Children’s message January 4th, 2015 Christmas 2 Year B John 1: 1-18      

 

ffjChildrenSermonPreparation: Have a nightlight, a flashlight, the candle shape printout (click here to download) and some cross or heart stickers to hand out to each child.

20130822-223520.jpg Have a flashlight and a nightlight handy. Gather the kids around the Christmas tree if you have one in your worship space or around the altar candles (wherever you have light!).

FaithCrossTalk about how wonderful the lights are this time of year when it gets dark so early. “Is it nice to have candles and Christmas trees to add lights to your house? Did you put lights on the outside of your house this year? We love lights don’t we! Ask the children if they have a nightlight or a flashlight in their room. Why do they have that? (Accept all answers.) Yes, no one, not even adults, likes the dark. Why do you think that is? (accept all answers: can’t see, trip over stuff and get hurt, kind of scary to not know what is in the same room with you…etc.) Light makes us feel safe, makes us feel not alone and lets us see what and who is around is. Light is good!”

20130822-223633.jpg Say, “Today’s Bible story has a lot of talk of light. It’s kind of confusing, even for adults, but the writer of the story is telling us that Jesus is the light of the whole world! God sent Jesus to let us know that we are not alone, God is always with us and Jesus’ love shows us all of the people in the world that Jesus wants us to love. God shows us God’s light through Jesus. Jesus is sort of like a nightlight for the whole world. When you look at your nightlight or your flashlight you can remember that Jesus is always with you! He is the light of the world! And do you know what? God says that Jesus’ light shines through us! You can light up someone’s life with God’s love! How can you do that? (Accept all answers) Yes! We can love, help and care for people and be Jesus’ light to them.”

*”If you parents say it’s ok, you can put this cross/heart sticker on your nightlight or flashlight to help remind you of Jesus’ love for you!”

FaithCross_Worship Have a table of tea light candles (electric ones are great too!) and have the congregation light a candle and write a prayer for where they would like Jesus’ light to shine or a thanksgiving for Jesus’ light in their lives. Have a candle shape cutout (link here) for people to write their prayers on. You can have a basket at the base of the Christmas tree or the cross for the prayers to go into. *You can also have people write how they will be the light of Christ to others this week and take their candle piece of paper home. You can also find inexpensive candles for people to write on and take home.

20130822-223749.jpg Jesus you are the light of the world! Help us to share your light with everyone we meet. Thank you for being with us always. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg+Jesus’ light shines in you+

Children’s Sermon Baptism of Our Lord, Mark 1:4-11 January 11, 2015

Preparation: evergreen sprigs that are wet or can be dipped in baptismal font or spray bottles that do a light mist, a candle (if you are doing the worship station you will need several candles and non flammable paint markers or permanent markers)

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children to you and around the baptismal font. Ask for them to tell you what they know about the font and what it is used for.

 

20130822-223633.jpgShare about baptism and how it is done in your setting. Then move on to talk about how water is a gift not just for life and our bodies and for the world but also for how we remember that God has come to us and made us God’s children. Say, “Today we hear in the gospel of Mark about the baptism of Jesus and that we received the same promise from God as God’s loved children. Each time we use water, we can remember this promise! Also in baptism we are given a candle–a light to help us know that we are called to shine God’s light that has been given to us in the world.”

Lead the children in sprinkling the assembly with the evergreens or spray bottles OR simple take this time to squirt them!

 

20130822-223749.jpgJesus–you are God’s beloved son and we are also God’s children. Be with us in water and in light and help us to know and show your love. Amen

 

20130822-223908.jpgUse the baptismal blessing: You are sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever +

 

FaithCross_WorshipLight of the world, Light of Our Lives: As we lit Advent candles in the season of Advent, waiting for Jesus to come, now we celebrate the light of Christ come into our lives. Decorate a white candle and take it home with you as a reminder of your baptism and the light of Christ throughout our next season of faith: Epiphany

 

Children’s Sermon First Sunday of Christmas, Luke 2:22-40, December 28, 2014

Prepare: For the children’s sermon you will need a nativity set plus two more figures to be Simeon and Anna. Set up a table with blank paper doll cut outs and crayons and/or colored pencils for the worship station. You can also just have plain paper and pencils for people to write on in you don’t have time for the paper dolls.

20130822-222604.jpg  Gather the children around the nativity set and ask them to tell you about the figures that they see. Once they have gotten to everyone there, ask them if anyone is missing.

FaithCross Yep, there are the kings, and the shepherds, the angel (or angels!), some animals, Mary and Joseph and the baby. It does seem like everyone is there, doesn’t it? I think, though, that we could add some people to the story.

Today in the Gospel lesson we heard about Simeon and Anna. These two people had been waiting for Jesus for a long time! God had told them that they would see Jesus before they died and they were very old when he was born, but like the shepherds and the kings, they were some of the first people to see Jesus and to know who he was!

Simeon and Anna were waiting and preparing, just like we all did during Advent. They know that Jesus was coming, just like we all knew that Christmas would be here soon. There was a difference, though, because we all knew that Christmas would be December 25th, just like it always it. Simeon and Anna didn’t know when Jesus would be born, they just had to wait and trust that God would fulfill the promise. They heard the good news, and felt the same joy as the shepherds and the kings, so I think we should add them scene, so I brought two more figures to add to this nativity. Let’s put them in place.

20130822-223749.jpg  Faithful God, we thank you for the witness of Simeon and Anna, and their long wait to see Jesus. Be with us when whenever we wait for news, good or bad, in our lives. Give us patience, faith and courage to be faithful followers of Christ. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship Just as we added Simeon and Anna to the nativity set, invite the congregation to add someone of their own to the set. Simeon and Anna were witnesses to God’s promise, and are for us today a witness to faith in God’s good works.  Who in your life has been a faithful witness? Who has been a steady and patient believer in God and in you?

Make a paper doll of that person (or write a little about them) and add them to your nativity set at home!

FaithCross_BlessALT  God’s promises are fulfilled in you!

 

~GB

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

Children’s Sermon Fourth Sunday in Advent, Luke 1:26-38, December 21, 2014

Prepare: You really don’t need anything for the children’s sermon.  For the worship station we are going to make a paper chain with the whole congregation.  So you will need enough 1 inch by 4 inch (2.5 by 10 cm) pieces of paper for everyone to have one, and several rolls of tape.  People will be writing on the paper, so pencils or pens would be good, too!

20130822-223454.jpg  Gather the children and ask them if they have ever done anything scary.  Invite a few responses if you have time.

FaithCross Wow, those are some scary things!  How about this, though, have you ever done something scary that turned out to be a great thing?  Let me give you an example (Please insert your own story!  I will write mine so you get the idea, but please use one of your own.) One time, when I was in college, I was given an assignment that I really didn’t take very seriously.  Part of the assignment was to make a presentation in front of the whole class. Well, I think I am pretty good at talking in front of people, so I decided that I would be fine just going in a talking without really preparing myself, or making any notes. I was wrong! Not only did I get a terrible grade, but the teacher was also really mad at me for not taking the assignment seriously. I really had two choices, I could ignore it and take the bad grade, which would have been the easy thing to do.  Or I could set up a meeting with the teacher, who was a really scary guy, and see if there was any way I could try again.

The first choice, to just ignore it, was easy, mostly because I didn’t have to admit that I did anything wrong. I could just say that the teacher was mean, which everyone agreed was true, and that he didn’t like me. I could just kind of lie about the whole thing.  The second choice was scary because first I had to meet with the mean teacher, and second I had to admit that I had not really tried to do the assignment well.

Well, I met with the teacher, and he was upset about the assignment, but he was pleased that I had taken responsibility. He and I talked for a long time, and he decided to give me a second chance. He and I became friends, and he helped to guide me through the rest of my time at college, and even became one of the biggest influences in my choice to become a musician.

In our Gospel story today, we hear a classic angel phrase, “Don’t be afraid!” The angel is talking to Mary, who is going to be Jesus’ mother! Usually we think about the angel not wanting Mary to be afraid right then, I mean and angel of God appearing right in front of you has to be a little scary! I think the angel’s message is more than that, though. I think the angel is telling Mary to make the scary choice, to go tell Joseph what is happening, to stay with her family and to become Jesus’ mom.  Mary could have tried to run away from the whole situation, like I could have just ignored my bad grade. But the angel tells her to not be afraid, that things will work out and be good! So she does it, and look at the amazing things that happened because she did.

FaithCross_PrayALT   Faithful God, we pray often that you keep us from evil, and we pray also that you keep us safe. Today we also pray for the courage to do things that are difficult, because we know that they are the right and good things to do. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship Paper Chains! Have the congregation make pairs and talk briefly about a scary time in their lives that turned out well, or that ended up bringing good things.

After they have had a chance to talk, each person in the congregation is invited to write about a scary time that turned out well on a piece of paper. Then use the tape to make a chain with all the people in their row, then link to the rows in front and behind until the whole congregation is holding one long paper chain.  Hang the chain in somewhere in the church, even on the Christmas tree, if you have one in the your church!

FaithCross_BlessALT  God gives you comfort and courage.

 

~GB

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

Children’s Sermon Third Sunday in Advent, Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11, December 14, 2014

Prepare: You will need a few mission statements from companies, churches and organizations.  I included a few, but you may want others, too.  For the worship station people will just need paper and pen or pencil.

20130822-223454.jpg  Ask the children if they know what a mission statement is.  You might get a few interesting answers, but see if any of them can really tell you what a mission statement is.

FaithCross Yes, a mission statement is a simple message that tells the world who you are and what you are about.  Here are a few mission statements from companies and organizations that you might know:

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

The ELCA’s mission statement is “Marked with the cross of Christ forever, we are claimed, gathered and sent for the sake of the world.”

The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

You should also include your own churches mission statement!

Ok, so why are we talking about mission statements?  I’ll tell you! I think that this passage from Isaiah might be Jesus’ mission statement.  Here, listen to the first part of it again –

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;

Doesn’t that sound like Jesus?  Jesus even reads that passage in his home synagogue and says, “That’s me!  That is what I came to do!”

That is the Jesus that we prepare for during Advent, the Jesus that will bring good news, bind us up, give us freedom and comfort us, so go get ready!

20130822-223749.jpg   God with us, bring us freedom and release.  Bring us healing and hope.  Bring us light and life and joy. Amen

FaithCross_Worship Advent Mission statement time! You can have the paper in the seats or you can set up a station for people to move to.

Think about how you prepare your own heart for this season.  What do you look forward to?  In what ways are you more generous in Advent and Christmas?  What would it be like to prepare your heart in that way every day?

Write down a few words or sentences that describe how you would like to prepare for every day.  Something that talks about how you would like to treat others, how you would like to see the world, and what you can do to make it better every day.

This is your mission statement.

20130822-223908.jpg  Go and be God’s light in the dark.

 

~GB

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