Find a simple and not too long “runner” rug or runner from a wedding.
Then say, “Have you seen carpets like this laid out for people before? Maybe at a wedding, sometimes on tv we see famous people walking on a carpet (usually red) to get inside to the party they are about to attend. These runners, as they are called, are to guide the way for people and are usually to ensure that their clothing doesn’t get dirty or it makes it easier for them to walk. Someone has thought of them, laid out the rug for them, and has prepared for them to come. What do you usually do to prepare for people to come to your house for any reason at all?
In today’s Bible story, we hear of someone named John the Baptist. John was someone who was helping people get ready for Jesus to come to be with them. He didn’t just lay down a rug for Jesus, but he told everyone who would listen about God, Jesus, and how much God wants them to be ready for Jesus and to be a part of Jesus’ work in the world. He wanted people to prepare their hearts, to think about God in their lives and how that changes how they act or what they say. It means thinking of God’s people and God’s world first. John tells us that Jesus comes to help guide us like this rug to love and care for everyone in God’s world. Jesus is a guide who is always with us!
Two options: 1) During worship have people text someone a prayer or a “thinking of you” message. 2) Have a large heart cut out of poster board. Have magazines, ads, etc. on a table for people to cut out “picture prayers” of who or what they are praying for today. If you have a “prayer table” put the heart there so that people can pray for others.