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+