*This week in particular in our country and world has been one where we wrestle with human dignity and worth. In light such stories such as the young woman who was raped and who’s worth was declared as less than her male assailant’s worth, this children’s lesson highlights that in God’s kingdom, all are worthy, all are welcome, all have dignity and all are loved. May we all begin to atually live this out in our daily lives. Thank you for using our site and we pray that we are truly partnering with you in your ministry!
As you announce the children to gather, lay out a nice blanket or quilt for them to sit on, maybe have some comfy cushions, or other hospitality items. Even little packages of safe, non-allergenic snacks would be fun! As they gather, ask them if they are comfortable, what they need, welcome them whole heartedly. Go over the top! Have other adults help you if you have a lot of children.
(Depending on what the adult sermon for this week is focusing on you may want to read the Luke 7 from the Spark Storybook Bible on page 354.) Ask, “Did you feel special when you came forward and we had a nice place for you to sit, snacks, etc.? It’s nice to feel special! Did you do anything to deserve this special treatment? Nope! All you did was show up! That was enough! When you have friends or family visiting how do you make them feel welcome? (Accept all answers) Yes, we do special things for people just because we love them!
In our story this morning, there is a woman who knew that Jesus was all about love and she wanted Jesus to know that she loved him too. A long time ago in Jesus’ time, you only wore sandals or no shoes at all and your feet became very dirty. When you went to someone’s house for dinner or a special occasion, often someone would wash your feet. Jesus was at a friend’s house for dinner but the friend didn’t wash his feet, so this woman began to wash them with her tears of joy for Jesus and then put wonderfully smelling perfume on his feet. The guests were shocked by this woman’s behavior because she wasn’t invited to the party! But Jesus welcomes everyone and wants everyone to know that they matter to God. God sees us all as special, no matter what we say or do, nothing can change that. God wants us to see everyone around us as special and deserving fancy treatment such as what we did this morning for you! If you see someone who needs help what should you do? What if someone is mean to you? Or is kinda different or seems weird? How should we treat them? What if someone makes a mistake with us? What if it’s a big mistake? Should we forgive them like God would? Yes! We treat people how God treats us always! With love, respect, joy and honor!!! We are all special to God!! God gives us big love and so we give big love to each other!!
Have two change jars sitting on a table. Make copies of a clip art of a coin-have the coin the size of a quarter sheet of paper. Invite people to write on the coin mistakes they have made with other people that week. They can write as many as they want. Have them place it in the “coin” jar. In another jar have it full of red paper hearts that say, “You are loved by God no matter what.” They are invited to take that heart as a reminder that Jesus takes our mistakes and offers us nothing but love in return. Have this sign on the table: “Take a “coin” sheet (as many as you would like) and write the mistakes that you have made with other people this on the sheets. Place those “coins” in the “coin” jar. Take a heart out of the other jar. Take it home as a reminder that no matter what mistakes you have made, Jesus offers you unconditional love and forgiveness every single day. You are a beloved, worthy and special child of God now and forever.”
(You can pray this with the children or print it on the hearts for the worship station as well.) Jesus, you declare that all people are worthy of love, dignity and forgiveness. We attempt to live our lives showing and proclaiming this truth so that no one is lonely, hurt, sad, or feels worthless. Give us courage to welcome all people, even those who aren’t like us, into our homes, our neighborhoods, our church, and our hearts. Amen.