Children’s Sermon for Advent 2, Year C – Matthew 3:1-12

Prepare:  You will need to create an “obstacle course” of some kind.  If you have a place to make an actual course go ahead!  If not, you can just come up with a wondering or difficult route to get to the children’s sermon place.  Maybe make a few cards that have instructions for how to move, like hop on one foot, crawl, crab-walk, etc.  You will probably want to gather the children in a different place than usual, so that you can travel a little.

20130822-223454.jpg As the children gather, tell them that you are going to be traveling across the sanctuary to the place they can hear about the story.  Tell them that the journey is to “prepare” them, because the story says to prepare the way of the Lord! And that the rest of the story is waiting for them when they get there. Then go ahead and travel by what every way you have come up with.

20130822-223633.jpg Finally here!  That was a tough trip just to go across the room.  Now, the rest of the story!  We heard that we are supposed to prepare the way of the Lord, and Jesus seems like a complex guy, so I came up with a complex way to get here.  Let’s see if I did it right!

The story says, “Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.” 

Straight?  uh oh.  Our path was not straight! Sometimes we do that same thing to Jesus.  We say that we are all set to let Jesus in, but we put up road blocks, and make Jesus do funny walks just to prove that he really wants to be part of our lives.  But in Advent – as we prepare for Christmas – we are told to clean out all the road blocks, to get rid of the rules and restrictions of what Jesus can and cannot do, and make Jesus’ path straight and easy.

We are called on to do some work!

20130822-223749.jpg Loving God, we thank you for sending us your Son, Jesus. We are trying hard to make a straight path for Jesus, but sometimes it’s really hard to do.  Give us courage to keep working, and thank you for sending Jesus, even when we are not ready and the path is not straight. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg God finds you even on the crooked path!

FaithCross_Worship Find something that you congregation is working on – like a long-term service relationship in the community, or having supplies on hand for people in need – and create a list of “road blocks” to getting that done.  Put the list up somewhere in the worship space, or include it in the printed materials. Start a discussion about how to move forward.  What can be done to get the blocks out of the way and move on with the project?

Weekly Household Devotions for Advent 2, Year A

Here is the devotion page for Advent 2 – year A. (Click on the words!)

New (church) Year – new format!  One of the changes that we are making is we are leaving the date off the inserts.  So, perhaps, in the future there could be some options for which style of inserts you like in your congregation!

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

Weekly Devotion Page for Advent 1- Year A

Here is the devotion page for Advent 1 – year A. (Click on the words!)

New (church) Year – new format!  One of the changes that we are making is we are leaving the date off the inserts.  So, perhaps, in the future there could be some options for which style of inserts you like in your congregation!

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

Children’s Sermon Christ the King Year C Luke 23:33-43 November 20, 2016

Preparation: For the children’s sermon you will need a regular wall calendar and a liturgical calendar–a larger size will be helpful. For the worship station or to hand out at children’s sermon if you choose you will need liturgical calendars, preferable not colored in, and copied on regular sized paper.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children up front with you and show them your regular calendar. “Ask, what is this? Yes, it is a calendar. It shows us in straight lines what days are coming next, which ones have past and what we can see coming in the future. What are some things you know are coming on the calendar” (point out Thanksgiving, Christmas, maybe have other church saint days or festivals on there too, anything that might be important to your context)

20130822-223633.jpgI brought another calendar with me as well. Show them your circle, liturgical calendar. What is different about this one? Yes, it goes in a circle. And it tells a story about our life with Jesus. Point out the different seasons in the circle. Then explain where we are now–on the edge of the end of one year and the beginning of the next:  “In the bible reading today we heard the story of Jesus on the cross, being made fun of really and crowned the king. And it is the story of how he died and the promise that God is with us in life and death. And next week you will start to hear the stories of Jesus being born–how God came to be with us in life and death. So it goes in a circle, our story with Jesus. It does not have an end and it is not a straight line because God is with us in our stories and experiences of life that start with birth, give us life, and remain with us in death. And the story of God keeps going like a circle, with no end. This is why the church calendar goes in a circle too, to help us remember these promises of God.”

20130822-224425.jpgNever ending God, thank you for your story that keeps going. Thank you for your love that is with us and keeps going. Show us how to follow Jesus in all the days of our calendars and all the days of lives. Amen

20130822-223908.jpgMay you know God’s circle of love and never ending life +

 

FaithCross_WorshipPrint out individual liturgical calendars and use a color code to have people color in their own calendar to take home. If you google liturgical calendar images there are many choices, some free, some you need to pay a small download fee. You cans also draw a circle and make into sections and label yourself!

Children’s Sermon & Worship Station – Nov. 13, 2016 – Luke 21:5-19

Prepare:  You will need something to distract you at least a couple times.  Be creative!  It can be someone coming into the room to ask you a question, or an alert on your phone.  Or you could just pull a “Dori” and keep losing track of what you were saying!  Just make sure you have something set up ahead of time.

20130822-223454.jpgThis is the part of the children’s message where you need the distractions.  Welcome the children as you usually do, but make sure you are interrupted/distracted in the middle. the distraction should be enough that you feel the need to start over.  Do this a couple times to get the point across (and because it’s fun to be silly!)

20130822-223633.jpgWait!  I’m getting distracted! You know what’s weird about that?  Not getting distracted is exactly what the Gospel story is about today!

I would add that the little distractions that just happened to me are nothing like what Jesus is describing, but they did keep me from talking to you, and that’s what I’m here for right now. The disciples waiting for something big from God, and they figured that Jesus – being who he was – would have some inside knowledge about it.  And maybe he did, but he basically says, “Don’t worry about it!” All kinds of crazy things are going to happen in your life. People will be mean, people will be nice. Good things will happen and bad things will happen. But none of these things is the end of world.

You just need to do your best to stay focused on the good things that are coming, and be working to help everyone be part of the good that is to come.

Maybe it wasn’t a satisfying answer for the disciples, or for us either, but it is an encouragement to us to keep spreading God’s love to everyone we meet. No matter how distracted we get by what is going on around us.

20130822-223749.jpgGood and patient God, We get so caught up in the distractions of life. Forgive us for missing out on things that we should have done, and help us to keep our hearts and minds focused on your love and our love for each other. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpgGod is focused on you!

 

FaithCross_Worship

You are going to make a distraction cover-up wall!

Find a bunch of stickers that say, “God Loves You,” or that have other Christian images on them. (Look for a Christian Book store or check Hobby Lobby).  Then hang a long piece of art paper on the wall, or put it over a table, whichever works if you space.

Put out some pens, crayons, markers, etc, and invite people to write or draw the thing that most distracts them from being engaged with God’s love.

Have a container of stickers our so that they can cover the distraction with God’s love!

You Are a Saint of God! All Saints Sunday, Nov. 6th, 2016 Year C

 

 

20130822-223520.jpgAsk, “How many of you have grandmas, or grandpas? Do you see them all of the time? (Some will, some won’t.) If you don’t see them very often, (or at all) are you still their grandchild? (Yes!) I have grandmas and grandpas but my grandma (or grandpa or other relative) has died. That means that they no longer live here on earth, they are with God now and I don’t see them anymore but I know that I will someday! We know that God promises that we will all someday be together and with God. God created us to be together. We have families, friends, church community, all kinds of places where we are with people. When we’re together, we can teach each other about Jesus. What would you want to tell these people here about Jesus?” (Have the children turn and face the congregation and say what they think is important about Jesus.)

*Then invite up a parent and a baby, a teen, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety (if you have one present!) something up with the children. Say, “All of these people are part of our community. Even if we don’t see them every day know their name, can they still teach us something about Jesus? Can a baby teach us about Jesus? Yes! A teenager? A grandma or grandpa? YES! Can you teach them about God too? YES!”

* Invite each generation to say one sentence that they want the children to know about Jesus. Say, “We need each other to teach each other about God! This is what All Saints is all about! You are a saint when your words and actions teach someone about Jesus. God says that we are all saints to each other! Pretty neat! To remember this today, during the passing of the peace you can make the sign of the cross on each other and say, “Saint (name if you know it), God’s peace be with you!”

20130822-223749.jpg God of all faithfulness, you created us to be in community with each other. Help us to remember that we need each other: babies, children, teens, young adults, middle age adults and our mature adults. We remember today those saints who are not with us but still live in love in our hearts. Thank you for weaving us together in your love now and forever, amen.

FaithCross_Worship A few ideas to do today:

*Have paper clouds cut out and on a table with pens and markers. Invite people to write names of saints living and dead on their “cloud of witnesses,” people who have passed the faith on them. They can either take them home, or place them on a cross.
*Have bowls of water available as people come for communion, in order to remember their baptism. You can also have a bowl of water with a candle lighting station if you do that. Connect baptism to communion, to our daily lives.
*In addition to commemorating those saints who have completed their baptismal journey from you congregation, celebrate those who were born/baptized this year as well. Light a candle for those past and ring a bell for the new lives!

 

20130822-223908.jpg +You are a saint of Jesus Christ+

Let us walk with you on the journey of faith. Whether your feet are big or small, fresh or worn, running or crawling, God's love goes with you and you stand on holy ground.