“Sometimes we don’t feel well. When we have a cold or have a broken bone, we can’t do all of the things that we want. We don’t feel like ourselves. And as we get older, we don’t feel the same way and can’t do the same physical things as when we were younger. Not many grandmas and grandpas take gymnastics or play soccer. Some do, don’t they but not too many. Have you ever been sick? It’s not fun is it? How do you feel when you are better though? Woo hoo! Right?! You run and jump and play again. When you feel sick, you don’t go to school, do your homework, or your chores (or at least not all of them) but when you are better you actually look forward to going to school, doing your work and your chores don’t you? Doing work and feeling well is better than not doing any work because you can’t.”
“Today in our Bible story, Jesus went to his friend Simon’s house and found that Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever. She wasn’t able to do anything at all but lay around and not feel good. But Jesus made her feel better, it says he “lifted her up.” Now when you don’t feel good and someone lifts you by the hand does that make you feel better? (“Lift” a child by the hand, with permission) Does that change how you feel? No, not necessarily, but when Jesus did it, held her hand, this woman felt much better! So much better that she was able to do things again, things that she wanted to do. Jesus lifted her back to her whole self who could praise God.”
“Now, we know that there are some sicknesses that are not like a cold or a fever and people feel bad for a long time like, months or years.* And we know that sometimes people die from that that kind of long and hard sickness. But God promises that even if we die, Jesus lifts us to be with him forever! (Lift a child by the hand again.) When Jesus lifted the woman and lifts us, he is holding us close to him so that we can be in God’s love and healing forever. This love, kind of sets us free (because Jesus is holding our hand always!) to use our hands to take care of others and let them know that Jesus is holding their hand too.”
Have a map of your town enlarged so that street names are readable and there is lots of room to put notes on it. Have small pieces of paper cut into hand shapes for people to write a prayer for the town, neighborhood, event, street, family, etc. Read these out loud during your corporate prayer time or for the sending.
*Be sure to be aware of any children experiencing death or serious disease in their lives. Young children do not have the distinction between a cold and cancer. Sick is sick. Perhaps spend some time talking about the difference and reassuring them that colds, flu, broken bones, will heal and they will be fine. Be aware too, that young children will not understand that God doesn’t always “heal” in the way that we think God should. We are ultimately healed by Jesus in the kingdom of God, but that is abstract for adults let alone children. Use language that is as concrete as possible. You cannot be too clear!