Gather children to you. Who has ever played follow the leader? Yeah, it is a good game where one person leads others around and they follow the actions of the lead person. Which is easier for you, to be the leader or the follower?
I have a different kind of following game to try. Who will try this with me? (get a volunteer) We are going to sit (or stand) facing each other with our palms in the air. Now I am going to do some simple actions with my hands and _____ (name) is going to try to follow me.
How about you try–turn to someone sitting next to you have try out being the other person’s mirror (if you do not have time for this, encourage them to try this out during an open worship time, communion or after worship or at home) Which was easier to do? How did it feel to lead? How did it feel to follow?
We just read about Jesus telling his disciples, his friends, to follow him. They are worried because some people do not like them, a whole village in fact has sent all of them away. And they are worried because Jesus wants them to leave their family and homes and friends behind and follow him. Just like following the leader can be difficult in our little game, following Jesus may not always be easy. Sometimes people don’t like us, sometimes people are afraid of us, sometimes we are not sure what exactly we should do as followers of Jesus. When it’s difficult or we are unsure, we can remember that following Jesus starts with love. When the followers got messed up I noticed some giggling and then the leaders tried again. This happened in the game because we knew we were playing and we care about the people around us. Following Jesus begins with knowing that we can care about others and that we are first and foremost loved by God and then sent to share that love.
God in my heart
God on my left