Weekly Household Devotions for April 5, 2015

20 April 5 - Easter Sunday.pubHere is the devotion page for Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015.

Just click on the picture to download the PDF file!

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Children’s Sermon, Palm Sunday – March 29, 2015 – Matthew 21:1-13

Prepare: If your church uses palm branches or crosses make sure that the people have them before Children’s Time or the Worship Station Time.  If you do not use either palms or crosses don’t worry, they are not necessary.

20130822-223520.jpg Have any of you ever been to a big sporting event, or seen one on TV? Have you ever seen when they have the players run our through a tunnel or balloons or flowers? Why do you think they do that?

20130822-223633.jpg Today is Palm Sunday! Today we remember a different entrance. This is the day that we remember Jesus going into Jerusalem and the people shouting “Hosanna!” See, kind of like that big sporting event, Jesus was coming in like a hero. The people lining the streets and shouting were hoping the Jesus would be their champion, so they cheered and shouted.

As they got to know Jesus, and see what he was doing in the city, they changed their minds. They wanted Jesus to be a new king over the city, but that is not what Jesus was there to do. They lost hope in their champion, kind of like we might lose hope if our team is losing that big game.

The difference is that Jesus was winning, and it wasn’t a game. Jesus was in Jerusalem to reconnect to the people in way that they could never imagine, and didn’t understand. Jesus was there to help us return to God.

So, to help us celebrate, we are going to have a fancy entrance right here, and we need the help of all the people here!

FaithCross_Worship Ask all the people to line up on the aisles and hold their palms (or crosses or hands) up to make a tunnel.  Then invite children and adults to go through the tunnel while people cheer and shout “Hosanna!” Once everything calms down a little invite everyone to pray.

20130822-224425.jpg Hosanna! Lord, we praise you for saving us through Jesus. Today we remember your entrance into Jerusalem, and we proclaim you as our Lord and savior. Be with us this week as we remember the events of Holy Week and prepare to celebrate your resurrection and our promise of new life. Amen

20130822-223908.jpg Jesus remembers you.

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Weekly Household Devotions – March 29, 2015

19 March 29 - Palm Sunday.pubHere is the devotion page for Palm Sunday, March 29, 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!

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The Peace of the Lord Faith + Home Connection April 2015 John 20: 19-31

20130715-113716.jpg Trace your hands on paper. Write or draw who was the hands of Christ to you today and who you shared Christ with today. Save these for your closing prayer time.

20130822-223633.jpgRead John 20: 19-31 from a Bible or page 492-495. Have people read the different voices in the story.

For children: When was a time that you were afraid? Who was with you? Did having someone with you make you feel better? If you were alone, who did you wish was with you? Did you know that God is with you always? Even if we’re afraid, alone, worried or feeling bad. Jesus promises to be with us always just like he came to be with Thomas and to tell Thomas that he would never leave him!

For youth/adults: What does it mean to be at peace? When have you felt at peace? How can we share this peace that comes from God with others? Is it words, actions, attitudes?
Doubt is not the opposite of faith. Jesus met Thomas in his “doubt,” his wondering, his questions so that Thomas could grow in faith. Our faith is like that too-a journey. When we wonder or question, we explore God in our lives, define and articulate more clearly what we do believe and are able to share that with others. Doubt is how we deepen our faith! What do you wonder about God?

FaithCross_ServeALT Write a note to someone telling and thanking them for the ways that they showed Christ to you in your life. Think of one way to show the love and peace of Christ to someone at work, school or other places.

20130822-224425.jpg You give us your peace to spread that peace all through your world. You reveal Christ to us in so many ways and we know that we are called to be part of that revelation. Be with those who are in distress, who are lonely, who are worried or afraid. May we be your peace to them. In the name of you son Jesus, who is with us always, amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +Receive the Peace of the Lord+

 

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New life in Christ John 12: 20-33

ffjChildrenSermonHave some flower seeds, a tulip and tulip bulb, (or a poinsettia,) soil, small pots, and markers, etc. to decorate the pots if you desire as part of a worship station.

20130715-113716.jpg Have a tulip, a tulip bulb (or some other bulb flower) or the poinsettia. Gather the children around the tulip/poinsettia. If using the poinsettia ask the children when they last saw this plant. Christmas! The cool thing about poinsettia’s is that they “bloom” (red leaves) when it’s cold and actually need to stay in a dark closet with no light for much of the year. We bring them out in the fall when there is less sunlight and that is when they thrive. In the dark the poinsettias are renewing and getting ready to grow!

If using a tulip and bulb ask the children if they have every planted bulbs before. Does this bulb look like it could become a flower right now? No. It doesn’t. It just looks dead and pretty useless right now. But we plant the bulb in the fall about 6-8 inches underground so that no sunlight gets to them. All winter they stay a bulb in the ground, dead and not doing much. And then when the weather gets warmer and the ground unfreezes and becomes softer and warmer, the bulb begins to grow a stem. And a couple of weeks later you get these beautiful tulips that grow! This dead bulb will stay just the way it is unless we bury it in the dark and let it sit for a while. Beautiful things can come from the dark!

20130822-223633.jpg In our Bible story from John today Jesus talks about how new life can come from things that look dead and useless. In nature, tress, flowers and plants have parts of them that die, these become seeds that grow into new life. Jesus was trying to explain to his disciples that he too will die, but it’s not what they think. Jesus will die, they will be sad, but God will bring new life from Jesus’ death-like this flower. Jesus’ death and God raising him to life means that we have new life too! Each and every day God makes us new and we can grow like this flower to share God’s beauty and love with the whole world. When we die, we go to be with God in new life after we die. Jesus gathers us all up in this life and in the next and we are never alone! God brings life from EVERYTHING NO MATTER WHAT! Pretty cool, huh! We have new life and we are never alone.

FaithCross_Worship For a worship station have soil, (small cup for scooping the soil), small terra cotta pots, and seeds. Permanent markers are the best way to draw on the pots so warn parents and have supervision. Have people draw symbols of new life on their pot and then plant a seed. You can have them take them home for the plants to grow during the Easter season, or give them away to an assisted living facility, half-way house or other places where your congregation can share the good news of new life and community forever in Jesus.

20130822-224425.jpgGod, you bring new life from everything around us. You promise that we are with you always, even when we’re in the dark and can’t see the sunlight. Gather all your people so that the whole world will know your presence and love. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +Grow in God’s love+

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Holy Week Daily Devotions

Microsoft Word - Faith + Alive Holy Week devo 2.docDaily Devotions for Holy Week!  Print back to back and make booklets for people to take home!

Click on the picture to download the PDF.

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Weekly Household Devotions for March 22, 2015

17 March 15 - Fourth Sunday in Lent.pubHere is the devotion page for The Fifth Sunday in Lent, March 22, 2015.

Just click on the picture to download the PDF file!

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Children’s Sermon Lent 4B 2015 John 3:14-21

Scripture: John 3:14-21

Prep: For this children’s sermon you will need a blank white piece of paper, a pencil (no pens, markers, etc.) and a flashlight. On one side of the blank paper draw half of a heart. Flip the sheet, hold it up to the light so that you can see where you left off and then draw the other half. When you shine the flashlight from behind you will see a “whole heart.” You can also write the word LOVE with L-O on one side and V-E on the other. This must be done in pencil to be the most effective.

20130822-223454.jpgInvite the children to gather where you hold children’s time. Ask them about a time when they were looking for something in a dark closet, under a bed, etc. When it was dark could they see very much? What did they use to see better in those dark places?

20130822-223633.jpg Our Gospel story today tells about how Jesus is like that has come into the world. The first part might be familiar, the God so loved the world that God sent Jesus into it. And the promise is that we will be with Jesus for always. It goes on to tell us how sometimes we feel that we are walking in darkness–or maybe sometimes we really are like when we are looking for something in our rooms at night! But darkness can also be the hurtful, scary, or sad things in our world. Jesus promises to be even where it is dark. And Jesus wants us to shine like lights with God’s love for everyone so that everyone can see ALL of God’s love! Look at this piece of paper I have (hold it so that they cannot see the back at all). What do you see? (Accept all answers, someone may even guess half a heart or half of the word “love.”) When I shine a light from behind what do you see? The whole heart or the whole word. God’s love is like this in our lives; God’s love shines on us and through us so that ALL can see God’s love! What are some ways that God’s love “shines through” you? Maybe when you give a hug, or help at home…what else? (Accept all answers.) That’s right! God wants love to shine everywhere!

20130822-223749.jpgDear God, your love shines through us for the whole world to see! Help us to share your love so that no one is in the dark about you! Thank you for your Son who is the light of the world, amen.

20130822-223908.jpg Let your light shine so that the love of God is everywhere!

 

FaithCross_WorshipHave paper hearts or paper and scissors to make hearts and flashlights at a table. Encourage people to write a message of love on the heart OR a word about what they are struggling with and then shine the light of Christ through it. Offer up a prayer together of thanksgiving for God’s light that shines through even the darkest moments.

*original heart and flashlight concept by Brigette Weier

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Weekly Devotions for March 15, 2015

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

Just click on the picture to download the PDF file!

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Weekly Household Devotion for March 8, 2015

16 March 8 - Third Sunday in Lent.pubHere is the devotion page for The Third Sunday in Lent, March 8, 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!

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