Tag Archives: Mark

Children’s Sermon – Mark 9:38-50, September 27, 2015

Prepare: Bring a small, clear container of sea salt – even better if you can find something fancy!

The worship station will need a box of unsalted rice crackers, and a box of salted rice crackers (you can use whatever you like here, really, but rice crackers generally avoid most food allergies).

20130822-223520.jpg Have the children gather around you so that they can all see the salt. Ask them if they know what it is.

After a few guesses (right or wrong) confirm that it is salt, and ask if anyone would be willing to try some. Ask what it is like to have salt all by itself? Does it taste good?

20130822-223633.jpg Today, in the Gospel story, Jesus says some very strange things, and most of them are exaggerations to get our attention. Jesus wants us to think about who we are and what it means for us to be following him. One of the things he says is that we should be “Salted with fire.” I’m not sure that I like the sound of that! When I salt something, that means I sprinkle salt on it, I don’t think that I want to be sprinkled with fire. But, did you know that salting something has a different meaning? Salt was, and still is, used to keep food from going bad. People use salt to make sure that meat does not get moldy. Pickles are kept in a salty liquid called brine. 

So we can hear the end of this story a couple different ways. Salt, in small amounts, can add flavor to the foods that we eat. In fact, most of the foods we like have at least some salt in them or on them to make them taste better. Salt is also necessary for baking things! Bread without salt is dry and crumbly, it just doesn’t work. So Jesus might be saying that we need to be flavored with fire – that we are made better when we deal with difficult things and learn from them.

Then there is salt used to keep food from spoiling. Jesus could also be saying that we should be salty so that we can survive the trials of life. We should be salty so that we can preserve the Good News of Jesus and have it ready to feed to anyone who needs to hear it!

20130822-223749.jpgLoving God, preserve us and keeps us so that we can be your “salty” people. Make us ready to share your good news and love with the world around us.


FaithCross_WorshipHave a table set out with the two kinds of crackers (or whatever you choose).  Invite people to try one of each and reflect on what they taste.  Which one do they like better? What makes it better?

Find a way to join in prayer – either a pop-corn prayer, or collect slips of paper with prayer requests, etc.  Ask for prayers where about places and people that need a little, or a lot of salt. Things that need to be flavored with God’s love, or preserved from the destructive forces of this world.

20130822-223908.jpgYou are salty, go add flavor to the world!


Children’s Sermon – September 6, 2015, Mark 7:24-37

Prepare: For the worship station you will need some way to vote, like a large piece of paper and post-it notes, or some large jars and some beans or beans.

20130822-223520.jpg As the children’s sermon time approaches find some place in the worship space where you can “hide,” but where everyone can see you.  Work with the other worship leaders to set up a time for the children to search for you. When they find you gather in your usual place.

20130822-223633.jpg OK, maybe I was being a little silly.  I mean, you all know that I was here!  That kind of reminds me of Jesus in our story today. He keeps trying to stay out of the spotlight, but everyone knows where he is! A woman who is not really accepted in the community finds him and asks him to heal her daughter. Anther group of people bring their friend to Jesus so that Jesus can open his ears and let him hear. All this happens when Jesus is trying to have a little quiet time, but everyone know where he is!

People seem to be coming to Jesus for several different reasons, but they all have one thing in common – they have faith that Jesus can do something about it – whatever “it” is. People come who are sick, or who need guidance, or food, or just need to be loved. This story is interesting because the two people that Jesus heals didn’t even bring themselves to Jesus – in fact, one person doesn’t even show up! Family and friends are showing up at Jesus’ feet to get help for the people that they love.

Sometimes we need to show up for our friends and family, sometimes we need to be the ones who have faith when other people cannot. So, I am going to start a prayer and I want you to think of someone who could use a little more Jesus in their life. You are welcome to share that name out loud, our you can just say it silently in your heart when we get there.

20130822-224425.jpgLoving God, sometimes having faith is really hard. Sometimes we want to show up and be with you and we just can’t find the way. Today we offer prayers for our friends who could use your love in their lives, hear us as we pray for _______________ . Amen

20130822-223908.jpgGod’s love shines through you.

FaithCross_WorshipSet up your jars for a game of “Would you rather?” If you don’t know this game, it usually involves having to choose between to disgusting things that no one would ever want to do, but we are going to Baptize it!  You can have as many “would you rathers” as you want. The idea is to ask some hard questions and get people thinking about sharing their faith with the people that they love, and inviting those people to come to church with them. IT should be two options that are both good ideas, not, “would you rather eat a doughnut or invite a friend.”

You should come up with ideas that speak to the needs of your community, but here are some ideas –

Would you rather:

  1. Invite that friend from school, work, or the gym to come check out what you do every Sunday?
  2.  Stand on the corner on Sunday morning and invite complete strangers into the building? or
  1. Would you rather volunteer to visit people in the hospital? or
  2. Work at the homeless shelter for a day?
  1. Make phone calls to new members and visitors? or
  2. Take communion to a homebound member?




Ritual of Love Mark 7:1-8 Pentecost 14B August 30,2016

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children with you at the baptismal font. Ask if anyone knows what this is called? Yep, it is the place we baptize, we get the person’s, often a baby, head wet and declare that they are a child of God. And YOU can remember your baptism, or remember you are a loved child of God even if you are not baptized, by putting your hand in the water and marking the sign of the cross. Let them try that briefly. Then direct to sit down.

Baptism is something that we call a ritual. It is a practice of the church to say certain prayers and blessings over a person getting baptized and it is a ritual that you have you remember and mark yourself with the water. A ritual is something we do again and again and often it reminds us of something. So let’s think a minute. Are there any rituals you do every day? (take answers and lead them to things like brushing teeth, washing hands. getting dressed, eating, sleeping) Yes! Those are rituals that are a part of every day.

20130822-223633.jpgSo our gospel today from Mark is Jesus telling some church people that the rituals that they are doing are not totally helping them… hmmm, that is kind of confusing because they were doing what God told them, to keep wash their hands and to keep clean  and staying away from certain foods. But they were also angry with Jesus and his followers because they were not doing those things. Jesus says, stop. You are using these rituals, these rules to only honor God on the outside but your heart is not focused on love and care for other people. God gave these rituals for loving and caring for others, not for being angry or hurting them.

So if we use a ritual, like baptism, to say that someone else is not ok or not loved then we are not talking about God. God opens up love to everyone. Jesus teaches us today that the ritual is good for helping us remember and that God’s love is over and above any ritual and is for all people.

Now, the ritual of remembering baptism can be a part of every day too, anytime you use water–for a bath, a shower, brush your teeth, to cook or to drink, You can remember God’s love for you and God’s love for your family and friends and even people you do not know! Pretty neat, right?

20130822-223749.jpgJesus, you give love and ritual. Help us to share our rituals in love and teach others about your way. Amen

20130822-223908.jpgMay you know God’s never ending ritual of love


FaithCross_WorshipHave a hand washing station with a bowl of water, a little soap and some towels. Invite people to wash their hands while remembering God’s love for them. They could pray a prayer of thankfulness or pray for another person or simply recite the Lord’s prayer as they wash.