Tag Archives: Time after Pentecost

Children’s Sermon 4th Sunday After Pentecost (Lec. 11), Luke 7:36-8:3 – June 16, 2013

Prepare:  You will need an empty cookie jar, with crumbs in it would be even better.  If you want to have a cookie or small treat ready at the end that is fine, but not necessary.  Just make sure you think about allergies!

20130520-224945.jpg  As you invite the children to gather, make a big show of the empty cookie jar.  Things like, ”Oh man, where did all my cookies go?”

FaithCross_ConversationALT  I know what you’re thinking.  It’s pretty disappointing to see me come in with an empty cookie jar, isn’t it?  Well, I think that I ate them all.  I didn’t mean to, but I just couldn’t help myself!  Do you forgive me?  Oh, good.

You know, today’s Gospel story is about forgiveness, too, but it’s kind of funny how Jesus talks about it.  In the story there is a woman who has had a bad life, and she has done some bad things so that she could survive and have food to eat.  When the other people see her with Jesus, they tell Jesus that he should leave her alone, that she is not a good person to be seen with.  Instead, Jesus turns to the woman and tells her that all of her sins are forgiven!

Well, that makes the other people a little angry.  They know that she has done bad stuff, most of them think that she has done far worse things than any of them, and they tell Jesus what they think.  Now here’s the funny, or strange part.  Jesus says, “She has done lots of bad things.  When I forgive her she loves me more.  You have done very few bad things, so for you my forgiveness is not such a deal.  But for her, forgiveness is life and love.”

Hmmmm.  So, do you think that means that we should do bad things so that God forgives us, so that we can love God more?  Should I be happy about eating all the cookies because that means I can love you more?  That seems a little backwards, doesn’t it?

I think what Jesus is saying is God love all of us enough to forgive whatever we do wrong, whether it is something big or something small.  We should not be angry about God forgiving other people, because they deserve forgiveness, too.  It also means that we should live like people who are loved and forgiven.  Always doing our best to love each other as God loves us.

FaithCross_PrayALT  Merciful God, thank you for the amazing gift of forgiveness in our lives.  Thank you for the forgiveness that you show to us, and thank you for the ways that we can forgive others.  Teach us to live in your love and to share your love with everyone we meet.  Amen

FaithCross_BlessALT  In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit you are loved by God. (have children repeat this)

~GB

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Children’s Sermon 3rd Sunday After Pentecost (Lec. 10), Luke 7:11-17 – June 9, 2013

Prepare:  The best possible set up for this is to find some “Pied Pipers,” Maybe a group of youth who are willing to follow you first and help call some of the children along.  The idea is to generate excitement about something that has yet to be seen.  You will also need something fun at the other end, like a Martin Luther bobble-head, or a cool poster of Jesus, or a beautiful cross, or . . .  It almost doesn’t matter, as long as it’s something unexpected.  Hide it somewhere so that you can lead the children around for a little while.

20130520-224945.jpg  Start in a different spot than you usually would, and call for the children to follow you.  Make sure that you “Pied Pipers” are ready to get up and encourage the children to come along, too.  When you find the object, be excited about it and show the children what you found as you head the usual spot.

FaithCross_ConversationALT  Well, that wasn’t what I expected to find!  What did you think we were looking for? (take a few answers)  I think that we were a little like the crowd in the Gospel story today.  See, they were following Jesus even though they didn’t know where he was going or what he was planning to do.  They were just following to see what would happen – kind of like you following me!  Now I have to admit that what we found was fun, but it was nothing compared to what Jesus showed them.

The story goes like this, Jesus had just healed a slave that belonged to a Centurion (a Roman soldier) and the people were amazed that Jesus could heal him, and that Jesus would help a Roman soldier!  So they all started to follow him.  Then, as people saw the crowd, more people started to follow, even though they didn’t know what they would see.  When they got to the next town they saw something amazing and unbelievable!  Jesus talked to a widow!  Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, why is that amazing?  Well, a widow is a woman whose husband has died, and when Jesus was teaching widows were worse to talk to than Roman soldiers!  People couldn’t believe that Jesus would talk to her.  To make things worse, Jesus was interrupting a funeral – the widow’s son had also just died.  Jesus, seeing how hard this was for the woman raised her son from the dead!  Now the crowd was blown away by the things they had seen.  So much better than the (whatever your object was) that we found.

I think that this is still true for us today.  We often try to follow Jesus, even though we don’t know where Jesus is leading us.  But, it we do our best to follow, and keep our eyes and ears open, we might hear and see some amazing things!

FaithCross_PrayALT  Amazing God, we do our best to follow you and see the things that you do in the world.  Teach us to rejoice in the work that you do.  Teach us to not just follow you, but to help you do the work that needs to be done.  Amen

FaithCross_BlessALT  In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit you are loved by God. (have children repeat this)

~GB

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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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