Prepare: Find a broom that can be a used as a horse. Don’t dress it up! If you are planning on focusing on the Luke passage you should also bring some poppy seeds.
NOTE: You could modify this for a different imagination-based toy, but the important part is to make the clear distinction between imagination and faith.
Ride in on your broom “horse” and round-up the children as they gather together. Make this into something fun! Maybe a little “YeeHaw!” would be good. Try to get them into the game. Once you have them all rounded up and sitting down move on.
Wow! That was fun! Don’t you love playing imagination games? I just got to ride a horse in church! Do you like to use your imagination? That’s great! Imagination is fun. For example, I can imagine that this broom is a horse, like I just did, or it could be balance pole and I could be a tight-rope walker, or it could be a shovel as I dig for dinosaurs, or it could be almost anything! Now here is the tricky question, what is the difference between imagination and faith? (Give them a little time to think, maybe even take a few answers.) Maybe I could say it this way, I can imagine that this broom is a horse, but I don’t have faith that I could really ride it someplace far away.
When we imagine something we know that it isn’t real, that we are just pretending, no matter how real the fun is. When we have faith in something we know that it is real and true even if we can’t always explain why we know that. Like our faith in Jesus, we have faith that Jesus loves and came to save us, but sometimes it is really hard to explain why we know it is true, or why we believe it. (Here is where you can choose between 2 Timothy and Luke, or you can use both!) We heard part of a letter that is in the Bible today, it was written to a man named Timothy. In that letter we hear that the faith that we have is a gift from God. We have faith in God’s love and forgiveness. There is nothing that we can do to earn more love from God and nothing we can do to make God stop loving us. We know this is true, but we can’t always explain why we know.
Faith can be a powerful thing, too. We heard Jesus say today that if we had faith the size of a mustard seed we could tell trees to go jump in a lake and they would do it! Do any of you know how big a mustard seed is? Well, I brought some seeds, these are really poppy seeds, but they are about the same size. Here, take a look, I brought more than enough in this little jar for each of you to have one! (Had out some poppy seeds). See how small that is? Now, I think that Jesus picked something just silly and crazy when we talked about trees jumping into lakes to show just how powerful faith can be. We don’t really ever expect trees to jump into lakes, but sometimes those kinds of crazy things happen. And it’s not our actions or even our faith, it is God’s love and grace moving through us and through the world.
So, I can imagine that this is a powerful horse that I can ride across the mountains, but I know that it is just a broom. I have faith that God loves me and cares for me, and I know that it is true, even when I can’t explain why.
Gracious and Loving God, thank you for the amazing gift of imagination! What fun to be able to pretend to be people and things that we are not and to have things that we don’t. Thank you also for the gift of faith, to know that you are real and that you care for us, love us and forgive us everywhere and all the time. Amen.
Make the sign of the cross and say, “God be in your head, God be in your heart, God be on your left, and God be on your right. Amen”
You will need postcards or something similar and some poppy seeds. Invite people to tape a (or some) poppy seed to the card. Write “Our faith is a gift from God” on the card. Then write or draw 3 ways that they can live out their faith this week. These can be individual cards, or household cards, or cards with friends.
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