Prepare: Make two big signs, one that says “faith,” another that says, “trust.” These can be used for both the children’s sermon and for the worship station.
Even better! Make single really big sign/poster with a Venn diagram of faith and trust!
You may also want a dictionary – or you can use these from dictionary.com
As the children gather around ask them if they know the difference between “faith” and “trust. Let them wrestle with that a little bit. Once they have had a few minutes to work on it, tell that in the dictionary (or at least at dictionary.com) the definition of faith includes trust, but the definition of trust does not include faith!
Well isn’t that strange? If you have faith in something that means you also trust it, but if you trust something you might not have faith in it. Maybe one way to think about is that we trust the things that we can see and feel, and we have faith in things that are hard to see and feel.
Well, in the Bible story we hear today, there is a centurion (a Roman soldier) who shows both trust AND faith in who Jesus is and what God can do. He has a servant who is dying and has faith that Jesus can heal the servant, but he also trusts that Jesus is powerful enough that the servant will be healed without Jesus even coming to his house! This amazes even Jesus!
Let’s play a little game with trust and faith. I have these two signs, (or one, whichever you did!) and we are going to come up with some things that we trust, some things that we have faith in, and some things that fit into both! I’ll start – I trust that the building we are in is not going to fall down. I have faith that Jesus is present with us now, and I have trust and faith in God’s everlasting love. Now you try!
(Give them a little space to come up with some ideas)
That was great! Think about trust and faith this week as you meet people and play with friends.
Loving and healing God, thank you for giving us things to put our trust in, like (add some things from the poster!). Thank you for giving us things to have faith in, like (______________). Thank you for being someone we can trust and have faith in! Amen.
Simply invite the congregation to participate in the faith/trust/faith and trust exercise with the children! You can make a big poster that people can come up and write on, or you can have more of an interactive discussion about it with the whole assembly.