Children’s Sermon March 3rd, 2013 Luke 13:1-9 Third Sunday in Lent Year C

FaithCross_ConnectALT Have a plant or a little tree for this children’s sermon. You may also want a picture of a fig tree to show the children. Gather the children (and the young at heart!) to a spot where all can see the plant.

FaithCross_BibleALT Show the children the plant and say, “I have this plant here that I have had for some time. When I first got it, it was small. So I watered it and gave it some plant food. What do you think happened when I watered it and fed it? (Accept all answers) Yes, it got bigger! This plant maybe wont grow to be too big but have you ever seen a big tree like an apple tree or a orange tree? They started out small as well and then with love and care grew to be quite large. And those kinds of trees when they reach a certain age, if they have been cared for, will grow fruit to be shared with people and animals.

   In part of our Bible story today Jesus talks about a  fig tree (show the picture if you have it) that is cared for by a gardener. It doesn’t give fruit yet and the gardener tells the owner of the tree to be patient and give it more time. The gardener wants to give the tree a little more love and care and time. God is like that gardener for us. God gives us people like our moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas and all kinds of loving adults to take care of us. We grow in that love and care don’t we? Now we don’t grow apples or oranges like trees to share with people but we do have love to share with friends and our family. Do we have to wait to be a certain size or age to share God’s love? NO! We can do that no matter how old we are! What are some ways that we can share love with others? (Accept all answers) We can pray with people, open up our church to those who need a place to sleep, give people food to eat, blankets to be warm (list off ministries that your congregation participates in).

FaithCross_PrayALT Dear God, thank you for loving us and caring for us. No matter how big we are or how old we are we will share your love with the world. In Jesus name, amen.

FaithCross_BlessALT Make the sign of the cross on one another and say, May you grow in God’s love and care. 

Children’s Sermon 2nd Sunday of Lent Feb. 24th Luke 13: 31-35

FaithCross_BibleALTThis story is a difficult one and is not in most children’s Bibles. I would recommend paraphrasing and making the point of that the Pharisees warn Jesus to leave as Herod wants to hurt him but Jesus refuses to leave. Jesus wants to stay and be with the people and protect them. Jesus stays with us always and through Jesus we are all connected to one another. This is the main point of our children’s time for this text.

FaithCross_ConversationALT Have a large ball of string or yarn handy. Ask: Have you ever been somewhere like on vacation or visiting grandma or grandpa and you didn’t want to leave? You wanted to stay with the friends or family that you were visiting? Or have you gone to a really good friend’s house and didn’t want to go because you like being with that person so much? Well in our story today Jesus is told that he should leave town because the king Herod wants to hurt him. But Jesus says no to them. He says that he will stay right there in Jerusalem. Why do you think that Jesus would stay in a place where he might get hurt? (Accept all answers) Jesus stays in Jerusalem because in that city are people that God loves very much and Jesus would rather be with those people and be hurt than not be hurt and be away from them. Jesus wants to be with us-all of us-and will stay with us NO MATTER WHAT!

            Jesus is always with you! Now Jesus tells the people at the end of our Bible story today “You will not see me again until you say ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of The Lord.” What do you think that might mean? (Accept all answers) Those are all good ideas! Could it mean that we are sent by God to show God’s love to all of the people in our day? I think it might!  Because of Jesus love for us we are to show that love to other people. And that love connects us all to God and to one another. It’s a connection that we can’t really see but it may be something like this. Unroll the ball of yarn and give an end to a child and then have each child hold on to a piece of the yarn. Let the yarn weave in and out of the group. They do not have to be in a circle. Depending on the size of your congregation and how much yarn you have, pass the ball of yarn around your worship space to connect the adults and children together as well!

Look at all of the people in this room that you are connected to! People of all ages, from lots of different places and with lots of different ideas. How wonderful is that! God connects you to a group of people who love and care for one another! What are some ways that we can show friends at school or in our neighborhood that we are all connected by God’s love? Can we share what we have? Can we talk to a new person at school or sit with someone who is lonely at lunch? Can we shovel the sidewalk for a neighbor or read a book to a younger brother or sister? Yes those are all great ways to show God’s love!

FaithCross_PrayALTWhile we are all connected with this yarn let’s pray: Dear Jesus, thank you for being with us all the time. Thank you for loving us all and send us to show love to all of our family members, friends, and eve those we don’t know. Hold us in your loving arms, amen.

FaithCross_BlessALTMake the sign of the cross on each child and say “You are a blessing to God’s world.” 

Faith + Home Connection March John13: 1-17, 31b-35

FaithCross_BibleALTGather the household to a spot where are all comfortable. Maybe the dinner table, the family room or a child’s room. Read the story of John 13: 1-17, 31b-35, “Jesus washes the disciples’ feet” from a favorite early reader Bible or children’s Bible.  This Bible story is traditional read at Maundy Thursday worship services. Have a bowl of water, a wash rag and a towel handy.

FaithCross_ConversationALT As you read or tell the story take the time to stop and wash the hands of those in your home. In Jesus’ time feet would get dirty as one went about one’s day. In our culture and time hands are far more likely to be dirty and need washing. Use a favorite scented soap. After you have washed each other’s hands and finished the story talk about the points below or add your own thoughts!

For children: We take care of things that are very important to us. We clean our toys if they get dirty, clean our rooms, our clothes, shoes, etc. Jesus washes the disciples feet, does Jesus think that the disciples are important to God? Jesus says to love one another as Jesus has loved us. Jesus cares for us and takes care of us-how should we treat our friends, families and neighbors? How can we show people that we love them like God loves them? Can we give food to people who are hungry? Can we talk to someone who is sitting by themselves at lunch? Can we share with our friends or siblings?

For youth and adults: Sometimes it’s difficult to talk about the importance of God in our lives. Even as a pastor I find this not always easy! But Jesus says in verse 35 that people will know where are hearts are, with God, by how we treat other people and how we talk to others. Clearly our actions can be louder than our words. But how could we talk about our faith in a non-threatening and natural way? An idea could be to just say, “when I was talking to a friend at my church yesterday….” or “it was so fun and meaningful how my church collected 100 toothbrushes for children in need….” or just be excited about whatever your church community is doing! Practice it now and then talk to friends and neighbors and invite them to Holy Week or Easter worship!* 

FaithCross_PrayALTCleansing God, we are so grateful that you wash us with your care and love. We pray to be this same love in our church, families and community.  Send us to the ones who need to be shown your love. In the name of your Son who showed us your love, amen.

 FaithCross_BlessALT Make the sign of the cross after everyone’s hands have been washed : You are loved and have been made clean.

 FaithCross_ConnectALT Lent is a natural time to reach out to the neighborhood around us. To connect your Maundy Thursday worship with loving one another and Jesus instituting Holy Communion have worshipers bring a non-perishable food item for a local food bank or pantry. As you celebrate Holy Communion and Christ’s presence in this service, bless the food that will nourish the bodies of those in need. Thank you for showing God’s love to others!

*Lutheran Church of the Master in Lakewood, CO is currently focusing on invitation to the neighborhood. Visit for more info.

First Sunday in Lent, February 17th, 2013 Luke 4: 1-13

ffjChildrenSermonPreparation: Have enough really fun candy for each child.

FaithCross_BibleALT Invite the children to come together in your usual space. Tell them the story of Luke 4-The Temptation of Jesus either in your own words or from a children’s Bible. Be sure to emphasize that Jesus repeatedly focuses on God as the center of his life.

FaithCross_ConversationALT Show the kids the pictures of the fun items or the real things. Say to them, “I have some really fun things here this morning. Do you see anything that you like? Well, I will give you this (ipod, xbox, candy etc.) if you promise to do something for me every time I see you from now on. If I need my driveway shoveled, you have to do it because I gave you this toy. If the church needs cleaned you will have to do it because you agreed to take this toy from me. Is that ok? Do you still want ….?(Accept all answers. This might get tricky as someone will most definitely decide that it is a good trade! Just go with both sides.)

Well, some of you think it’s a good trade and some of you don’t. Hmmmm…..well when Jesus was offered to be an earthly king (which is a pretty good deal) and some great tasting food by the devil, he knew that is was not a good trade. You know why? Then the devil would be able to have Jesus do whatever the devil wanted! Jesus knew that he would owe the devil something forever if he took those things from him. And here is what Jesus also knew: God gives us all kinds of good things not to get us to do stuff for God but just because God loves us all very much. Now God may not give us all the toys we want or all the candy we want but God does give us all of the love that we need-our friends, our moms and dads and families-but most of all Jesus. God sent Jesus to make sure that we know God’s love all of the time.

So to remind each of you of that love I will give you each a piece of candy and you won’t have to do anything for it.

FaithCross_PrayALTLet’s pray: Dear loving God, you are with us always and give your love freely to us. Thank you for loving us no matter what. Help us to share that love with our friends and family. Amen

FaithCross_BlessALT Make the sign of the cross on each other’s foreheads or hands and say: God’s love is free. 

Children’s Sermon Transfiguration of Our Lord, Luke 9:28-36

ffjChildrenSermonPrepare:  Bring some kind of party decoration, preferably something that marks a change in your life, like a graduation, marriage, retirement, etc.  Note that you will need to modify parts of this children’s sermon to fit your party and your experience.

Faith+Open:  Have your party item out and easy to see as you gather the children together.  Ask the children if they have ever been to a party, be ready to hear a few stories and move on.

Faith+Share:  Wow, those sound like some great parties!  I wanted to tell you a little about a party that I was at once.  (Here is where you will need to think about your own situation.  I will write what I would say.)  This says ”Congrats Grad!”  What do you think it’s from?  Right, a graduation!  I was thinking about my college graduation and all the fun I had celebrating that day.  That party was celebrating more than a single event, the graduation itself, but also all that had come before and all that lay ahead.  See, you can only get to a college graduation by staying in school and working really hard, so it’s fun to celebrate all that work that was put in.  Even more, though, a college graduation celebrates all the possibilities that are to come!  Graduating from college was great fun, too.  We had parties, and I got to spend time with my family and some good friends, I even got some gifts, and everybody likes gifts!  I didn’t want all that fun to end.

In our Gospel story today Jesus takes Peter, John and James to an amazing event.  We call the Transfiguration.  Peter, John and James see Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah.  They see their friend and teaching in a dazzling new way, and they don’t want to leave that place or that moment.  They want to stay right there, they even offer to build houses to live so they never have to leave.  They even hear the voice of God claim Jesus as God’s Son!  But they can’t stay there.  Just like I had to move on from the fun of graduation, they have to go back to their lives, back to the ministry that they are part of with Jesus.

So, kind of like a graduation, Jesus transfiguration marks a moment of change.  Jesus is claimed by God and is ready to start the next part of his life.  Peter, John and James see Jesus in a new way, and as much as they want to stay in that moment they have to move on, but they move on with a new way of understanding Jesus, and a new excitement about the things to come.  This Sunday, for us, marks the beginning of the journey toward Easter, and we, too, should move forward with excitement!

Faith+Prayer: Ever changing and amazing God, we thank you for the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain, and for the turning points in our own lives.  Help us to celebrate these turning points and to move forward with our lives with excitement and joy.  Amen.

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


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