Tag Archives: Matthew

Children Sermon Pentecost 15A: Matthew 21:23-32

Faith+Open: Gather the children. If they have not heard the gospel story yet, recap it. If they have remind them of what was said along the lines that a father had two children and one said he would do something and didn’t and the other said he wouldn’t but did.

Faith+Share: Say, “Hhhhmmm… this sounds familiar to me! I think I hear this at home a lot from my own two kids. But you know, I can remember times that I have said I would do something for another person and then either forgot or got busy and didn’t do it. One time I told my son that I would help him out by sewing his cub scout badge onto his uniform shirt and then it was time for the meeting and guess what, I hadn’t done it yet. Or another time, I told a friend I would pray for her when I got him but then I just plain forgot. Has this ever happened to you? Where you said you would do something but then didn’t do it?” Take some answers.
“I am thinking that one of the things that Jesus wants us to know is that what we say AND what we do matter. It is another way for us to think about being in service to one another. Once my daughter told me she WAS NOT going to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer and I was pretty tired and didn’t want to fight with her so I sighed and walked away. But then I came upstairs and she had done what I had asked. That meant a lot to me. It was a way for her to help me out in a busy day.”

Now get quiet and whisper and make a deal out of this being a ‘secret surprise”
“Let’s think of some kind of act of service you can do at home for someone you live with. Any ideas?”
Get their ideas and then challenge them to go home and do a mystery act of service for someone in their family.

An extra idea would be to have little “mystery service” cards to hand out to them so they could leave the card wherever they had helped out.

Faith+Prayer: God, help us to remember to talk about you and be in service to others, showing them our love and your love. Amen

Faith+Blessing: God in my head, God in my heart, God on my left, God on my right Amen.

Children Sermon Matthew 20:1-16 14A

Summary: The parable of the labors in the field could be summed up by saying “that’s not fair,” a familiar phrase in households with children. They will understand the idea of something not being fair so we emphasize living in God’s grace means that mercy trumps being fair in the kingdom of God. 

Preparation: a small something to give away (i.e., candy, small crosses, pencils)

Faith+Open: Gather the children with you. Have the line up from oldest to youngest (or tallest to shortest if that is easier. You can also do a just a few kids if you have too many to do it with all of them) and spend some time examining them in this order making sure it’s right.

Faith+Share: “Let’s see here. We have the oldest/tallest here at this end of the line and the youngest/shortest here at this end of the line. I have here these (candy or small crosses or some small giveaway) to give out but who should go first?” If you don’t get kids vying to go first right away then prompt them a bit by asking should oldest go first? Or tallest? Or those who got up her first?, etc.

“Do you have line leaders at school? And what is the line leaders job? So they go first for the day? Hhmmm. Well if this is my line leader then it means the kid at the very end is very last right?” (You may want to have the kids sit at this point, but stay in their line)

“Well we heard/will hear this gospel story from Jesus that there were workers in a field and some worked from the beginning of the day and some didn’t work until the end of the day but they all got paid the same. Do you know what the workers who got their first said? Yep, they said, ‘That’s not Fair!’ we worked longer and harder and we should get more. But they were given what they were promised, it was just the same as what the workers who came later were promised. Have you ever had something be not fair? So we know what it feels like think that we didn’t get treated the same. BUT Jesus tells this story to teach us about GRACE. See the workers who were hired later still had families to bring home food to and the landowner did not want anyone to go hungry so they were all paid the same. Jesus says that God is like this. God gives us what we need and loves us all so much that we don’t get what we deserve, we get GRACE. Jesus said the last will be first and the first last! This might sound unfair to let the last go first but with God we are all included and we are all a part of God’s GRACE and we are all God’s Children.”
“We are going to say a prayer of thanks and then I will hand these out. Can you guess which way I will hand them out? The last shall be first!”

Faith+Prayer: God, you give us grace and love. Thank you for your love for us and for all people. Help us to remember that no matter whether we are first or last we are your children. Amen

~LB

Children’s Sermon Matthew 18:15-20 Pentecost 12A

Faith+Open: Gather children with you and a copy of the 10 commandments with you. Show them what you have and explain what it is.

Faith+ShareI am going to tell you a commandment and I want you to tell me if it’s about loving God or loving people. Read all or some of the commandments and have them respond with God or People. The commandments are there for us to know that loving God and loving people are the most important ways we live together. Now, we may know this is important but let me see… raise your hand if you ever have a disagreement with someone during the day. Think of all the people you see in a day and if you ever have times that you don’t get along…. I can tell you that I am remember that my brother and I argued probably a lot when we were kids. And we would often go and run and tell our mom–how many of you do that? We wanted her to pick one person to be right, but you know, she never really did–even when I KNEW that of course I was right! Instead she wanted us to work out. Do you ever hear those words to ‘work it out’?   Today our Gospel story Jesus tells us how to work things out with other people. It’s not always easy but first we need to tell the person why what they are doing is not okay with us. Then if that doesn’t work we can go get help to work it out. And you know what–we are asked to do this with love. Wow. That’s hard. I remember one time my brother and I had to hold hands while we were arguing, that sure made us want to figure it out quickly! Jesus asks us to work things out and to remember that the other person is a loved child of God just like we are–and Jesus promises to be with us even when we are angry or in a fight with someone else. You can take anytime in your life and Jesus promises to be there with you and with the other person. 

Faith+Prayer: God, we don’t always like everybody. We don’t always get along. Be with us when we argue and help us to remember to love. Thank you for your promise to be with us all of the time. Amen

Faith+Blessing: Make the sign of the cross together and say
God in my head
God in my heart
God on left
God on my right

Make the sign a second time together saying
God in my highs
God in my lows
God with me today
God with me wherever I go

***idea for using the 10 commandments is modified from Worshiping with Children

Extended resources: Worshiping with Children Year A Proper 18 has some excellent ideas and refers to two books that would work well to read for children’s sermon instead of using the 10 commandments.

Children’s Sermon Pentecost 13A: Matthew 18:21-35

Scripture: Matthew 18-21-35

Faith + Open: Welcome the children to children’s time. Begin by asking them how school is going and about their friends.

 Faith + Share(If you have an object that perhaps was damaged by a friend or sibling bring it in to show the children. You can use it to talk about how it reminds you that your relationship with your friend/sibling is more important than the object.) 

Say: “you know one time my friend/sibling broke something that was mine. I really liked this thing and I was so mad when I found out that they broke it! I didn’t want to talk to that person for a really long time. They said that they were sorry, but I didn’t believe them. I even told them back “I forgive you” but I didn’t really mean it. I wanted them to be sad like I was and I even thought about breaking something of theirs! Has that ever happened to you where you were that mad at someone who broke or took something that was yours? Well, even though I felt that way for a while, I began to be sad that I was having fun with my friend anymore. They knew that I was still mad so they did not play with me at school or after school. I wanted to be friends again so I had to really mean the words “I forgive you” and act like a friend again. This is so hard isn’t it?? But have you ever accidently broken a toy of a friend or sibling? Yeah, I have too, you feel really bad don’t you and the only thing you can say is “I’m sorry.” We feel really good when that friend forgives us and still wants to play with us though, right! Right!

God loves us very much and in our Bible story today Jesus says that we are to forgive people over and over to be a good friend and show God’s love to them. God forgives us over and over and over and over….and so we should love our friends and everyone we meet that much too!” (You may need or want to say at this point that if someone is hurting you that you, forgiving them doesn’t mean you have to hang out with them and let them hurt you again.)

When we forgive, we are praying that we want everyone to be the kind of friend who helps each other and not hurt each other. This is very hard and we have to ask God to help us every day! Jesus taught his disciples the Lord’s prayer which talks about forgiveness for this reason! We will mess up, which is why we ask God and our friends to forgive us! God does not want us to be hurt or to hurt anyone so we have to talk to each other to get along! This is why learning the Lord’s Prayer can help us with this.

Faith + Prayer:  Lead the children in a short prayer followed by the Lord’s Prayer:

Dear forgiving God, we thank you that you love and forgive us when we mess up. Please help us to be kind to one another too! Thank you for sending Jesus to show us how to love people. Jesus taught us to pray…Lord’s Prayer

Children’s Sermon Matthew 16:21-28 Pentecost 11A

Follow Me… (not me, Jesus)…

Faith+Open: Before the service enlist a couple of older children who will come up and follow you wherever you go. Think about how they could follow you as you go to the front, etc.
Gather the kids. Have the 2-3 children who are trailing you stick close and walk around a bit.

Introduce the story by saying something like, “Today we are going to hear readings about love and following. Jesus in Matthew tells his disciples to follow him and Paul in Romans is talking about how to love one another…”

Now, ‘notice’ the children following you. Ask, “What are you doing?” Prompt them to respond, “Following you”
“Oh is this kind of following we are to do when we follow Jesus? So you are just going to follow me whatever I do… So if I do this.. (jump, or skip or hop or do some silly things–end with sitting down and having the kids sit with you.”

Faith+Share: How many of you have followed someone or played follow the leader? How about when you are not playing a game, can you think of people that you follow or that follow you? (get answers about teachers, or parents, siblings, etc). When we follow other people we sometimes are trying to be like them. Which if they are teaching us good things about living in the world that is a great thing! What about following Jesus, how do we follow Jesus when we can’t walk right behind him and jump when he jumps?
(get answers)
We can read scripture and stories about Jesus to know how to follow and we can remember that Jesus asked us to follow him with love. We love the people around us and we love those we don’t even know. We love people by being kind, helping them, and praying for them. Is it always easy to do this? Is it easy to love or pray for people that aren’t nice to you or that are difficult? Do you know people at school or in your neighborhood that it might be hard to love? Jesus even wants us to love those people, we don’t have to play with them all the time or hang around them if they are mean but we do follow Jesus by praying for them and by showing that we care about people. This is not always easy but the good news is that Jesus is with us and loves us and all people first so we can follow Jesus.

Faith+Prayer: God, help us to love and care about people. Thank you for your words and your love that we can follow. Amen

Extended: 
1. There is children’s book called Miss Tizzy that is review on Children’s Literature blog. This could be read as the children’s sermon or used in children’s church or another time.
2. Have a simple service project, like filling backpacks with school supplies or baggies with health care items for a local shelter.

Children’s Sermon Matthew 16:13-20 Pentecost 10A

Faith+Open: Gather the children around you and ask them, who am I? Get their answers (if they can only come up with ‘pastor’ or ‘youth director’ or whatever your role may be help them along and name some things that you are (mother/father, son/daughter, fisherman, hiker, etc). How do you know who I am?

Faith+Share: You know who am by things you see me do or by what I tell you or teach you. Give an example–you would know that I like bike riding if you saw me out on my bike enjoying a ride. Or you might know that because I have told you a story about one of my bike rides. How do we know who Jesus is? Gather their answers–help them along if needed.

We know who Jesus is because of the stories we have in scripture, the prayers we say in worship and on our own. The disciples are with Jesus in our gospel today. (If you have time use the book mentioned in the extended activities). They know who he is because they have been following him for awhile now. But there are many people who aren’t sure who Jesus is and Jesus is asking what people are saying about him. Some think he is one of the prophets who lived before him who has come back. Peter says to Jesus that he knows who Jesus is, That he is the messiah, the Son of God. Peter knows this because of what he has seen and because of what Jesus has told him.
We might not live in the time Jesus did but we still know who he is–can you think of some words or names that you have heard to talk about Jesus?

Do you know what else we know because we know who Jesus is? We know who we are! You could say to that you know who I am because I am a child of God and I know who you are because you are a child of God. We all belong to God and we are marked with that blessing in our baptism and in our prayers and in our confessions and when we come to the table–we are a child of God all the time and everywhere. Each and everyone of you is a loved child of God–the most important part of who you are!

Faith+Prayer: God, you love your son Jesus who is our Messiah. Help us remember that we are your loved children so that we always know who we are and who we belong to. Amen

Faith+Blessing: Have children repeat this blessing with you using your hands to make the cross. May you always know you are loved child of God. Invite them to go give that blessing to someone they are sitting with in the congregation.

Extended Idea:  Read Jesus, This Is Your Life: Stories & Pictures by Kids edited by Jeff Kunkel summary found at Children’s Literature: A Resource for Ministry and have children draw their own story of Jesus’ life in their own life. 

Children’s Sermon Pentecost 7A July 31, 2011

Scripture: Matthew 14: 13-21

Faith + Open— Gather children together with you and welcome them. We hear a story today of a time when Jesus was with many people because they wanted to hear what he had to stay. They wanted to hear him so much that they followed him around even when he wanted rest, even when they started to feel hungry and tired they did not stop following Jesus. The disciples wanted to Jesus to send them away so that everyone could go find food for themselves. But Jesus did not want to send them away. He asked the disciples for the 5 loaves of bread and the two fish that they had so he could feed the people.

Faith+Share:  How many of you had bread at meal yesterday or maybe the day before? Bread is an important part of what we eat, just like other foods are too. They are to nourish us. Jesus could make enough bread for everyone—even people who did not have bread to eat or to share. How can we help make sure others have the bread and other food that they need? (use this time to get ideas for how we participate in the kingdom of God by taking care of our neighbor.  Summer can be a great time to remind people of donating to food banks or programs that are feeding kids in the summer when they don’t get school meals. Consider having a food drive for the next couple of weeks)

Show the children the loaf of bread for communion—or a loaf that looks similar. Jesus only had a few of these loaves but the Bible tells us he feed more than 5000 people. Jesus did not send them away at all! What do we use this bread for?

Yes for communion. We do not want to send anyone away either. Jesus helps us to know that all people are welcome to eat with us and all people are a part of God’s kingdom. And before we have communion we pray the Lord’s Prayer and we say, “Give US this day OUR daily bread”. When we say this we are not just praying for ourselves or our own tables but we are praying for all people to have enough of what they need to eat and drink and to live. At communion we remember that this bread is for the forgiveness of our sins and to know that God loves each and everyone of the children.

Faith+Prayer: Jesus, Thank you for the food you give us in bread and thank you for the food you give us in love. Amen

Faith+Blessing: Break off a piece of bread for each child. Say this blessing as you hand it out: “May you always know of God’s love.”

Extended activities:

1.    Practice the Lord’s Prayer and talk more about what WE and OUR mean when we are praying.

2.     Teach the children a new table grace for them to say meals with their families.

3.     Read the story of the Feeding of the 5000 from a children’s Bible.

~Leta Behrens

Children’s Sermon Transfiguration Year A March 6, 2011

Scripture Focus: Primarily Matthew 17:1-9; includes Exodus & 2 Peter readings

Children’s Sermon #1 (Within Worship/shorter version)

Preparation: a short letter that has information about yourself in it written about you by a parent or a friend (write it from the perspective of someone else)

Faith+Open–Welcome children to gather with you.

Say: We just heard three passages from the Bible and they probably sounded very different. But they had at least one thing in common—they told about ways that God is revealed to us. God is revealed to Moses on the mountain, Peter retells the story of Jesus’ baptism when God is revealed in the voice that says “this is my beloved son with whom I am pleased. And our Gospel story tells us about Jesus being as God’s son through his appearance and a voice from heaven. They are stories about some ways that we can know God.

How do can you get to know someone? (encourage responses) We can ask them questions. Like, what is your favorite color or animal. Or what they like to do or eat. Maybe about their family or who they know well? Could my mom or dad or my kids tell you something about me? Sure!

Pick one child to ask a couple of questions to: What is your favorite color? What was the best thing you did this week? You have revealed things about yourself to me.

Faith+Share:  Read the short letter you wrote “from your parent or friend” to the kids about yourself.

Do you now know EVERYTHING about me? do you know more about me? yes!  How do we know about God? (Jesus and the Bible maybe answers, encourage other responses as well like prayer, creation, other people, etc.)

In our gospel story today God tells us to listen to Jesus as Jesus is God’s son. We can learn about God through Jesus. Reading about Jesus in the Bible helps us to know how much God loves us and how God wants us to love others. And then we can tell others about who Jesus is and how much Jesus’ loves everyone! 

Faith+Prayer: God, we know you love us and you know all about us. Thank you for revealing yourself to us. Help us to show others your love. Amen

Children’s Sermon #2 (Children’s worship time/longer version)

Preparation: a short letter that has information about yourself in it written about you by a parent or a friend (write it from the perspective of someone else)

Faith+Open–Welcome children to gather with you.

Say: We just heard three passages from the Bible and they probably sounded very different. But they had at least one thing in common—they told about ways that God is revealed to us. God is revealed to Moses on the mountain, Peter retells the story of Jesus’ baptism when God is revealed in the voice that says “this is my beloved son with whom I am pleased. And our Gospel story tells us about Jesus being as God’s son through his appearance and a voice from heaven. They are stories about some ways that we can know God.

How do can you get to know someone? (encourage responses) We can ask them questions. Like, what is your favorite color or animal. Or what they like to do or eat. Maybe about their family or who they know well? Could my mom or dad or my kids tell you something about me? Sure!

Pick one child to ask a couple of questions to: What is your favorite color? What was the best thing you did this week? You have revealed things about yourself to me.

ACTIVITY: Now put kids in partners or groups of three. Ask them to ‘reveal’ things about themselves to one another. Explain that when they are done they will share one new thing they learned about their partner.

Faith+Share:

Read the short letter you wrote “from your parent or friend” to the kids about yourself.

Do you now know EVERYTHING about me? do you know more about me? yes!  How do we know about God? (Jesus and the Bible maybe answers, encourage other responses as well like prayer, creation, other people, etc.)

In our gospel story today God tells us to listen to Jesus as Jesus is God’s son. We can learn about God through Jesus. Reading about Jesus in the Bible helps us to know how much God loves us and how God wants us to love others. And then we can tell others about who Jesus is and how much Jesus’ loves everyone! 

Faith+Prayer: God, we know you love us and you know all about us. Thank you for revealing yourself to us. Help us to show others your love. Amen

Materials: Children’s Bible, letter about yourself

Written by Brigette Weier

Edited by Leta Behrens

Children’s Sermon Epiphany 8A Feb 27, 2011

Scripture Focus: Matthew 6:24-34

Children’s Sermon #1 (Within Worship/shorter version)

**Invite someone to join you in this children sermon for a bit of ‘acting’ fun. This can be another adult, youth, or even older elementary aged child.

Faith+Open–Welcome children to gather with you.

Person 1: Walk around a bit and wring your hands looking worried.

Oh, I am so worried. I’m just worried about what should I do? Where should I go? Who can help me? I’m… just worried.

Person 2: Hey, what’s going on? Why are you so upset?

Person 1: I am just not sure about… well, I am… well, worried about all the things to do and choose from….and…

Person 2: Oh my, yeah, there can be lots of things that make us worry. (turn to kids) What are things that make you worry? (invite responses)

Person 1: See, seems like worrying is what we need to do!

Faith+Share:

Person 2: Well, I understand, there are worrisome things but we also have this message from God in our Gospel today.

Read from Spark Storybook Bible or version. Below are the words from Spark Storybook Bible

Jesus loved to teach people about how God wants people to live. “God takes care of us!” Jesus said. “Don’t worry about what you are going to eat or what you might wear or when you’ll grow taller. God will take care of these things for you. Look at the birds. Do they worry about what they eat? Of course not! God makes sure they have good. Look at the flowers. Do they worry about what color they are? Of course not! God made them each beautiful in their own way. And God makes you beautiful too. You’re beautiful simply because you are you!”  Then Jesus said, “Listen! There is far more to life than worrying. Worry gets you nowhere—so stop! The one things you need to do is put God first. Trust that God will take care of you!” Spark Storybook Bible, Augsburg Fortress, p. 276

Person 1: Oh, so just worrying probably isn’t helping me. God is promising to be there through all these things that make me worry.

Person 2: Yep, that’s right. God’s love is big and wide and God’s love is always with you. So when you worry—because we all do, we can remember these words from God and promises from Jesus. We can pray and ask for peace and we can think about these words instead of all the worries in our heads and hearts.

***Additional Option: This is a great way to open up the service to include all ages in engaging in giving our worries to God. I so hope someone does this! Tell me about it if you do!

Have kids write or draw their worries on pieces of paper and then tape them to a giant heart shape. After they are on, cover them up with another heart that matches so that they are covered by God’s love. This could be done as part of the children’s sermon time OR they could be given this as a task to do during the regular sermon and then invited up during offering or benediction or at another point in the worship to put their worries on the heart. You could also ask the whole congregation to do this and post them on the heart on their way out.

Faith+Prayer: God, we worry. We worry about__________________ (name some things that were brought up by the children). We pray for all those people who worry about daily food and shelter and clothing. We ask for your love to bring us all peace and quiet our worried hearts. Amen.

Children’s Sermon #2 (Children’s worship time/longer version)

**Invite someone to join you in this children sermon for a bit of ‘acting’ fun. This can be another adult, youth, or even older elementary aged child.

Faith+Open–Welcome children to gather with you.

Person 1: Walk around a bit and wring your hands looking worried.

Oh, I am so worried. I’m just worried about what should I do? Where should I go? Who can help me? I’m… just worried.

Person 2: Hey, what’s going on? Why are you so upset?

Person 1: I am just not sure about… well, I am… well, worried about all the things to do and choose from….and…

Person 2: Oh my, yeah, there can be lots of things that make us worry. (turn to kids) What are things that make you worry? (invite responses)

Person 1: See, seems like worrying is what we need to do!

Faith+Share:

Person 2: Well, I understand, there are worrisome things but we also have this message from God in our Gospel today.

Read from Spark Storybook Bible or version. Below are the words from Spark Storybook Bible

Jesus loved to teach people about how God wants people to live. “God takes care of us!” Jesus said. “Don’t worry about what you are going to eat or what you might wear or when you’ll grow taller. God will take care of these things for you. Look at the birds. Do they worry about what they eat? Of course not! God makes sure they have good. Look at the flowers. Do they worry about what color they are? Of course not! God made them each beautiful in their own way. And God makes you beautiful too. You’re beautiful simply because you are you!”  Then Jesus said, “Listen! There is far more to life than worrying. Worry gets you nowhere—so stop! The one things you need to do is put God first. Trust that God will take care of you!” Spark Storybook Bible, Augsburg Fortress, p. 276

Person 1: Oh, so just worrying probably isn’t helping me. God is promising to be there through all these things that make me worry.

Person 2: Yep, that’s right. God’s love is big and wide and God’s love is always with you. So when you worry—because we all do, we can remember these words from God and promises from Jesus. We can pray and ask for peace and we can think about these words instead of all the worries in our heads and hearts.

***Person 1: That reminds me of another story.

Read: All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil F. Alexander and Ashley Bryan OR He’s Got the Whole world in His Hands by Kadir Nelson. Each of these stories expands on the idea of God providing care and love for the whole world. For a more detailed look at these stories go to Children’s Literature Lectionary Link Feb. 27 

***Additional Option: This is a great way to open up the service to include all ages in engaging in giving our worries to God. I so hope someone does this! Tell me about it if you do!

 Have kids write or draw their worries on pieces of paper and then tape them to a giant heart shape. After they are on, cover them up with another heart that matches so that they are covered by God’s love. This could be done as part of the children’s sermon time OR they could be given this as a task to do during the regular sermon and then invited up during offering or benediction or at another point in the worship to put their worries on the heart. You could also ask the whole congregation to do this and post them on the heart on their way out.

Person 2: What does that story say about how God feels about the people in the world? (invite response) How about how God feels about us? (invite responses)

Sing: He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands  

(click here for a sound link from KIDiddles )

He’s got the whole world in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got my brothers and my sisters in His hands,

He’s got my brothers and my sisters in His hands,

He’s got my brothers and my sisters in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got the sun and the rain in His hands,

He’s got the moon and the stars in His hands,

He’s got the wind and the clouds in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got the rivers and the mountains in His hands,

He’s got the oceans and the seas in His hands,

He’s got you and he’s got me in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got everybody here in His hands,

He’s got everybody there in His hands,

He’s got everybody everywhere in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

Faith+Prayer: God, we worry. We worry about__________________ (name some things that were brought up by the children). We pray for all those people who worry about daily food and shelter and clothing. We ask for your love to bring us all peace and quiet our worried hearts. Amen.

MaterialsSpark Storybook Bible or other children’s Bible, picture books All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil F. Alexander and Ashley Bryan OR He’s Got the Whole world in His Hands by Kadir Nelson if using, paper, big red hearts, tape, music

Children’s Sermon Epiphany 7A February 20, 2011

Scripture Focus: Matthew 5:38-48

Children’s Sermon #1 (Within Worship)

Faith+Open–Welcome children to gather with you.  (Prop: a Valentine or big heart)

We just had Valentine’s day, right? Did you have parties at school or home? Did you get any Valentine’s? Did you give any away? Who do you give valentine’s too? (wait for responses, reacting to giving them to loved ones/people they know). For those of you in school, do you give Valentine’s to everyone in your class?

Faith+Share:  I am wondering about who Jesus would give a Valentine to. I am wondering because we just heard words from the Gospel of Matthew that tell us that Jesus said we should love our family and friends and our neighbors but that we should also love our enemies. What do you think that means?

So Jesus is telling me to love people even when they aren’t nice to me? Or even people that I don’t know? Wow. I think that sounds like a lot of Valentine’s Jesus would give away if he would give one to even the people who didn’t like him or believe him.

It also sounds kind of hard. My little brother used to make me so, so, so so mad that sometimes it was pretty hard to be nice to him or pray for him or give him something like a Valentine. Does that ever happen to you?

The good news is that Jesus does love us all and we can tell others about his love and let our love be a part of that gift from God. One way we can love is to pray for people and to let our hearts be open to know that they are loved by God too.

Option: Sing Jesus Loves Me or Love, Love, Love or other song of God’s love they are familiar with and can sing with you.

Option: Hand out candy hearts or small packs of them.

Faith+Prayer: Jesus, you have taught us who to love and how to share your love by what we say and do. Please be with all people, even those that we may not know or may not be able to call our friends. Help us to feel how big and wide your love is.  Amen.

Children’s Sermon #2 (Children’s worship time)

Faith+Open– Welcome children to gather with you.  (Prop: a Valentine or big heart)

We just had Valentine’s day, right? Did you have parties at school or home? Did you get any Valentine’s? Did you give any away? Who do you give valentine’s too? (wait for responses, reacting to giving them to loved ones/people they know). For those of you in school, do you give Valentine’s to everyone in your class?

Faith+Share:  I am wondering about who Jesus would give a Valentine to. I am wondering because we just heard words from the Gospel of Matthew that tell us that Jesus said we should love our family and friends and our neighbors but that we should also love our enemies. Let’s hear the Gospel (again) for today.

Read Matthew 5:38-48 or part of it. Recommend to read from the Spark Storybook Bible (pg. 274) or other children’s bible. What do you think that means?

So Jesus is telling me to love people even when they aren’t nice to me? Or even people that I don’t know? Wow. I think that sounds like a lot of Valentine’s Jesus would give away if he would give one to even the people who didn’t like him or believe him.

It also sounds kind of hard. My little brother used to make me so, so, so so mad that sometimes it was pretty hard to be nice to him or pray for him or give him something like a Valentine. Does that ever happen to you?

Option: Read Down the Road by Alice Schertle-This book tells a story of a little girl who is worried that because she broke eggs on the way home from the store that she will not be forgiven. Shows the unconditional love of God for us and for all people.

The good news is that Jesus does love us all and we can tell others about his love and let our love be a part of that gift from God. One way we can love is to pray for people and to let our hearts be open to know that they are loved by God too.

Sing Jesus Loves Me or Love, Love, Love or other song of God’s love they are familiar with and can sing with you.

Activity Option: Prep hearts or paper to make hearts. Have kids write them write Matthew 5:44 on their heart and decorate it.

Option: Hand out candy hearts or small packs of them.

Faith+Prayer: Jesus, you have taught us who to love and how to share your love by what we say and do. Please be with all people, even those that we may not know or may not be able to call our friends. Help us to feel how big and wide your love is.  Amen.

Materials: Children’s Bible, Valentine, supplies for activity option (paper, crayons, scissors, markers, words to Matthew 5:44), music or way to sing songs, candy hearts option, picture book Down the Road.