Children’s Sermon 4th Sunday after Epiphany, John 4:21-30 –or- 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

ffjChildrenSermonNOTE: This children’s sermon could be adapted for many different Sundays and readings.

Faith+Open:  Find a way to enter into the worship space that gives you a little time to walk before you invite the children to join you.  Sing “Zippity Do Dah” as you walk in.  Here’s a link to a youtube video –

Faith+Share:  Have you ever heard that song before?  Uncle Remis, the character that sang that song, was singing it as a prayer of thanks for a beautiful day.  Well, I have a prayer that I call the “Zippity Do Dah Prayer” that I think might go well with the readings that we have today.  The Zippity Do Dah Prayers is a prayer of thanks for the good things that are happening, like love and hope and joy.  It is also a great prayer to help us look at the good things that are happening and help us to let go of some of the bad things.

I thought of it when I read the story about Jesus that we hear today.  Jesus is in his hometown and he says things that are true, but that make the people who live there really upset.  I mean really upset, they decided that they should throw him off a cliff because they were so mad.  Then something amazing happens, Jesus just walks through the angry crowd of people and walks away.  He leaves the anger behind him and continues his ministry somewhere else.

Now, the Zippity Do Dah prayer has some important parts.  First is the position – prayers often have a special position like folded hands, or kneeling.  For this one, you lie down on your back, cross your ankles and put your hands behind your head, like this.

The second thing is that this is a prayer of thanks!  No “Lord help me,” just thanks.  Thank God for different things, something like, “Good morning, God, I hope you are having a good day.  I sure am thankful for . . . “ and fill in what you are thankful for.  Then at the end say, “I’ll talk to you again soon, Amen!”

Let’s try it!  We’ll all lie down in the prayer position and I’ll start, then we can all say 1 or 2 things that we are thankful for.  It’s ok if we all talk at the same time.

Faith+Prayer:   (use the prayer, then invite the children to sing “Zippity Do Dah” as they go back to their seats.

Faith+Blessing:  Shine with God’s light so that all may see God’s Glory.

Special thanks to my friend Randy Williams for this prayer and the idea to use it as a children’s sermon.


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

Faith + Home Connection February 2013


Faith + Open: Gather the household either around the dinner table (this devotion can be done during a meal) or in another comfortable location. Light a candle and say a prayer, either this one or one of your own: God of abundant love, you show us your love in so many different ways. We are grateful for the love of Jesus that is with us now and always, amen.

Faith + Share: Read 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13. This passage from Paul can also be found in the Spark Story Book Bible on page 546. With younger children, stop after each verse or so and have them act out the actions or the emotions that Paul is talking about.

With children: What is love? How do you know when someone loves you? Who do you love? How do you show them? God loves you very much all the time! How does God show love for you? (Jesus, friends, family, etc.) God loves everyone and wants God’s love to flow through us to other people around us. How can we show God’s love to our friends, family, and even people we don’t know?

With youth/adults: This passage is often used in weddings but is really not about married or romantic love. It is about sacrificial love. It’s important to note that Paul is not saying that anyone should be taken advantage of or that sacrificing is only one way-Paul is saying that when people live in a loving relationship and community that reflects the love of God, then there is a mutual sacrifice and everyone is safe and cared for. How do you feel safe and cared for by people who you love and love you? What happens in a relationship when someone “insists on their own way” all the time? How can we show God’s love to our community? How would people around us know that we love and care for them?

Faith + Serve: With all of the emphasis on relationships in February, it’s easy for people to feel lonely.Write cards of support for the people of Newtown, CT. We can send our love and care all the way to CT! God’s love knows no bounds or distance! Here is an address: Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514. You can also look up churches in your denomination to send notes. These will go to the school district so you can write notes of support for the teachers and students.

Faith + Pray: God of all, we lift up to you those people who feel lonely or unloved. Let us be your love in a hurting world. Thank you for showing us how to love and being with us always, amen.

Faith + Bless: Make the sign of the cross on one another and say, “Remember that God’s love never ends.”


Children’s Sermon 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, Luke 4:14-21

ffjChildrenSermonPrepare:  Bring a copy of your church’s mission statement, and/or the mission statement of the broader church organization your congregation is part of.  Bring a Bible and mark Isaiah 61:1.

Faith+Open:  As the children gather ask them if they know what a mission statement is.  Take a few answers.  Some of them might get close, but offer a clear definition in any case, something like, “A sentence or short paragraph that says the goals and values of a company, organization or person.”

Faith+Share:  Did you know that our church has a mission statement?  Here, listen to this (Read the statement.  Read the statement of your wider church organization, too if there is one.)  What do you think about that?  Why do you think that we have a mission statement like that?  (So people know what we believe, what things we think are important, what kinds of things we want to do as a community, things like that.)

Well, I think that today we get to hear Jesus’ mission statement in the Gospel reading.  Jesus went back to his home town and went to his home church and got up to read from the scriptures.  Now here’s the tricky part, was Jesus reading from the Gospel?  No, of course not!  Those were written after Jesus did all this amazing stuff.  Jesus was reading from what we call the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible.  He was reading from a book called Isaiah, and we still read stories from Isaiah today.  This is what he read – (Read Isaiah 61:1-2).

That’s a pretty good description of what Jesus did, isn’t it?  Are there parts of this scripture that we can do, too?  (Wait for a few answers.)  Yeah, those are all great ideas, let’s pray.

Faith+Prayer:   Jesus, what an amazing mission statement!  Help us to live within your mission and to show people your compassion and love in all that we do.  Amen

Faith+Blessing:  Shine with God’s light so that all may see God’s Glory.


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

Children’s Sermon 2nd Sunday after Epiphany, John 2:1-11

ffjChildrenSermonPrepare:  Bring your purse or wallet with some ideas about what you have in there that tells about who you are.

Faith+Open:  As the children gather, ask them to look around at your worship space and look for things that tell them they are in a worship space (crosses, candles, baptism font, etc.)  Take a few comments about what they see.

Faith+Share:  Good job!  Other buildings have things that tell about them, too.  Schools have classrooms and desks; libraries have books.  Did you know that people often carry things that tell about them, too?

Let me show you, here is my wallet (or purse).  I keep some important things in here, some of them tell a whole bunch about me.  (Here are some examples from my wallet for you, please feel free to come up with your own!) My driver’s license has my picture, my address, this little heart in the corner means that I’m an organ donor, this “m” means that I ride a motorcycle.  That a pretty important thing that I carry, isn’t it!  What else is in here?  Oh, look at this!  It’s my Starbucks Coffee Gold Card!  This means that I drink way too much coffee.  I have credit cards, too, and business cards.  All of these things can tell you a little bit about who I am and what I think is important.

In our Gospel story today, we hear about something that Jesus did that started to make people wonder who he was.  Does anyone know what he did?  Let me give you a hint, he was at a big party and they ran out of wine to drink.  (Give a minute for answers.  You can give a few more hints if you have time, or just continue if they don’t get it)  He turned a bunch of water into wine!  This was the first time that Jesus did something that we call a miracle that we know about.  That is a sign that tells us Jesus is special.  This wasn’t a magic trick, it was a miracle!  Do you know the difference?  A magic trick can be explained.  If this was a trick he would have hidden the water somewhere and replaced is with wine, but Jesus didn’t do that.  Jesus changed the water into wine, and not just any wine, it was the best wine!  And no one can explain how he did it.

Jesus performs many miracles in the Bible.  He heals people, he feeds people, he even brings some one back from the dead!  Listen for the miracles of Jesus as we read through the Bible in church this year.

Faith+Prayer:   God of Wonders and Miracles, WOW!  We love you for the amazing stories about miracles and for all the gifts that you have given us.  We love you for our family and friends, for beautiful planet that we live on and the endless universe that we live in.  Thank you for all you love and care for us.  Amen.

Faith+Blessing:  Shine with God’s light so that all may see God’s Glory.

Adapted from SPARK Sunday School curriculum.


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

Blessing of the Bibles

bible_wcandleMany of you may be giving Bibles soon or sometime this year to children or youth or adults! Here is a resource to help you out with Blessings the Bibles in worship

Blessing of the Bibles

This blessing was used at Bethel Lutheran Church in Aurora, CO. The congregation gave each family in their school a Spark Story Bible (Augsburg Fortress) as a beginning of the year gift. We had the church council and the school board present the Bibles at offering time and place them by the large cross that was present. An alternate idea is to place them on or by the altar. The pastor and the preschool director lead the congregation in the blessing that occurred after the offering time. A hand written card from families in the church highlighting their favorite Bible passage/story was placed in each Bible that the families received. Please feel free to use and modify to fit your context!

Invite Congregation to read the following blessing of the Bibles:

L: God from the beginning your Word spoke light into darkness and order into chaos. Your Word was on the hearts and doorposts of the Israelite people. You spoke through the prophets so that the Israelite people would remain faithful. You spoke loudest in the coming of your Son Jesus Christ. Jesus spoke words of healing, mercy and love. In his death on a cross he spoke without words but with actions. Then Paul, Peter and all of the apostles preached, wrote and acted on this Word of God for the sake of the entire world.

 C: Called through our baptism to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, we now send these Bibles, the Word of God in scripture, out to the homes of the families of Bethel Christian School. We pray that the Word of God will bless their homes, families and communities. May these Bibles sow the seeds of God’s love and grace for all of God’s people and grow the kingdom of God.  Amen