Tag Archives: Easter

Children’s Sermon Third Sunday of Easter, John 21:1-19 – April 14, 2013

ffjChildrenSermonPrepare:  Bring some food to share.  Something simple would be best, to mirror the breakfast of bread and fish on the shore.  I would suggest rice crackers or wheat thins (think about food allergies in your own setting!)

Faith+Open:  Greet the children with, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!”  If they do not know the response, teach them to say, “Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!”

Faith+Share:  I love all these stories after Easter!  This one is really fun because it makes me think of a couple other great stories about Jesus.  The disciples were out fishing at the beginning of this story, and Jesus appeared on the beach, kind of like the first time that some of them met Jesus.  Something very similar happens, they had not caught any fish and Jesus told them to try the other side of the boat and the net fills with fish!  Then, on the beach, they share a meal of bread and fish, like when Jesus feed all those thousands of people from just a few fish and rolls.  It’s like Jesus is trying to remind them of the amazing things that they have seen and been part of, and I think I know why.

After breakfast, Jesus talks to Peter and asks him, “Do you love me?”  Peter says, “Yes, of course I do!”  Then Jesus tells him to, “feed my lambs,” and “tend my sheep” and “feed my sheep.”  What do you think Jesus is trying to say to Peter?  (wait for some answers)  Yeah, those are good answers!  Jesus isn’t just talking about sheep, is he?  He is talking about how we care for each other.  How we feed each other, how we love each other, and how we take care of each other.  Because we love Jesus, we also should love those around us because we are all part of God’s family, we are all God’s sheep!

So, before you go, we are going to share a simple meal with each other.  Each of you take one cracker and then we will pray together.  Don’t eat until we pray, just hold it.

Faith+Prayer:   Loving Jesus, we thank you for all the people who care for us in our lives.  We thank you for the food that you give to us and for the love that you show us.  Teach us to love others as you love us.  Amen

OK, bless each other and you can eat your cracker!

Faith+Blessing:  Say, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” – Let then respond, “Christ is Risen indeed! Alleluia!”

~GB

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Children’s Sermon Second Sunday of Easter, John 20:19-31 – April 7, 2013

ffjChildrenSermonPrepare:  Bring something REALLY sticky, like a piece of duct tape or packaging tape (or you could go messy if you want, like honey).  You want it to be something that will stick to your hand as you try to get rid of it.  Styrofoam peanuts that have a good static charge going would work, too.  The main thing is that you need to be able to get it off your hand when you want to, but it needs to stick up to that point.

Faith+Open:  Greet the children with, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!”  If they do not know the response, teach them to say, “Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!”

Faith+Share:  Hello!  Today is we hear this amazing story about Jesus appearing to his disciples.  They were afraid after Jesus was arrested and killed, so they were hiding in a locked room.  Do you think that stopped Jesus from finding them?  No, he appeared with them and said, “Peace be with you.”  That by itself is pretty amazing.  And then there is the whole story about Thomas and Jesus.  Thomas wasn’t there the first time, and didn’t believe Jesus came, so then . . . wait, that’s not the part of the story that I wanted to tell you about.  Man, I really got sidetracked!  Do you forgive me?   (Wait for an answer)

Oh, good, because that was what I wanted to talk about!  Jesus said something else to the disciples when he first came to them, he said, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them, if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”  Think about it this way, if you forgive a person for something then the sin goes away, but if you don’t forgive the sin sticks around.  It’s kind of like this tape (or whatever sticky thing you brought).  If I don’t do something about this it will just stick to my hand and get it my way, and stick to other things.  It might even switch hands on me and it just won’t go away.  Here’s the crazy thing.  This tape on my hand isn’t really my sin, it’s the sin that I don’t want to forgive, it’s someone else’s sin, but it’s stuck on me!

To get this tape off my hands I have to pay attention to it and make sure that I don’t grab a stick part and fold it up and get rid of it (Do this while you talk, or wipe off the honey, or . . . )  Part of forgiving someone is getting their sin out of your life and out of your way.  If you let that sin stick around it just keeps getting in a way.  Sometimes we call this holding a grudge, and it usually makes people grumpy and sad.  When we hold grudges we spend a lot of time and effort staying mad at someone.  When we forgive and let go of any grudges we can be happier and spend more time loving and caring for people and less time being grumpy.

Faith+Prayer:   Loving Jesus, help us to forgive people when they do things that hurt us or make us mad.  Help us to learn to forgive like you forgive us. Amen

Faith+Blessing:  Say, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” – Let then respond, “Christ is Risen indeed! Alleluia!”

~GB

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Children’s Sermon Easter Sunday, Luke 24:1-12 – March 31, 2013

ffjChildrenSermon

Faith+Open:  Greet the children with, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!”  If they do not know the response, teach them to say, “Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!”  This will be important at the end.

Faith+Share:  Have you ever lost something important?  Or even worse, have you ever had anything important stolen from you?  (While this is a real story from my life, it can serve as a generic story for anyone to tell.  It would be even better if you had your own story!)  I remember one time when I had something stolen from me.  I was at work and when I came out after work and walked to my car I noticed a pile of broken glass.  Someone had broken the window on my car!  I ran to the car and looked inside, and they had stolen my radio!  That was a terrible feeling.  I was mad, I was nervous, I was sad, I was worried, and I felt completely helpless.  Now, let’s be honest about this, it was just a car radio, and I needed to get a new window.  Overall it was not a big deal, but it still made me feel all those bad emotions.  I never did get the radio back, but I had insurance that helped me replace the window and get a different radio, so I guess it turned out ok.

Well, in today’s Gospel story we hear about something that starts out kind of the same way, but is much worse at the beginning and unimaginably better by the end!  This is day that we remember when some of Jesus’ friends went to see his body, remember he had died on the cross a few days before.  They were planning to clean and prepare his body the way that they always did when someone they loved died.  Well, when they got to tomb where the body was supposed to be it was not there!  They thought that someone had stolen Jesus’ body!  This isn’t a thing, like my car radio, it was the body of their friend, of their teacher, it was the body of Jesus.  Can you imagine how upset they must have been?  How scared they must have been?

But then, two angels appeared and gave them amazing news!  Do you know what they said? (Give a little time for answers.)  That’s right, they said, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here, but had risen.”  WOW!  Isn’t that exciting!  Sometimes it is hard for us to really be excited about it because we have heard this story before and we know the ending, but try to imagine how they must have felt then.  Amazed, confused, excited, maybe even more scared?  Let’s share the excitement of the story.  I want you to greet people today with Easter greeting that we used at the beginning.  We will practice again at the end, but let’s pray first.

Faith+Prayer:   Risen and Living God, Alleluia!  We praise you for the miracle of the resurrection.  Help us to live in the excitement of the risen Christ today and every day. Amen

Faith+Blessing:  Say, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” – Let then respond, “Christ is Risen indeed! Alleluia!”

~GB

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Children’s Sermon Seventh Sunday of Easter Year B John 17:6-19

Scripture Focus: John 17:6-19

Preparation: Bring a small plant that is destined to be planted outside somewhere, like a little flowering plant, or a vegetable sprout.

Faith+Open:  Invite the children to gather around the plant, but be very protective of the little plant.  Make sure the children are being careful around it and remind them how delicate it is.  Make sure they are all focused on how important and vulnerable the young plant is.

Faith+Share:  Now that we are all gathered together I want to tell you about my little plant.  I am planning on planting it outside later today and I’m very worried about.  I’ve been thinking about all the things that could go wrong with this little plant.  It might not get enough water, or maybe it will get too much water.  And it needs sunlight, too, but not too much sun or it will dry out!  Then there’s the soil to worry about, too!  What if the soil doesn’t have the stuff the plant needs?  I’ll have to find the right food for the plant, but I have to be sure not to give it too much food because that could hurt it too.  Even if I get all the water and sunlight and food right, it could still be eaten by a rabbit or squirrel or dug up by a dog or something.

I really just want to keep it inside.  But, if I do that it can’t really grow and be happy, and no one will be able to eat the vegetables (or see the flowers, depending on your plant).

I think that today’s Gospel story might help me with this.  In the Gospel story we hear Jesus praying for his friends, right before he is arrested, right before Good Friday and Easter.  Jesus is asking God to look after his friends after he is crucified.  Jesus knows that they will be in danger because of what they know about God and Jesus, and that the danger will be greater if they tell people about Jesus, but Jesus knows that for them to be happy they have to tell the story.  Jesus knows that his friends will only be able to share the amazing gifts of God if he lets them go out into the world.

Just like my little plants here.  If I keep them inside where they might be safer, they won’t grow food for people to eat (or flowers for people to enjoy).  God sends us into the world, too.  We are sent out to share Jesus story with others and to love everyone the way that God loves us.  It’s a hard thing to do, but we know that God is watching over us and loves us.

Faith+Prayer:   Loving God, thank you for the amazing stories about Jesus and hid friends.  Help us to share the story and to love everyone we meet the way that you love us.  Amen.

Faith+Blessing:   Remember what Jesus says to his disciples: Do not be afraid and peace be with you. +

~GB

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Children’s Sermon Ascension of Our Lord Year B Luke 24:44-53

Scripture Focus: Luke 24:44-53  (note: this is the Gospel text for Thursday, May 17, Ascension of Our Lord.  Many churches read the ascension texts on the Seventh Sunday of Easter.  There will also be a Children’s Sermon posted using the texts appointed for Sunday, May 20.)

Preparation: Make a “to-do” list with the items: 1) Receive power from God. 2) Go to the temple and pray. 3) Go tell what you have seen.

Faith+Open:  As the children gather ask them, “Have you ever been left with a list of things to do?”  Maybe you get a list at home like, first you need to finish your dinner, then you need to clean up your room, then you can go play with your friends.  Guess what, the disciples got a list like that, too!

Faith+Share:  Today we are celebrating the Ascension of Our Lord.  That’s a big word, don’t you think?  Does anyone know what it means?  Wait for a few answers.  You guys are pretty smart!  Ascension means to go up.  It can also describe when someone gets more power or more responsibility.  Kings and queens ascend to the thrown when they become a kind or queen.  In the story of Jesus’ ascension he really does go up – up into the sky to be with God, but before he goes he leaves a “To-Do” list.

Right before he ascends, Jesus tells the disciples that they are the ones who know what happened in Jerusalem (what we know as the Easter story) and that they need to tell the story to other people.  Get out your list.  First, though, they have a few other things to do.  Jesus tells them to wait in the city until they have been “clothed with power from on high.”  That always makes me think of a super hero suit from God!  Like the disciples become super storytellers for God!  Storytellers who can baptize people, and heal the sick and injured, who can travel amazing distances and tell the story over and over.  Pretty cool, huh?  Then they go to the temple and bless God for the amazing gifts that God has given them.  Then they head out into the world to share the good news!  That story starts next week when we celebrate Pentecost.  So, this is our last chance this year to say this, Happy Easter!

Faith+Prayer:   Powerful God, we thank you for the gifts you give us.  Help us to use our gifts like the disciples did, by going out into the world and sharing the good news of Christ.  Amen

Faith+Blessing:   Remember what Jesus says to his disciples: Do not be afraid and peace be with you. +

~GB

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Children’s Sermon Easter 6B John 15:9-17

Scripture: John 15:9-17

Preparation: Bring a picture of a favorite pet.  It can be from childhood or a current pet or a friends pet.

Faith+Open:Gather the children and tell them a little about your pet while you show them the picture.  Ask them if they have a pet at home.  Prompt them about how they take care of their pet, feed, water, etc.  Then ask them what their pet does for them.  They may need a little help here.  Offer ideas like how a pet can be a playmate, or can bring you joy or be a companion.

Faith+Share: Pets are pretty fun, aren’t they?  Talking about pets makes me think about an important word in the Gospel story today.  Jesus says the word “abide” over and over.  He talks a lot about love, too, when he says abide.  Do you know what abide means?  I looked up “abide” in a dictionary and found a whole bunch of different meanings.  Abide can mean to live in a place or live with someone, it can mean to listen to and follow rules, or it mean to stay with someone.  Like “abide with me.”  I think that all three of these meanings show up in the story, but let’s talk a little more about pets so that we can figure out this “abide” word a little more.  Let’s start by saying that our pets abide with us.  They live at our houses with us, that covers the first meaning.  There are probably rules about your pets, like the cat needs to use the litter box, the dog needs to be on a leash, the turtle isn’t allowed on the table, the fish need to stay in their water . . . you get the idea.  That’s the second one.  The third one is a little more tricky.  I said that it means to stay with someone, but I think that it is more than just staying with someone.  It is staying with someone no matter what!  More than just staying in the same room with them, it is loving them and caring for them.
 
That gets us to the Gospel story for today.  It’s a story from the Gospel of John, and while Jesus says a bunch of great things in John’s Gospel, it is sometimes a little confusing.  So, let me try to straighten it out a little.  First Jesus says that the Father loves him, and that he loves us.  Then comes that “abide” word, he says “Abide in my love.”  Or live in my love, follow the rules of my love and stay with me no matter what!  He says that if we do that we will have joyful hearts.

Jesus says that if we abide in his love then we can love each other even more, which is the whole reason for the story.  To teach us to live with each other, to listen to what other people need, and to love them no matter what.

Faith+Prayer: Loving God, teach us to abide in your love, to live lives full of love, to listen to the needs of others, and to love and care for them no matter what.  Thank you abiding with us, no matter what!  Amen.

Faith+Blessing: Remember what Jesus says to his disciples: Do not be afraid and peace be with you. +

~GB

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Children’s Sermon Easter 5B 1 John 4:7-21

Scripture: 1 John 4:7-21 (focusing on 7&8)

Preparation: If you do not know the song you will need to learn it. Having guitar or piano with it is not necessary, it’s easily teachable in camp song style fashion.

Faith+Open: Gather children with you. Say, Have you ever memorized something from the Bible? (take answers if given) Some people know Psalm 23 really well and a lot of people know the shortest verse: Jesus wept. Say a verse that you know.

Faith+Share: Knowing some verses by heart can help us to remember God’s words in our daily lives. It’s fun when a bible verse comes to mind when you hear something. Today our 2nd reading comes from the book of 1st John and there are two verse there that are good to memorize, “Beloved let us love one another because love is of God and everyone that loves, knows God. They they love not, know not God.” These verses can help us to remember that no matter what happens God loves us and we are to love one another–that is how we show we know God, by acting in love. I think the best way to memorize verses is to learn them with music. Let’s learn a song that will help us remember these words from God.

D                                      A7
Beloved, let us love one another,

For love is of God, and everyone that loveth

D
Is born of God, and knoweth God.

D7
They that loveth not, knoweth not God

G                  Em
For God is love.

D                    A7                   D
Beloved, let us love one another. First John 4:7 and 8

Here is a link to hear a version of the song: Beloved, Let us love one another

Faith+Prayer: God, thank you for your words of love. Help us to love one another and remember your words each day. Amen

Faith+Blessing: Remember what Jesus says to his disciples: Do not be afraid and peace be with you. +

~LB

*permission to use for nonprofit purposes. When printing give credit to Faith Formation Journeys. Intellectual property rights apply.

Children’s Sermon Easter 4B John 10:11-18

Scripture: John 10:11-18 

Preparation: Secure a live sheep–Ha, ha! Just kidding! Highly recommended NOT to try this unless you can move kiddos outside whereby it’s a really cool idea and I have seen it done it well!

Real Preparation: 
Plant a few people the children might know to say loudly “follow me”. You might want to pick a parent of one of the children.
musical instruments or other ‘noise makers’

Faith+Open: Gather children to you and welcome them in. Ask, Do you think you can tell what things are by their sound? Ok, close your eyes (this will have to be the honor system!) and I am going to make some sounds and you say what they are: 
proceed to make sounds like a bell, spoons together, clapping, other instruments, kazoo, whatever you can find. Do just a few 2-3.

Faith+Share: Now about people’s voices? Do you think you can tell who someone is by the sound of their voice? Close your eyes again and see if you can guess. Have the people you planted shout “Follow me” You can be one of them because they will know it’s you most likely even if they don’t know you because you will be sitting closest to them.
Jesus says today that the he knows his own and they know him. He calls himself the shepherd and the people the sheep that follow the shepherd. One way that sheep know who to follow is that they know the sound of their shepherd’s voice. Then they can follow the person who they know will take care of them and protect them. How do you know who to follow or trust? (take answers) Yes, it might not be only their voice but I bet you know if your parent or grandparent or teacher is calling your name because you have a relationship with them and know that they care for you. Jesus promises that he cares for you too and that he will be known to us because he will never leave us. 

Faith+Prayer: Jesus, help me know you, help me know your voice and your love. Thank you Jesus for your life and your love, for your death and for your rising. Amen

Faith+Blessing:
Remember what Jesus says to his disciples: Do not be afraid and peace be with you. +

~LB