Tag Archives: Time after Pentecost

Children’s Sermon for November 18, 2012, Pentecost 25, year B, Hebrews 10:11-25

Scripture Focus: Hebrews 10:11-25

Prepare: Bring whatever you use to write down (or capture) important information, like your calendar, phone, tablet, etc.

Faith+Open: As the children come forward, ask them if they have ever had to remember something really important. Give the example of needing to know your address or phone number if there is an emergency.

Faith+Share: Sometimes it really helps if you can write something down. Some people write things that are really important on a calendar, or in a notebook (now give your example – I often tell people that they need to see me put it in my phone or it won’t happen.)

Today we hear a reading form a letter called Hebrews. In the middle of that reading God says, “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Wow, it would be pretty hard to forget something if it was in your heart AND written on your mind, don’t you think? That’s a whole lot better than making a note in my (your device here!).

But, when I read this, I thought, oh no! I know that I don’t always do all things that I should do and that sometimes I do things that I should not do! God’s going to write things in my mind that I know I don’t always do! Then I kept reading, listen to this, then God said, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” We are forgiven!

That doesn’t mean we should just sit and enjoy being forgiven, though. The end of the reading tells us that we should go out and encourage one another to love and do good deeds. In other words, you are free from things that you did wrong, so stop worrying about what you did and go out to share God’s love and forgiveness with everyone you meet.

So, let’s do that! On your way back to your seat, find someone and tell them that God loves them and forgives them. You can even make the sign of the cross on their forehead when you do it. Let’s start with all of you! After I bless you head back and bless someone else.

Faith+Blessing: Bless each child with the sign of the cross, saying, “God loves you and forgives your sins.” You can have people help you if you have a large crowd of children.

~GB

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Children’s Sermon for November 11, 2012 – Pentecost 24, year B, Mark 12:38-44

Scripture Focus: Mark 12:38-44

Prepare: Get enough pennies for each child to have 2 pennies.

Faith+Open: As you welcome the children, ask them to think about all the things that they and their household own. Give them a minute to think and then suggest things that they may not have thought of, like the family car, their bed, the washing machine, etc.

Faith+Share: Wow, we have a lot of stuff, don’t we! That makes me feel pretty good, except . . .

Today we hear a story about Jesus people-watching outside the temple. He sees some scribes and talks about how they seem to brag about how good they are. They wear fancy clothes, get the best places to sit, they even show off when they pray! Jesus says, that’s not so good, they shouldn’t be showing off like that.

Then, he sees a widow. A widow was one of the poorest kinds of people in Jesus’ time. Widows are women whose husbands have died. It’s still really sad today, but in Jesus’ time there were laws that made it very difficult for a woman to live without a husband. The widow walked up quietly and put two small coins into the offering (hold up two pennies). The story says that both of her coins together were worth less than one of these pennies. Then Jesus says the craziest thing. He says that the widow gave more than anyone else! Wait, she gave less than a penny, how can that be more than anyone else?

Jesus says that all the other people gave out of their abundance. Or to put it another way, that the other people have lots of stuff, like you and me, and they gave just a very small part of what they had, but the widow put all that she had to live on in the offering, she kept nothing for herself. That would be like you and I bringing all that stuff we talked about to church and putting it in the offering plate . . . which probably wouldn’t work since I’m pretty sure that a washing machine won’t fit in the offering plate.

I brought some more pennies, enough for each of you to have two, so twice as much as the widow had! (pass out the pennies) As you take your two pennies, think about this being all that you have to live on, to buy food, to buy clothes, to pay for shelter. Not much, is it? Today, when we get to offering time, I want you to put one penny in the plate, and keep one penny as a reminder of the story.

Faith+Prayer: Loving God, we thank you for the blessings that you have given us; food to eat, warm places to sleep, and people who love us. Teach us to share the amazing gifts that you have given to us with those who need them. Amen

Faith+Blessing: May the God of abundance give you all you need.

~GB

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November Faith + Home Connection Mark 12: 28-34

Faith + Open: Gather the household members to a comfortable place in the home. Light a candle and open with prayer. For this prayer, have each person gathered offer a word or a phrase of how they have felt God’s presence this day/week. Have everyone say a loud “AMEN” together!

Faith + Share: This month we have two texts that are related. First read Deuteronomy 6: 4-9, then read Mark 12: 28-34.

For Children: Sometimes it feels like we have a lot of rules in our lives, doesn’t it? But Jesus tells people in the Bible that the most important thing to remember-better than any other rules-is to love God with your whole body and love everyone you meet! When do you like to talk to God in your day? How can you show love to the people in your family, neighborhood or school?

For Youth/Adults: Jesus is repeating in Mark 12 the words from Deut. 6. In Judaism Deut. 6 is call the “Shema” which means “to hear.” These verses in Deut. are so important that they are written down and kept in what is called a mezuzah-a small capsule type object that is fixed to doorways in Jewish homes. Mezuzahs are a constant reminder to love God with all of your existence all day long no matter where you are. What helps you to remember to have God first in your daily life? Prayer? Scriptures? How or when do you hear God in your daily life?

Faith + Blessing: Write down the words of Deut. 6: 4-5 on a large piece of paper and put it on your refrigerator or a prominent place in your home. When you pass by this verse take a moment and read it out loud to hear the words of the Shema.

Faith + Live: This month at LCM we will be putting together 50 Thanksgiving meals to show love for our neighbors who may be hungry. Let’s see if we can do more than 50! Look in the Master’s Voice for more information on this important way to love our neighbor! The Confirmation youth will be making 50 cards with words of God’s love and community to go into these baskets.

Faith + Close: Prayer: God creator, Jesus Christ redeemer and Holy Spirit our sustainer, we pray to love you with our whole lives and our whole selves. Focus us on our community and all of your people in the world so that all will hear your voice of love for your creation. Amen.

Children’s Sermon Reformation John 8:31-36

Scripture: John 8:31-36

Preparation: symbols of freedom like: flag, Bible, peace signs, statue of liberty, cross, hymnal (the old red hymnal was a sign of freedom in Namibia, Africa as it was given to them in a time of occupation and war but was used to declare their freedom to have english as a common language when the country gained independence)

Faith+Gather: Gather the children with you and welcome them. Say, “I have some items with me today… let’s see if we can figure out what they have in common” Have items in a bag or hidden and pull them out one at a time. Save Bible and/or cross for last. Ask kids to see if they can come up with their common element. Give them hints like, “What does this symbol mean?”

Faith+Share: After you have explored items for a minute say, “All these things are a little different and they do have different meanings, but one thing they have in common is that they bring to mind the word ‘freedom’. See the flag is a symbol of freedom for our country and the statue of liberty is a symbol of welcome and freedom not only for us in the United States but to those who come from other places. I also have the Bible here that is a different kind of symbol of freedom–this Bible is in English and did you know that a long time the Bible was only written in Greek and then in Latin? So people who didn’t know those languages could not read the Bible. Today we are talking about the day of reformation which is a day we remember a part of the history of our church but also a day that we look forward to how we are always being made new by Jesus. Part of the history of reformation is that a man named Martin Luther thought it was very important for everyone to be able to read the Bible and to teach their children what it says. So he translated the Bible and that is how the Bible is now like a symbol of freedom because it means that we can all read and know the stories of God. I also have a cross here–in today’s gospel Jesus says, ‘The truth will make you free–you all sin and are not perfect and cannot be without sin, but I have come to make you free.’ (paraphrase, you can read the scripture directly). Jesus went to the cross for you and for me and for all people, so this cross is a symbol of that freedom that we have through Jesus. It is freedom to love one another and help one another and tell the stories of the Bible to show God’s love for the world.”

Faith+Prayer: Let’s pray together. Jesus, you make us free. Thank you for your love. Thank you for the Bible which tells us your story. Amen.

Faith+Blessing: Make the sign of the cross and say + May you know God’s love and freedom today and always.

**Additional Idea: You could also do a children’s message that simply explains parts of reformation and how the Bible got translated. You could show many Bibles and talk about how we use scripture all throughout worship. Then use stickers as suggested by Worshipping With Children at this link to have kids find places in the bulletin where there are words from the Bible.

~LB

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Children’s Sermon Pentecost 21 Mark 10:35-45

Children’s Sermon by guest writer Mary Stoneback who serves Ascension Lutheran church in Colorado Springs, CO. Thank you Mary!

(if you would like to submit a children’s sermon please email pastorleta@gmail.com)

Scripture: Mark 10:35-45

Faith+Gather: Gather the children together. Ask, Have you ever asked your parents for something and they said “no?” Maybe you asked for a new bike, a new outfit or maybe a chocolate chip cookie? Was it hard to understand why they said no?

Faith+Share: Today in Mark’s Gospel reading, two of Jesus’ disciples, James and John, asked Jesus for something very big. They asked Jesus to have a special place at Jesus’ right and left side when the disciples think he will be made king, to be his special assistants. What exactly are they asking for? It’s a little different than asking for a bike, an outfit or a cookie.

Well, the Disciples didn’t really know what they were asking for either and Jesus let them know this. In Jesus’ time, the Jewish people were made slaves, living under the rule of a bad Roman king and they desperately wanted to be freed from the meanness they experienced. The prophets in the Old Testament had told people about God’s plan for a new kind of Kingdom, the Messiah’s Kingdom. Jesus was their hope for a new future but it wasn’t the kind of kingdom they expected. Jesus’ kingdom didn’t have thrones and palaces like that of Rome. Instead, it was in the hearts of Jesus’ followers. And that’s not very easy to understand.

Jesus knew that James and John were willing and would experience really hard times because they were His followers but Jesus said, “no” to their request to sit to the right and left of Him when Jesus goes back to heaven because it wasn’t for Jesus to grant that request. Jesus knew what was best for them.

Just like James and John, we don’t have to fear asking God for anything. He hears us when we pray but the answer may not always be yes. God wants to give us what is best for us, not only what we want. Sometimes it may be really hard to hear “no” even if we ask for a cookie right after brushing out teeth but God says “no” sometimes for our own good, even when we don’t always understand why.

Faith+Prayer: Dear God, thank you that we can talk with you like a parent or friend. We can ask you for help, for understanding and for the desires on our hearts. Thank you for listening to our prayers. Help us trust you, even when your answer is “no”.

Amen.

Faith+Blessing: Gracious God (pause) Help us to see you in our lives this week.

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Guest Writer: Mary Stoneback, Ascension Lutheran, Colorado Springs

Children’s Sermon Pentecost 20 Hebrews 4:12-16 and Mark 10:17-31 October 14, 2012

Children’s Sermon by guest writer Molly Sullivan who serves Lord of the Hills Lutheran Church in Centennial, CO. Thank you Molly!

(if you would like to submit a children’s sermon please email pastorleta@gmail.com)

Scripture: Hebrews 4:12-16; Mark 10:17-31

Preparation: Gather a “lovie.” Your favorite toy/stuffed animal/blanket from when you were a kid. You could also use one from your child, or a picture of yours, or just jog your memory and have a good description of yours ready.

Faith + Gather: Ask all God’s children to come have conversation with you. Invite them to sit around you. While they are coming up ask the children if they get allowance? Ask them what chores or duties they perform to receive this allowance? And then ask what they like to do with the money they receive from their allowance. (Allow several children to answer making sure to repeat their answers so the congregation can hear.)

Faith + Share: Our second reading this morning comes from the book in the Bible called Hebrews. This passage has lots of big words but basically tells us that God knows life is hard and he understands just how tough things can be sometimes. It says that God has been where we are in the form of Jesus.

Jesus knows how hard it sometimes is to follow Him. But do any of you know just how hard the Bible says it is? Our gospel text from the book of Mark explains it in an interesting way. Tell me what your “lovie” is. This is usually a stuffed animal, blanket or toy that is your favorite. (Bring yours, or a picture of yours, and show it to them as a prop). We love these things very much, don’t we? For grownups our favorite “lovie” sometime becomes money or “stuff.” People in American culture seem to think that the more stuff we have…the better. I want you to imagine giving away your “lovie,” your favorite blanket, your favorite stuffed animal, or toy. Would that be hard? Imagine someone who has lots of “lovies.” Fancy cars, lots of TV’s in their house, awesome clothes, cool toys, and the latest gadgets, anything you could ever want. Now imagine them giving that all away. That is super hard even to imagine right? The gospel story says entering God’s kingdom is just that hard. He likens it to a rich man giving up everything that is precious to him. Actually it says it is easier for a camel to fit through the hole in a needle. Funny to think about that huh? But you know what? That’s not the end of the story.

After Jesus says how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God the disciples say “Well I don’t think I can do that!” “How do we know who will be with God in eternity?” And guess what Jesus’ response is? If you do these things…meaning the really hard stuff, AND ASK ME TO HELP YOU…Then I will help you. And if you believe in me, that I am God’s Son, you will be blessed. Jesus doesn’t say it will be easy, but He says that by doing them “in His name” God will be with you.

Faith + Prayer: God in Heaven, Thank you for our favorite things. Help us to make your son Jesus one of our favorite things too. Please walk with us this week. We pray in Jesus name (and all God’s children said)…AMEN!

Faith + Blessing: Have the kids repeat: Gracious God (pause) Help us to see you in our lives this week.

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Guest Writer: Molly Sullivan, Lord the Hills ELCA Centennial, CO

Children’s Sermon Mark 10:1-16, Psalm 8 and Genesis 2:18-24 19th Sunday after Pentecost Oct. 7th, 2012 Year B

Scripture: Mark 10:1-16; Psalm 8; and Genesis 2:18-24

Faith + Gather: Invite the children forward to where you gather for children’s sermon. Ask the children about who lives in their house with them. Notice how no two families are the same?

Faith + Share: Say, “Well, all of today’s Bible stories are about God creating the world and families! We read about God creating people, the heavens and the earth and how great God’s creation is and about Jesus being very concerned that people have safe families to live in and how important children are to God. Jesus wants to make sure that everyone is cared for and loved because God loves us so much! It hurts God’s heart when people aren’t nice to each other or don’t take care of one another. We know that sometimes a mommy and daddy no longer live in the same house but we also know that mommy’s and daddy’s love their children very much and take care of them. God takes care of us like a mommy or a daddy and even if we sometimes are sad, or scared or lonely, we can remember that God loves us and puts people in our lives that love us. That can be people in your actual family or it can be people here at church, at school, or in your neighborhood. We have our family members who live in our house, but family can also be anyone who loves and care for us and we love and care for them. Who are some friends that you love and care for?”

Faith + Blessing: Have the children sit or stand in a circle and place a hand on each other’s shoulders. Have them repeat after you to each other: “God cares for you and so do I!”

Faith + Prayer: Dear Jesus, you love all of your children. Thank you for being with us always. Thank you for all the people in my life who love me. Amen

~BW

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Children’s Sermon Aug 19, 2012 Pentecost 12B John 6:51-58

Scripture: John 6:51-58 “Bread of Life Theme”

Preparation:  Print up strips of paper with a Bible verse, suggested to use John 6:51a “I am the bread of life come down from heaven.” Or John 6:35 “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never be hungry and whoever believes in my will never be thirsty.” or you could use a verse that speaks about the word of God or another verse you want the children to know.

Cut these strips a part and put them in baggies with a little candy

Make a plate or basket of healthy foods and a plate or basket of junk food

Faith+Open: Gather the children to you. Show them the two different baskets of food. Say, “What do you notice about these baskets? How are the same? How are they different?” Take answers and lead the discussion in a direction that shows that both baskets offer food, a way to get full or not be hungry. But one basket has food that is good for us, that helps nourish our bodies and give us good, lasting energy. The other basket is food we like as well, but this food is more of a treat food or junk food. It’s not the kind of food that helps us grow and be healthy.

Faith+Share: Say, “Jesus says he is the bread of life. What do you think this means?” Take answers. Say, “Which basket of food do you think Jesus is for us?” (healthy food–but maybe also the sweet food as the word of God be like honey–Ezekiel said that once!) “Jesus says he is the bread of like it’s like saying that Jesus is good food for our minds and our spirits. The words of Jesus are something that we can learn and that will stay with us. The promise of Jesus that he will last, he will be with us all the time and that our basket/plate from God will not run out.”

“Now, Ezekiel was a prophet who once said the word of God tastes like honey on his lips. So a little sweetness is sometimes good as well. I have a baggie here for you with a word from God in and a little sweetness for you as well. (pass out now or pray and pass out). I want you to take this piece of paper home and put it in your Bible or on a mirror or in the car or on the fridge, someplace where you will see it and read it and remember that Jesus promises God’s love and care for you always.”

Faith+Prayer: Jesus, Thank you for food that is good and food that is sweet. Thank you for promising to be like bread for us to help us grow in you. Amen

Faith+Blessing: May your eyes be opened to see all the amazing works of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

~LB
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Children’s Sermon Aug 12, 2012 Pentecost 11B John 6: 35, 41-51

Scripture: John 6:35, 41-51

Preparation: canned food or loaves of bread–or whatever items you are collecting for a food bank or other project. Take your items and ‘hide’ them around the sanctuary where they will be visible from where the children sit, but not too obvious. You are going to play a version of “I Spy” with the kids looking for these items.

Faith+Open: Gather the children up front with you. Say, “Good morning! I am wondering if you can help me find some things. I think there are some items like this one (hold up a sample) hidden around this room. Raise your hand if you can spy anything from where you are.” Take a few minutes and let kids find things. You go get the items as they spy them.

Faith+Share: Say, “Wonderful job! You have found all of them-good thing we won’t be finding pork and beans behind the altar at Christmas! Do you know what these items are for?” Take answers. Then go on to explain what you are collecting the items for and how they can help. One idea for food is to have grocery bags with needed items listed on them to hand out for the kids to take home and bring back next week.

Say, “In our gospel story Jesus says that he is the bread of life and in our reading from Ephesians we are hearing about how we live together as a community, as people who care about one another. When Jesus says he is the bread of life he is talking about how he gives life and love for you and for all people. Bread is food and we need food to live. We also need the word of God and Jesus to live as Christians. We then take what we have and share with others. So we will take this food (or other item) and share with those who need it so that they can know they are loved and cared for by us and by God.”

Faith+Prayer: Jesus, we love you. Thank you for giving us the bread of life. Thank you for giving us gifts to share. We pray for everyone who is hungry or thirsting or lonely or sad. Be with them God as we know you are with us. Amen

Faith+Blessing: May your eyes be opened to see all the amazing works of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

~LB (adapted from original children’s sermon by Pastor Michael Stadtmueller)

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Children’s Sermon August 5th, 2012 Pentecost 10

Scripture Focus: Ephesians 4: 1-16

Preparation: Find a Mr. or Mrs. Potato head with all the pieces.

Faith + Open: gather the children to where they will have room to move around a bit.

Faith + Share: Say “so many of you know what this is! I think we all had one when we were kids (if you did not then share that!). It is fun to put him/her together isn’t it? You can put in the eyes, the hat, arms, legs, nose, mouth. Be putting it together as you speak. What if I put the eyes where the arms go and the arms were the legs go? Would that work? What if your feet were where your ears were!? How silly is that! (make a silly potato person) No our arms and legs are where God wanted them to be so that we could walk and do many things easily.

Paul talks about how all of us together are like one body. Just as legs are very good for walking but not for hearing and arms are great for carrying and hugging but not for seeing, so each of us has something that we are good at that no one else is. What are you good at? Accept all answers. God gave you those special gifts to show God’s love to someone else. While we sometimes wish we could do something that someone else can do like being a fast swimmer or a good drawer, we can be happy about all the things We are good at. That doesn’t mean that we don’t try fun things and draw and swim but we know that we have special gifts from God that no one else does. So when we are bigger that means that some of us may be teachers, or computer people, or writers or doctors or lawyers whatever you want! But does a teacher work in a hospital? No in a school, does a doctor work at a school? No in a hospital. So it matters where we are and how we use our special talents! A doctor in a school would have a harder time teaching math than a teacher and a teacher would have a hard time doing surgery! God makes sure that we are exactly where God wants us to be to show God’s love to the world. God is good!

Faith + Close: Prayer: Wonderful God, we are so glad that none of us are exactly alike! Thank you for our special talents and gifts! We want to use them to love you! Amen

Faith + Blessing: May your eyes be opened to see all the amazing works of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.