Tag Archives: Easter

What is Love? – John 13:31-35 April 24, 2016

Prepare: Get a large piece of poster board or a big piece of banner paper and write on it (it can be fancy!) “What is Love?”

20130822-223315.jpg Ask the children to start naming things that they love.  You are kind of looking for one of them to say something like, “my Xbox!” When you get a few of those objects use that as a segue to ask, “What is love?”

20130822-223633.jpg In the story today, Jesus tells his disciples that people will know who they are because they love each other. Every time I read this story it gets a little more difficult for me to understand because “Love” is such a difficult word! We had a whole list of things that people love, from our parents to toys! How can one word describe how we feel about such different things?

Even more than that, Love is more than liking something or someone. For example, I can love someone but be really angry with them at the same time. Stranger still? Sometime I find that I am upset with people BECAUSE I love them! If I didn’t love them I wouldn’t really care what they were doing, and I wouldn’t be upset.

So, today, let’s make a list of what it means to Love someone. Ready? Go!

(make the list on your board or banner)

Wow! What a list! Think about how you show your love this week, and think about some of the things on this list.

20130822-223908.jpg Jesus loves you!

20130822-223749.jpg Loving God, be with us as we work to be loving disciples. Help us to love each other even when we don’t really want to, and grant us your forgiveness when we don’t love the way we should. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship For the worship station – Make the “What is Love?” list an all congregation project.  Either as a prayer station or as a group activity where you write items on the list as people say the,

Unbelievable – John 10:22-30, April 17, 2016

Prepare: You will need a pencil and (if possible!) a diamond, or a picture of a diamond. The diamond can be an engagement ring, or in an earring, etc. It doesn’t need to be loose or even big.  The idea is to show the difference between the two.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children as you normally do, and as they gather, ask them to tell you the name of someone whom they trust. Could be a parent, a teacher, a coach, sibling, etc.  Just get them thinking about people they trust.

20130822-223633.jpgJesus talks a little bit about trust in today’s Gospel reading. He is being questioned by some people who really want to know who he is. They just want Jesus to tell them who he is! Jesus says, “I already told you, you just don’t trust me.” Well, really the word Jesus uses is “believe.” They don’t believe, even though they have heard the truth.

That got me thinking – Jesus, to them, just looks like a traveler, or at best a carpenter. There is nothing fancy about him. He doesn’t have fancy robes that make him look like a king, he doesn’t boss people around like he is in control of them. He doesn’t ACT like God!  . . . but, sometimes he does.  They were all just really confused.

So, to help think about this in a different way, I brought a couple of things – a pencil and a diamond ring (or a picture of one, whichever you can manage!). Two very different things, right? This one you can write or draw with, and this one is, well, a diamond ring!  But, at their heart they are the same thing. Both the diamond ring and pencil are special because the thing at the very center – and that thing is something called carbon. The black part at the middle of the pencil is made mostly of something called graphite (there are other things in there, too, but it’s mostly graphite). Graphite is made out of carbon.  The center of the ring is a diamond, and diamonds are carbon crystals.

So, both of these things, the pencil and the diamond ring, have carbon at the center. The pencil is a simple tool, something that we use everyday. The diamond is something special that we display because it is beautiful. (If you happen to have an engagement ring you can talk about why that particular diamond is special!) Even though they seem very different on the surface, at their heart they are the same stuff.

Back to Jesus! To the people standing around him he looks ordinary, like the carbon graphite in a pencil. But his disciples know that he is something really special, like a diamond. And just like the carbon, Jesus can be both!

 

FaithCross_BlessALT

Christ is Risen!

Christ is Risen, Indeed!

Alleluia!

FaithCross_PrayALTLoving God, you are the very thing that we need everyday. We rely on your love and mercy day in and day out. We give you thanks that you can be so close to us in our ordinary lives, and we praise the special treasure that is your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

FaithCross_WorshipWhat is something that you take for granted?

Have you congregation think about things that are “everyday” tools, or “everyday” staples in their lives. Create a space where people can write a prayer of thanks for the ordinary parts of their life and praise God for the simple and wonderful things that make life go better. (You can also have them tweet the prayers, or post them to your church’s FB page, etc.)

Collect the prayers and include them in the prayers of the people.

 

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Jesus is Risen! Luke 24: 1-12 (or John 20: 1-18) Easter Year C 2016

20130822-222604.jpg*Offer this children’s time near the beginning of your worship service. After the opening hymn or even prelude (depending on how your worship is structured) invite the children to come forward. Have someone from the congregation come running in toward the children (Idea: could be Mary Magdalene, or one of the disciples in costume!) saying: “The tomb is empty! Jesus is not there! He is raised from the dead like he said he would be!” (Or if you are using the John 20: 1-18 text change it to Mary saying, “I have seen the Lord!”) “Do you remember that just on Friday we laid him in the tomb but now-it’s empty! The stone was removed and there were men, like angels, saying that Jesus would rise from the dead! It’s true! We’re so happy! We could shout happy words all day long such as Hooray, Yippee, or I know Alleluia! Jesus is alive and now we can live with Jesus forever too! We need to  shout this to the whole world! Alleluia!

It would be fun to have a way to make the “Alleluia” even more exciting…let’s see I know! Every time you hear the word Alleluia today you can… (here is your choices from easiest to pull off to more planning: the children and adults can clap, ring jingle bells, wave a streamer, wave their hands, use a clapper, or if you have chime bells to hand out). We might be singing Alleluia or saying Alleluia, it doesn’t matter! Wave, clap, ring every time! Let’s practice! (Hand out the objects if you are choosing to do that.) “Alleluia!” Alleluia!” “Alleluia!” Listen for that word all morning!

*If your pastor can, add the word “Alleluia” into his/her sermon a couple of times at least to engage the children. And let’s face it, the adults too!

FaithCross_WorshipHave a large drawing of the tomb with the stone rolled away either hanging where it’s accessible to people, or on a large table.  Somewhere on the tomb or around the tomb have verse Luke 24: 5c “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” As people enter worship or during a dedicated worship station time, invite people to write in the empty space of the tomb where they look for and/or experience Jesus in their daily lives. Where do they see new life each day?

20130822-223749.jpgAlleluia! Christ is Risen! Living God, we look for you in our lives. We look for all of the ways that you give us life, hope and love. Like Peter, we are amazed and like the women at the tomb we can’t wait to share this good news! Alleluia! Jesus lives! Amen!

20130822-223908.jpg +You are made alive in Christ+