All posts by lb

Children’s Sermon God Connects! John 14:1-14 Easter 5A (May 14, 2017)

Preparation: yarn , something knit, crocheted or woven if you have it, strips of yarn if you want to pass them out to kids.

Gather the children to the front with you. Ask them to sit in a circle. Say I have this yarn with me, what things do you know about that you can use yarn for? (take answers, knitting, art projects, etc). Yes all those are great things. Yarn can be used to make things and also to connect things. When I am using yarn for knitting (or use other example) I am bringing together the pieces to make something. (show something knit together if you can)

In our Gospel today,  Jesus tells us that God is connected to us. He says that we know God the father because we know Jesus and that we are promised that God is in relationship to us– or another way to say that is to say God is connected to us. So I wanted to try to show that with some yarn between us. I am going to hold onto this end of the yarn and say my name (say name)  and then you hold onto the yarn  gently pass the ball of yarn to someone across the circle. (do this while you explain) That person says her/his name (ask them to say their name). Now you pass it across the circle. Let’s keep going and see what  happens.

By the end you will have a little web between you. Say, this yarn is one way we can see how God connects us. God is like the yarn in-between us, God is touching each of us and love each of us and God connects us to one another and shows us love through each other too. Jesus promises that we are connected to God and to each other and that these are ways we see and know God.

option–take a strip of the yarn (you can cut the one you used or have other ones ready) and tie it gently on your wrist or ankle when you get back to your seat as a reminder that we are all connected.

Jesus, you connect us together. You know our names and bring us love. Help us to see each other with love and serve each other by name. Amen

 

God in my Head, God in my Heart, God on my left, God on my right (say this while making the sign of the cross)

 

Finger knitting can be a fun way to engage and listen at the same time. Put out some instructions for finger knitting with a reminder that we are all connected in God at a table with yarn and scissors.

Or simply have cut strips of yarn and invite people to tie a piece of yarn to their wrists to remember we are all connected to God and to one another.

Children’s Sermon Palm Sunday Psalm 61 April 9, 2017

Lent Psalms Children Sermon Series: This is the first in a series of children’s sermons on the Psalms for Lent. For children’s sermons on the gospels you can see Year A 2014

Preparation: Building blocks

Gather the children with you. Say, Let’s make a tower together. Have kids take turns stacking a block.

How strong do you think our tower is? Do you think it could stay standing in an earthquake? No probably not. What about in a blizzard? hh…., what about a little breeze… maybe? Let’s try to just blow on it and see if stays standing! Do the experiment together.

The Psalm for today is Psalm 61 and it says “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.” What do you think that psalm is trying to say about God? Yes, that God’s tower is like a strong rock and it will protect us. Do you think God’s tower can stand in our little breeze? Yes! What about the storm or earthquake?  yes! God’s strength is stronger than what we can imagine.

God who is Big and strong, Thank you for your love that is the strongest we know. Protect us when we need it, guide us to your strength in love and help us to walk in these days of holy week with you. Amen

God is your refuge and your strong tower. +

 

Reformed Worship has a wonderful series of Prayer stations on the Psalms for Lent. Go their website and look for Palm Sunday on Psalm 61.

Children’s Sermon Lent 5A Psalm 130 April 2, 2017

Lent Psalms Children Sermon Series: This is the first in a series of children’s sermons on the Psalms for Lent. For children’s sermons on the gospels you can see Year A 2014

Preparation: Learn the song Deep and Wide. Here is a link to a video of it.. it is a little cheesy but it shows the actions.  I often sing it with kids once through then do it in a big voice and then in tiny voices for fun.

Gather the children with you. When I say the word deep what comes to mind? Take answers. Get to things like the oceans or dark caves. When I think of something deep, I think of water, mostly the ocean as being so very deep we cannot see or go to the bottom.

The Psalm for today is Psalm 130 and it makes me think of song a know because of the first part that   starts with out of the depth I cry to you.

Teach the song Deep and Wide

This psalm also sounds like someone who really needs God to hear
them because they are crying from a deep place. And we can cry out to God in our praying. So, I want you to close your eyes and imagine you are on the ocean or near deep water while I read this psalm to you (it’s only 8 verses, so go ahead and read them all)  as our prayer. for today.  Let’
s pray together–Read the Psalm as a prayer.

God hears you when you pray, all the time.

 

Reformed Worship has a wonderful series of Prayer stations on the Psalms for Lent. Go their website and look for Week 5 on Psalm 130

Children’s Sermon Lent 4A Psalm 23 March 26, 2017

Lent Psalms Children Sermon Series: This is the first in a series of children’s sermons on the Psalms for Lent. For children’s sermons on the gospels you can see Year A 2014

Preparation: Communion items–chalice, plate, bread, wine, oil. If you have a low altar you can take them there. Otherwise it might be good to have separate items for them to see on the floor or a low table.

Gather the children with you. What are all these items I have with me today? Yes, they are for communion. Let’s go through each one-show them the items and briefly say what they are for. When you get to the oil, talk about how oil is a symbol of healing and of calling or marking as one who is God’s. We use oil in baptism to say the words you are sealed by the holy spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.

The Psalm for today is Psalm 23. Read a portion be sure to include verse 5 that refers to the table being prepared. (Option to use the version from the book Psalms for Young Children by Marie-Helene Delval )

What do you hear in that psalm? I hear words of promise and comfort and that Jesus will prepare a table for us and an anointing for us that marks us as belong to God and asks us to live as Christians in the world. God promises to nourish us–give us what we need to live our life and to be forever at God’s table. (You can take the option to say more about communion here if you like)

Let’s pray together,

God you promise to be our Shepherd, to take care of u and lead us in the right direction. Even when we are scared or in a dark place we know you will be there. Thank you for making a table for us to remind us of your forgiveness and grace. Amen.

God has made a place for you and seals you by the Holy Spirit forever.

 

Reformed Worship has a wonderful series of Prayer stations on the Psalms for Lent. Go their website and look for Week 4 on Psalm 23

Children’s Sermon Lent 3A Psalm 95 March 19, 2017

Lent Psalms Children Sermon Series: This is the first in a series of children’s sermons on the Psalms for Lent. For children’s sermons on the gospels you can see Year A 2014

Preparation: Sandbox toys and sand if you are brave

Gather the children with you. I brought with me today some sandbox toys–how many of you like to play in the sand? Yes, it  is a lot of fun! What can you do in the sand? Take Answers. Then ask, what other ways do you like to play?

The Psalm for today is Psalm 95
Use the version from the book Psalms for Young Children by Marie-Helene Delval  that reads:
Let’s shout out loud with joy to God!
Because God is a really big God.
God can hold the world in God’s hands, the deep caves, the mountaintops, the blue seas–and you and me too!

I like this psalm because it is a playful psalm! It tells us how much God loves to play and create and I love to play and create too! Let’s say this psalm together with hands showing the joy of praising God who creates sand and rocks and sun and water and all the things we love to play and create with.

For our prayer, let’s praise God with this psalm together:
Say the psalm together line by line repeating. Use sign language or hand actions. Suggestions are in parenthesis below:

Let’s shout out loud with joy to God! (cup hands to mouth and then lift them high in the air)
Because God is a really big God.  (show really wide big arms)
God can hold the world in God’s hands, (make a circle and put hands out at end)  the deep caves, (hands over eyes looking into a cave) the mountaintops, (hand overhead and clasp together)  the blue seas (make wave motions with hands)–and you and me too! (point out for you and in to yourself for me) AMEN! 

God has made you and formed you with all of creation and you are God’s

 

Reformed Worship has a wonderful series of Prayer stations on the Psalms for Lent. Go their website and look for Week 3 on Psalm 95

Children’s Sermon Lent 2A Psalm 121 March 12, 2017

Lent Psalms Children Sermon Series: This is the first in a series of children’s sermons on the Psalms for Lent. For children’s sermons on the gospels you can see Year A 2014

Preparation: A map (you need this), compass, boots, other hiking or travel supplies for effect. Also have a cross or stone or something to symbolize how you can feel God with you. If you can, have enough to hand out to the children (or everyone!)

Gather the children with you. Have your travel items with you and ask, what does it look like I am about to do? Yes, I am going on a trip. I think I will go hiking (or wherever you want to say).And what do you think I need to go on this trip? Take answers and show the items you have with you. I know that I need a map for new places especially!

The Psalm for today is Psalm 121. (If you did not read in worship, then read a part of it here. Include verse 18)

When I go on my trip, I am going to be going to new places, seeing new people, maybe even trying new foods or new experiences. Do you like to try new things? I do too and sometimes it is scary too! Just like this map will help me get where I need to go, this psalm reminds me that God promises to be with me and to keep my going out and coming in. What do you think that means? Yes, it means that God will be with me on all the ups and downs of my trip and also of my life. I like to carry this cross in my pocket when I travel because it reminds me every time I feel it that God has me all the time. (If you can hand out crosses or a small item that is a nice touch!)

God, thank you for being a compass and a map for us. You promise to go with us and we thank you. Continue to keep our going out and coming in on all of our trips and throughout our life. Amen

God is your strength and will keep your going out and coming in always.

 

Reformed Worship has a wonderful series of Prayer stations on the Psalms for Lent. Go their website and look for Week 2 on Psalm 121

Children’s Sermons Lent 1A Psalm 32

Lent Psalms Children Sermon Series: This is the first in a series of children’s sermons on the Psalms for Lent. For children’s sermons on the gospels you can see Year A 2014

Preparation: A blanket or an item that is a comfort item either for you or someone
you know.

Gather the children with you and be holding your comfort item. Ask them if they have anything that they like to sleep with at night? I brought with me my (or whomever it is) blanket/item too. Tell them about this item.

Alternative or Addition–if your congregation does a prayer shawl ministry or quilt ministry, have one of those with you and tell a little bit about that ministry

Psalm 32: 5-7 If you did not read this in worship, read it now. OR use the children’s version from the book Psalms for Young Children by Marie-Helene Delval  that reads:

When I do something wrong, I tell you about it, God. And when you forgive me, I feel calm again.

My blanket makes me feel calm because when I hold it, I think of God being with me all the time just like I want this blanket with me all the time.  and the prayer shawls that we give out offer a sense of God’s presence to those who are hurting or sick or need to feel God’s love with them. And that love God promises to give us over and over again.

If you have prayer shawls or quilts do a blessing of them with this prayer time. If not simply pray for those who need comfort.  Gracious God, thank you for your presence with us always. Bless these blankets made for all those who need to feel your love wrapped around them. Help us remember that you are with us when we need comfort and peace. Amen

Reformed Worship has a wonderful series of Prayer stations on the Psalms for Lent. Go their website and look for Week 1 on Psalm 32

 

Children’s Sermon — God’s People Caught in Light and Love Matthew 4:12-23

Gather the children with you. If you can get a big net or even a small one as a visual that is good. If not, it’s ok to to just describe it. Ask the children if they have ever seen a big fishing net? How many fish do you think it can catch? Some big fishing boats can get 100,000 fish a day! What kind of fish do you think they catch? Yes they may be trying to get a certain kind of fish but when they put out the net and scoop it up, they will catch whatever kind of fish are together in that area.

In today’s story, Jesus is calling his disciples, so inviting specific people to follow him and help him share about and tell God’s love to all the people. He goes out to towns and areas where people who do not know about God are told that they too are a part of God’s children and a part of God’s love. So Jesus wants to catch all kinds of people to hear about God. So I was looking around at everyone here up front and you have something the same–you are all kids! Wonderful children of God! Now look behind you, is everyone out there a kid? No! Are they all the same age? Look around the whole room, are we all exactly the same kind of person? No! But does God want to catch us all? Yes, God wants us all to be caught up in God’s love. So let’s see how can we show that together? Let’s invite some volunteers who are not kids to come up here and join us around (or in) our net! (It can be a good idea to plant some people who would be willing to come up at this point). Will any of you who are retired come up front and join us? Will any of you who are grandparents? Parents? Young adults? Teenagers? Gather a few people to come join the kids.

OR if you cannot get people to come out or think your group will not go for that. Have the kids stand up and hold hands and then connect them to adults sitting in the pews by holding hands and ask everyone to hold hands for the prayer showing we are all a part of who God loves.

Jesus who fishes for people! Thank you for catching us in your love. Help us live in this love and share it with others. Amen

 

You are caught and held in God’s love all the time +

 

 

Have fish shaped paper for people to write prayers or thanksgiving for a person or an area that is not like them but that God loves.

Children’s Sermon for Advent 3, Year A, Matthew 11:2-11 December 11, 2016

Preparation: a helper, a letter, your phone if you want to text

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children with you. Have your helper deliver you a message in an envelope before you get started. Say, “oh, hello, this is for me? wow!  A letter! A message in a letter!” Open the letter and read the scripture “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
That is the last part of the scripture we just heard for today. Jesus is sending a message!

20130822-223633.jpg“What kind of message do you think he is sending?” Take answers. Have your helper whisper to you that the words say messenger, not message. “oh, it says messenger, not message. Hmmmm… Well what’s the difference? Let’s see, how do you get messages today? Do you get letters in the mail? What about phone calls? or texts? or snapchats? There are a lot of way to get messages to people now. I know when Jesus was on earth with people, there were not as many ways to get messages to people. There were letters that were delivered by people, but also there were messengers who went ahead to let people know what was going on. John was telling people about Jesus before Jesus was even in town with them. Jesus is telling the followers that yes, John’s messages are about him and yes that they should listen to John.”

“Do you know who else are messengers in the Bible? Angels, the word for angel means messenger. There were many angels in the Christmas story telling people about Jesus–can you think of any? Yes, Mary and Joseph and the shepherds. Messengers are a part of how we share good news and bad news and are apart of how we tell the story of Jesus. Most of the stories of Jesus we have are ones that were told over and over before they were written down. And the stories that we have about God in our lives are good ones to send messages about–either by telling, or writing texts, or letters. you know I have a friend who texts me prayers, and I just love getting that message and that connection with God! What are some ways you can be a messenger? Who would you like to send a message to?”

You can either hand out cards or paper as a way for them to write messages now or encourage them to do that at home. You could also compose a text together and send it to someone right there!

20130822-224425.jpgGod of light and love, Thank you for your messages and your messengers. Help us to give messages to others about you. Amen

20130822-223908.jpgMay your light shine even as Jesus shines in you

 

 

FaithCross_WorshipHave cards for people to write a message to someone. Or write the best message about God they have heard. Or give some sample text prayers for people to take a picture of our write on their own.

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!