Children’s Sermon Lent 3A Psalm 95 March 19, 2017

Lent Psalms Children Sermon Series: This is the first in a series of children’s sermons on the Psalms for Lent. For children’s sermons on the gospels you can see Year A 2014

Preparation: Sandbox toys and sand if you are brave

Gather the children with you. I brought with me today some sandbox toys–how many of you like to play in the sand? Yes, it  is a lot of fun! What can you do in the sand? Take Answers. Then ask, what other ways do you like to play?

The Psalm for today is Psalm 95
Use the version from the book Psalms for Young Children by Marie-Helene Delval  that reads:
Let’s shout out loud with joy to God!
Because God is a really big God.
God can hold the world in God’s hands, the deep caves, the mountaintops, the blue seas–and you and me too!

I like this psalm because it is a playful psalm! It tells us how much God loves to play and create and I love to play and create too! Let’s say this psalm together with hands showing the joy of praising God who creates sand and rocks and sun and water and all the things we love to play and create with.

For our prayer, let’s praise God with this psalm together:
Say the psalm together line by line repeating. Use sign language or hand actions. Suggestions are in parenthesis below:

Let’s shout out loud with joy to God! (cup hands to mouth and then lift them high in the air)
Because God is a really big God.  (show really wide big arms)
God can hold the world in God’s hands, (make a circle and put hands out at end)  the deep caves, (hands over eyes looking into a cave) the mountaintops, (hand overhead and clasp together)  the blue seas (make wave motions with hands)–and you and me too! (point out for you and in to yourself for me) AMEN! 

God has made you and formed you with all of creation and you are God’s

 

Reformed Worship has a wonderful series of Prayer stations on the Psalms for Lent. Go their website and look for Week 3 on Psalm 95

Children’s Sermon Lent 2A Psalm 121 March 12, 2017

Lent Psalms Children Sermon Series: This is the first in a series of children’s sermons on the Psalms for Lent. For children’s sermons on the gospels you can see Year A 2014

Preparation: A map (you need this), compass, boots, other hiking or travel supplies for effect. Also have a cross or stone or something to symbolize how you can feel God with you. If you can, have enough to hand out to the children (or everyone!)

Gather the children with you. Have your travel items with you and ask, what does it look like I am about to do? Yes, I am going on a trip. I think I will go hiking (or wherever you want to say).And what do you think I need to go on this trip? Take answers and show the items you have with you. I know that I need a map for new places especially!

The Psalm for today is Psalm 121. (If you did not read in worship, then read a part of it here. Include verse 18)

When I go on my trip, I am going to be going to new places, seeing new people, maybe even trying new foods or new experiences. Do you like to try new things? I do too and sometimes it is scary too! Just like this map will help me get where I need to go, this psalm reminds me that God promises to be with me and to keep my going out and coming in. What do you think that means? Yes, it means that God will be with me on all the ups and downs of my trip and also of my life. I like to carry this cross in my pocket when I travel because it reminds me every time I feel it that God has me all the time. (If you can hand out crosses or a small item that is a nice touch!)

God, thank you for being a compass and a map for us. You promise to go with us and we thank you. Continue to keep our going out and coming in on all of our trips and throughout our life. Amen

God is your strength and will keep your going out and coming in always.

 

Reformed Worship has a wonderful series of Prayer stations on the Psalms for Lent. Go their website and look for Week 2 on Psalm 121

Children’s Sermons Lent 1A Psalm 32

Lent Psalms Children Sermon Series: This is the first in a series of children’s sermons on the Psalms for Lent. For children’s sermons on the gospels you can see Year A 2014

Preparation: A blanket or an item that is a comfort item either for you or someone
you know.

Gather the children with you and be holding your comfort item. Ask them if they have anything that they like to sleep with at night? I brought with me my (or whomever it is) blanket/item too. Tell them about this item.

Alternative or Addition–if your congregation does a prayer shawl ministry or quilt ministry, have one of those with you and tell a little bit about that ministry

Psalm 32: 5-7 If you did not read this in worship, read it now. OR use the children’s version from the book Psalms for Young Children by Marie-Helene Delval  that reads:

When I do something wrong, I tell you about it, God. And when you forgive me, I feel calm again.

My blanket makes me feel calm because when I hold it, I think of God being with me all the time just like I want this blanket with me all the time.  and the prayer shawls that we give out offer a sense of God’s presence to those who are hurting or sick or need to feel God’s love with them. And that love God promises to give us over and over again.

If you have prayer shawls or quilts do a blessing of them with this prayer time. If not simply pray for those who need comfort.  Gracious God, thank you for your presence with us always. Bless these blankets made for all those who need to feel your love wrapped around them. Help us remember that you are with us when we need comfort and peace. Amen

Reformed Worship has a wonderful series of Prayer stations on the Psalms for Lent. Go their website and look for Week 1 on Psalm 32

 

Children’s Sermon – 7th Sunday after Epiphany – Matthew 5:38-48

Prepare: The only thing you need is someone who is willing to let you hold their arms down.  It could be a child, youth or adult, but they need to be willing to play along (and not freaked out by having their arms held down!),

 Invite the children to gather as you normally do, but once they are all there make a grumpy face.  Kind of go back and forth between normal and grumpy a few times and see if you can get one of the kids to ask what you are doing.

 Yeah . . . I’m practicing my grumpy face.  See, I was reading the Gospel today and Jesus is talking about how we should love our enemies.  Jesus actually says that we should love people who  want to be mean to us and it made me grumpy!  Then I noticed something a little strange, my face got really tired of being grumpy.  I took a lot of effort to stay grumpy, like way more work than just being happy and content with the world.  But here’s the worst part – after I worked on being grumpy for a while, I noticed that it got easier.  So I started thinking about being grumpy, and it’s a lot of work to being with – harder than being happy or loving, but if you work at if for a while it gets easy and might even be a habit!

Let me show you what I mean, I need a volunteer (this would be where you need to have someone who’s arms you can hold down.  Alternatively, you could have the person use a door frame or even just the wall if that is a better option for you.) OK, this person here is going to work really, really hard at lifting her arms up to the side, and I am going to hold her arms in place.  (Hold the volunteers arms to their sides, or have them push out on a door frame).  Push really hard!  We are going to work at this for about 30 seconds.  Then, when I say so, I want you to just let your arms hang at your side. (If they do this right, their arms will *float* up away from their side because the muscles are now used to pushing out and up!)

See, first she tried really hard, and now it’s just a habit for her muscles to want to lift her arms!  So, if you practice being grumpy, like I was doing, eventually that is just what you act like all the time!  Jesus wants us to love our enemies because all people deserve love, even if we don’t like them.  And if we work hard at being loving then that becomes a habit, too!

 Jesus loves you even when you feel grumpy!

 Good and loving God, we know that we are called to love everyone, but it just so hard! Fill us with your love and give us the strength to share that love even with people who are hard to love. Amen

 For the worship station, simply invite people to repeat the arm experiment for themselves.  Give a little space for people to talk, reflect and giggle at the silly ways our bodies do things.

Children’s Sermon, 4th Sunday after Epiphany – Matthew 5:1-12

Prepare: You really don’t need anything for the children’s sermon, but if you want to have something (I find it works better to have something to show), find something that says “hope” on it.

 As the children gather, invite them to talk about what they hope for.  Give them a little time to think, and a little space to enjoy being hopeful.

  Those are fun things to hope for!  I wanted to think about hope today because I hear “hope” in the Gospel today.  The Gospel story that we hear today is often called the Beatitudes.  There are whole books written about this little story in the Bible. People wondering who Jesus was talking about and why.  People wanting to point out who is on each side of the sayings – these people are poor, so Jesus must be talking about them.  Or, when I’m sad I know that I am one who is mourning.

I hear many of those things in this story, too! But I also hear a message of hope.  At different times in my life I think that I have been on both sides of all of these sayings.  I have been merciful, but I have been mean, too.  I have been poor, and I’ve had more than I needed. I have been happy and sad.  I have been put down because of what I believe, and I have put others down for what they believe. When I think about it like that I start to see this a little differently.

No matter who you are, no matter what is going on, there is always room for hope.  Hope doesn’t always mean that you are going to get what you want – hope is more like a sparkling of something that keeps you going. Jesus gives us hope that when we feel like we are at the bottom – under a pile of worry and sadness, we can still rise up out of it.

 God of hope, be with us when everything seems to be going wrong. Give us hope to see a better way forward.  Joyful God, be with us when everything seems to be going right and help us remember your love for the times when we need hope the most. Amen.

 Jesus loves you in the good times and in the bad times.

  What do you really hope for?  Ask the congregation this question and offer a chance to put into prayer.  One way to do this is to have paper handy for everyone, invite them to write their hopes on the paper, then collect it and read it as part of the prayers of the church.

You could also form prayer circles if you have room and time!  Have people gather in groups of 4 to 8 (no more than that!) and offer hopes within the small group.

Let us walk with you on the journey of faith. Whether your feet are big or small, fresh or worn, running or crawling, God's love goes with you and you stand on holy ground.