborhood. Small (about 2×2 inches) paper hands and tape.

FaithCross_ConnectALT “Sometimes we don’t feel well. When we have a cold or have a broken bone, we can’t do all of the things that we want. We don’t feel like ourselves. And as we get older, we don’t feel the same way and can’t do the same physical things as when we were younger. Not many grandmas and grandpas take gymnastics or play soccer. Some do, don’t they but not too many. Have you ever been sick? It’s not fun is it? How do you feel when you are better though? Woo hoo! Right?! You run and jump and play again. When you feel sick, you don’t go to school, do your homework, or your chores (or at least not all of them) but when you are better you actually look forward to going to school, doing your work and your chores don’t you? Doing work and feeling well is better than not doing any work because you can’t.”

FaithCross_BibleALT“Today in our Bible story, Jesus went to his friend Simon’s house and found that Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever. She wasn’t able to do anything at all but lay around and not feel good. But Jesus made her feel better, it says he “lifted her up.” Now when you don’t feel good and someone lifts you by the hand does that make you feel better? (“Lift” a child by the hand, with permission) Does that change how you feel? No, not necessarily, but when Jesus did it, held her hand, this woman felt much better! So much better that she was able to do things again, things that she wanted to do. Jesus lifted her back to her whole self who could praise God.”

“Now, we know that there are some sicknesses that are not like a cold or a fever and people feel bad for a long time like, months or years.* And we know that sometimes people die from that that kind of long and hard sickness. But God promises that even if we die, Jesus lifts us to be with him forever! (Lift a child by the hand again.) When Jesus lifted the woman and lifts us, he is holding us close to him so that we can be in God’s love and healing forever. This love, kind of sets us free (because Jesus is holding our hand always!) to use our hands to take care of others and let them know that Jesus is holding their hand too.”

FaithCross_PrayALT Jesus, you promise to hold our hands and lift us to be beside you forever. May we use our hands to show your love for you whole world. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship Have a map of your town enlarged so that street names are readable and there is lots of room to put notes on it. Have small pieces of paper cut into hand shapes for people to write a prayer for the town, neighborhood, event, street, family, etc. Read these out loud during your corporate prayer time or for the sending.

20130822-223908.jpg+Jesus takes you by the hand and lifts you+

*Be sure to be aware of any children experiencing death or serious disease in their lives. Young children do not have the distinction between a cold and cancer. Sick is sick. Perhaps spend some time talking about the difference and reassuring them that colds, flu, broken bones, will heal and they will be fine. Be aware too, that young children will not understand that God doesn’t always “heal” in the way that we think God should. We are ultimately healed by Jesus in the kingdom of God, but that is abstract for adults let alone children. Use language that is as concrete as possible. You cannot be too clear!

Posted in Children's Sermons | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment