Category Archives: Children’s Sermons

Children’s Sermon, Second Sunday of Easter Year A, John 20:19-31

Prepare: You really only need someplace to run in from – or some other way to make a BIG entrance.  If you can swing it, be a little late, but have the other worship leaders play up that you are missing the Children’s sermon.

 Come running into the worship space panting like you are our of breath, and wide-eyed with excitement!  Call out the children, “Kids!  Come here, quick!  I just saw a dinosaur!”

 No really!  A great big dinosaur . . . you don’t believe me, do you?  Well, I guess your right, I just wanted to get you attention.  There isn’t really a dinosaur.

But, do you know how you feel right now?  You were thinking, “No way, there was no dinosaur.  He’s/she’s just making that up to make me think there is one, or to make me look silly when I go check.”

Well, I think that’s the feeling that one of the people in the Gospel lesson had.  That person is Thomas.  Have you ever heard someone called a doubting Thomas?  Sometimes people use that name for people who don’t seem to trust what other people are saying.  Doubting Thomases want proof, something they can see and touch – they don’t want to trust other people’s story

You know what I think?  I think that Thomas, the guy in the story, is treated pretty badly.  Did you hear what Thomas didn’t believe?  Ok – here’s the story:  It’s just a few days after Thomas and all the disciples saw Jesus die on the cross. Just a few days after they all saw Jesus buried in the tomb. All the disciples are gathered together, except for Thomas.  He was out getting snacks or something.  Jesus shows up, all the other disciples see Jesus, but Thomas isn’t there!  So when he gets back and they all say they saw Jesus, Thomas wants some proof.  It’s kind of like they said they saw a dinosaur.  You guys didn’t believe that when I said it.  You wouldn’t believe it until you saw it for yourself! Thomas didn’t believe be cause he didn’t get to see while his friends did.

You know what?  I think that most of us are much more like Thomas than the other disciples.  We want to see and touch before we believe.  Jesus has some words for us, too!  We don’t get to see Jesus the way the disciples did, but we still believe, and Jesus blesses us for that! Even though most of the time we might feel a little more like Thomas, and a little less like blessed believers!

 Risen Christ, you show up for us in the most unexpected places.  Sometimes we have to look twice to believe what we hear and see and touch.  Help us to believe even when we don’t see, and be with us when we have a hard time trusting only what we can hear. Amen.

 Say, “Christ is Risen!”
Teach them to respond, “Christ is Risen, indeed!”

 Make some congregational art!  Get some bright paper (preferably something thin) cut into smallish pieces, and some markers.  Have people write or draw something that they believe on the paper.  If you worship space allows, have them tape the paper to a window so that light shines through.  Encourage them to tape the paper in the shape of a cross.  If that doesn’t work in your worship space, collect the paper and make the cross later on a prominent window in you church.

God’s Love is Powerful! Easter Year A April 16, 2017

 Invite the children to gather around the cross or if you have a prop of the empty tomb in your worship space. Ask them if they know what special day today is. Say, “yes! It’s the day that we celebrate that God raised Jesus from the dead and Jesus was alive! We say today, ‘Jesus is Risen! He is risen indeed, alleluia!’
*You will need a basket of smooth pond rocks (available at a craft store) with a cross drawn on them with permanent marker.

 Today we tell the story of the women going to Jesus’ tomb very early on Sunday morning and when they go there, there was an angel and an earthquake (ask the children to shake) and then the big huge giant heavy stone that was in front of the tomb like a door, was moved by the angel all by himself! What do you think the women saw in the tomb? NOTHING! No Jesus! God had done a very wonderful, powerful and unexpected thing! He brought Jesus back to life so that we would all know that God can do and does do powerful and great things and God will always use that power to give us life, love and hope. God’s power is stronger than everything else in the world, including death! Jesus being alive, or what we call resurrection, is a sign of this power and God will use this power for us to be resurrected too! God’s greatest power is God’s love for us always, no matter what. God makes sure that nothing is between God and you and me and everyone! God will move anything, there is nothing that is too heavy for God, to be with you. That is love!

To help us remember this, here is a stone with a cross on it. The stone helps you to remember that God is powerful, loves you and moves everything to be with you. The cross on the stone reminds you that with God, you have life forever!

  For a worship station, have someone create a large stone on a piece of cardboard or butcher paper (you can hang that on a wall) Invite your congregation to write or draw where they have experienced God’s power in expected or unexpected ways in their lives. You can add this this in the season of Easter. Have a basket of the same rocks you gave the children available for the adults at this station as well.

 Every time you hear “Jesus is Risen!” today, I want you to lift your stone up and say “God’s love is powerful!” Dear God, today we celebrate that “Jesus is Risen!” (“God’s love is Powerful!”)! We thank you for loving us so much that you want to be with us forever. Because “Jesus is Risen!” (“God’s love is Powerful!”) we know to look for your power, mercy and love in the world around us. Help us to tell the whole world “Jesus is Risen!” (God’s love is Powerful!”) Amen!

 +God’s power is love+

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 – 7th Sunday after Epiphany – Matthew 5:38-48

Prepare: The only thing you need is someone who is willing to let you hold their arms down.  It could be a child, youth or adult, but they need to be willing to play along (and not freaked out by having their arms held down!),

 Invite the children to gather as you normally do, but once they are all there make a grumpy face.  Kind of go back and forth between normal and grumpy a few times and see if you can get one of the kids to ask what you are doing.

 Yeah . . . I’m practicing my grumpy face.  See, I was reading the Gospel today and Jesus is talking about how we should love our enemies.  Jesus actually says that we should love people who  want to be mean to us and it made me grumpy!  Then I noticed something a little strange, my face got really tired of being grumpy.  I took a lot of effort to stay grumpy, like way more work than just being happy and content with the world.  But here’s the worst part – after I worked on being grumpy for a while, I noticed that it got easier.  So I started thinking about being grumpy, and it’s a lot of work to being with – harder than being happy or loving, but if you work at if for a while it gets easy and might even be a habit!

Let me show you what I mean, I need a volunteer (this would be where you need to have someone who’s arms you can hold down.  Alternatively, you could have the person use a door frame or even just the wall if that is a better option for you.) OK, this person here is going to work really, really hard at lifting her arms up to the side, and I am going to hold her arms in place.  (Hold the volunteers arms to their sides, or have them push out on a door frame).  Push really hard!  We are going to work at this for about 30 seconds.  Then, when I say so, I want you to just let your arms hang at your side. (If they do this right, their arms will *float* up away from their side because the muscles are now used to pushing out and up!)

See, first she tried really hard, and now it’s just a habit for her muscles to want to lift her arms!  So, if you practice being grumpy, like I was doing, eventually that is just what you act like all the time!  Jesus wants us to love our enemies because all people deserve love, even if we don’t like them.  And if we work hard at being loving then that becomes a habit, too!

 Jesus loves you even when you feel grumpy!

 Good and loving God, we know that we are called to love everyone, but it just so hard! Fill us with your love and give us the strength to share that love even with people who are hard to love. Amen

 For the worship station, simply invite people to repeat the arm experiment for themselves.  Give a little space for people to talk, reflect and giggle at the silly ways our bodies do things.

Children’s Sermon, 4th Sunday after Epiphany – Matthew 5:1-12

Prepare: You really don’t need anything for the children’s sermon, but if you want to have something (I find it works better to have something to show), find something that says “hope” on it.

 As the children gather, invite them to talk about what they hope for.  Give them a little time to think, and a little space to enjoy being hopeful.

  Those are fun things to hope for!  I wanted to think about hope today because I hear “hope” in the Gospel today.  The Gospel story that we hear today is often called the Beatitudes.  There are whole books written about this little story in the Bible. People wondering who Jesus was talking about and why.  People wanting to point out who is on each side of the sayings – these people are poor, so Jesus must be talking about them.  Or, when I’m sad I know that I am one who is mourning.

I hear many of those things in this story, too! But I also hear a message of hope.  At different times in my life I think that I have been on both sides of all of these sayings.  I have been merciful, but I have been mean, too.  I have been poor, and I’ve had more than I needed. I have been happy and sad.  I have been put down because of what I believe, and I have put others down for what they believe. When I think about it like that I start to see this a little differently.

No matter who you are, no matter what is going on, there is always room for hope.  Hope doesn’t always mean that you are going to get what you want – hope is more like a sparkling of something that keeps you going. Jesus gives us hope that when we feel like we are at the bottom – under a pile of worry and sadness, we can still rise up out of it.

 God of hope, be with us when everything seems to be going wrong. Give us hope to see a better way forward.  Joyful God, be with us when everything seems to be going right and help us remember your love for the times when we need hope the most. Amen.

 Jesus loves you in the good times and in the bad times.

  What do you really hope for?  Ask the congregation this question and offer a chance to put into prayer.  One way to do this is to have paper handy for everyone, invite them to write their hopes on the paper, then collect it and read it as part of the prayers of the church.

You could also form prayer circles if you have room and time!  Have people gather in groups of 4 to 8 (no more than that!) and offer hopes within the small group.