Prepare: You are going to play a word game, so you will need several cards with either a noun or a verb on them and one more that says “LOVE.” The number of cards you use depends on how much time you have, but you probably need at least 3 of each plus the “LOVE” card. They should be simple and obvious, like RUN, or DOG.
Worship Station: The worship station can be done without added stuff, but if might be helpful to have paper for everyone to write on, or even better small note cards.
NOTE – I am using this with my congregation as part of our stewardship/giving commitment Sunday, so I will also include that idea, but you can leave out the giving commitment part if it does not line up with what your congregation is doing.
Start with the easy ones, and offer lots of encouragement! Then hold up the LOVE card last.
What do you think of this one? Is love a noun? You can feel love, right? We know when we love someone or when someone loves us, so maybe it is a noun. But, maybe it is a verb, too. Love is something that you do, too! Think about that for a minute. When you love somebody you want to do good things for them. You want to make them feel good, and you want to take care of them. So love is not just a noun, love is something that we do.
In this Bible story that we read today we hear Jesus talking about love because someone asked him a very difficult question. They want to know what the greatest commandment is. I think that they were thinking of the 10 commandments – you know, “have no other gods,” “Honor you parents,” “Don’t kill.” But Jesus, like he so often does, answers the question in a completely different way. Instead of picking one of the 10, he kind of picks them all. He says the most important thing you can do is to love. Love God, love yourself and all the people around you. Remember, love is not just a noun, it is a verb! To love all these people we have to do something! We have to care for them, we should do good things for them, we should work to make them feel good, joyful and safe. That is a difficult thing to do, and I think that Jesus knew that when he said it. Let’s pray for a little help learning how to be more loving.
*Stewardship Emphasis* If you intend to collect pledges you can have baskets out or whatever your custom is. If you are not colleting pledges you can just have people do the prayer work and write down their love commitment.
Ask the people to think for a moment about the person or situation that most upset, angered, frustrated, or otherwise made them unhappy in the past week. Then ask them to turn to the person next to them and just share the one word that they felt in that situation. Nothing more! Not what was happening, not who was involved, just one word about how they felt.
Next have them think about how they could have been more loving in the situation and write that on the paper (if you are using paper). That is their commitment to be more loving this week.
If you are collecting pledges, do that now, and tell them that they are making a double pledge. One to support the church financially in the coming year and the other to be more loving, even in the most difficult times of their daily lives.
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