Children Sermon Pentecost 22A Matthew 25:14-30

Scripture: Matthew 25: 14-30

Faith+Open: Gather the children with you. Have children line up smallest to tallest. Then take the smallest child and the tallest child and put them side by side. Ask the kids, “who do you think can jump the highest? Who do you think can run the fastest? Snap their fingers? Stand on one foot?  Do some experiments and have them try out those things.

Faith+Share: What about serve God?  (Both!) Yes! In today’s Gospel story, we hear that it doesn’t matter how big or small or if you can do a lot or a little, the important thing is that you use what you are good at to share God’s love! Who can give a smile? A hug? A high five? Help a friend tie a shoe? Read a Bible story? You are each important to God and important to everyone here. When you go back to your seats today give a hug or high five to those that you walk by. 

Faith+Prayer:  Jesus, we are tall and small, big and little, all different sizes and ages. We are all your children and we praise you for this gift. Amen

Faith+Blessing: Remember God is with us always.  Make sign of cross together saying:

God in my head
God in my heart
God on my left
God on my right

And remember your high fives and hugs on the way back!

Extension Ideas: 

1. Read one of the lectionary link stories from Children’s Literature for this week.

2. Do more experiments of things that kids can do

3. List many ways kids can serve God. Have a project ready for them to do.

Children Sermon All Saints Matthew 5:1-12

Scripture: Matthew 5: 1-12 (for Proper text Matthew 25 click here)

Preparation: visual aids of a Bible and a map

Faith+Open: Gather the children with you. Have you ever been lost? I have! One time I took a wrong turn going home and ended up on the wrong road. I knew that I had to find the right road to get home. I was by myself too so I didn’t have anyone to help me. It was a little scary but I was able to find the right road after looking for a while. I did have a map with me so that I could read it and find the right way to go. (or tell a story of time YOU really were Lost!) Show them the map and say this might have helped you!

Faith+Share: We heard the word “blessed” a lot in this story this morning (or we will hear when we read the Gospel) and one meaning of that word is “you are on the right road.” (From the Hebrew)  When we follow Jesus we know that we are on the right road. But how can we know that we are on the right road? Or what happens if we don’t know how to follow Jesus? Well, God gave us a kind of map to help us. When we read the Bible we can learn about God and this can help us follow Jesus. And even better God gave us family and friends to be on the journey with us. When we are all together we can help each other follow Jesus. When we pray together, read the Bible together, sing, play, work together, in all of those things we can follow Jesus! 

Show the Bible during this part of relating it to being a map

Today we spend time remembering those who have died this year. We do this as a way to remember their life and their walk with God. They are people who we love and we miss and we remember today in the ways that they showed us God and lived following Jesus. (you may want to take time here to hear from the children about anyone or a pet they have lost and invite them to pray for or remember them today in worship through lighting a candle or whatever your ritual may be)

Faith+Prayer:
Jesus, you have come so that we can know God and know how to follow you. Help us on our paths each day to see and show your love. Amen

Faith+Blessing: Remember God is with us always.  Make sign of cross together saying:

God in my head
God in my heart
God on my left
God on my right

Extension Ideas: 

1. Have children share someone or a pet they have lost. Listen to their stories and pray for their remembrances

2. Including children in a lighting of candles ritual

Children Sermon Pentecost 21A Matthew 25:1-13

Scripture: Matthew 25: 1-13 (for All Saints text click here)

Preparation: another adult or youth to participate

Faith+Open: Gather the children with you. Welcome them and have your volunteer adult enter walking up either with or after the children. Have the volunteer plop down and look bored.

Faith+Share: 
Dialogue follows:
Leader: “Hey____ what’s wrong? What are you doing?”
2nd person: “I’m waiting”
Leader: “What are you waiting for?”
2nd Person: “Jesus. Isn’t that what our story is about?”
Leader: “Well, kind of.  Jesus says that he will come back one day but we don’t know when so it could be a long time from now. But we know that God is with us always now. You know, when I have to wait I like to do something to pass the time. It makes the time that I am waiting seem productive.”
2nd Person: “Like what?”
Leader: “Well, Jesus says that we will have to wait for him to come back but we should be sure to tell other people about him and help people while we wait.”
2nd Person:  “Oh. That’s a good idea, it’s better than just sitting here and doing nothing. Very boring.” Leader: “Right! We shouldn’t be bored so God has things for us to do while we wait. Let’s see what could we do while we wait for Jesus?”
2nd person: Name some missions and ministries of your congregation. Ask the children what they could do while they wait for Jesus. “Jesus loves us very much and wants us to share that love! What a fun thing to do while we wait!”

Faith+Prayer:
God we wait for you and we also live for you. Teach us to see you today in our world and to reach out to those who need to know your love. Amen

Faith+Blessing: Remember God is with us always.  Make sign of cross together saying:
God in my head
God in my heart
God on my left
God on my right

Extension Ideas: 
1. Do a service project like making cards for those who have lost loved ones this year.
2. Read one of the stories from Children’s Literature for November 6

Children Sermon Reformation Day Jeremiah 31:27-34

Scripture: Jeremiah 31:27-34

Preparation: something you can say or sing ‘by heart’–UPDATE and a Greek or Hebrew or Latin Bible.

Faith+Open: Gather the Children. Do you know anything by heart? A song or a poem that you can say without looking at paper or having someone help you? I know _____________ by heart. Share a short song, Bible verse, piece of the catechism, whatever you know by heart!

Faith+Share: Jeremiah tells us that God says,  “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” What do you think it means to have something written on your heart? (you can refer to last week’s children’s message if you used the Shema. Ask them if they were able to say this week and if they know it by heart)

It means that because God first gave us this gift of love and faith, we can know something in our hearts we can live in a way that shows we know God. What are ways that we can show we know God? (how we treat others and ourselves, creation, reading the Bible, learning songs and verses that help us remember God loves us).

Show them your ancient language Bible. Ask a child to read to you from it--Oh you can’t! So if you can’t read what the scripture says it makes it difficult to know what it is that God has written on our hearts and they ways to know God. Martin Luther, a man who lived a long time ago, wanted people to have the chance to know God through the Bible and to learn things by heart not only by listening but  by reading them. Before him only people who knew an ancient language could read what God’s word said. Now we have Bibles in all languages and all kinds of formats to help us know God by heart. 

Faith+Prayer and Blessing:  My hope for you is to know some things by heart. Let’s pray, “God help us to know you and to know that you love us no matter who we are–we are always yours.” Amen

Let’s work on knowing by heart that God is with us all the time by learning this blessing(or saying our blessing if you use this often OR pick one you do use often)
Make sign of + saying:
God in my head
God in my heart
God on my left
God on my right
Amen

Extension Ideas
1. Teach them a song like Love the Lord your God (see Children’s Sermon Pentecost 19A)
2. Teach them the Lord’s Prayer or another prayer
3. Have the children share songs or stories or poems they know by heart.

~LB

Children Sermon Pentecost 19A Matthew 22:34-46

Preparation: Ten commandments written into the categories of Love God and Love Neighbor and index cards or pieces of paper rolled up with the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 written on them)

Faith+Open: Gather children with you. Have you heard of the ten commandments? Can you tell me what they are? Respond as appropriate, if they know them Yay! If not, respond encouragingly that there are two commands they can learn (or maybe three, I’m partial to Honor father and mother 🙂

Faith+Share: Good, we know that there are ten commandments given to Moses and actually there are a lot more than 10 in the Bible. There are 613! So we are going to learn them today… pause… just kidding! What rules do you have at home or school? Do you think there is one that is the most important? yay, it might be hard to decide what is most important. Jesus was asked by some leaders who knew all the 613 laws very well which one was the most important. And they might have been surprised because he had an answer for them. He said, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and soul and mind and Love your neighbor as yourself. If you think about it,(show ten commandments divided into these categories) when we talk about how to live as Christians these two commands cover all the other commandments. Go briefly through list. 

When Jesus said to love God and neighbor he was not actually saying something new. He was telling them what scripture said in Deuteronomy and in Leviticus. In fact this was such important part about being Jewish that it has a special name, the Shema. Have them repeat the word Shema. Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and explain that this tells us to love God and live in God’s word all the time, everyday and everywhere. Show them a mezuzah or the rolled up paper. The Shema would be in the mezuzah which would go on the doorposts of people’s homes so that would remember that God’s word was on their hearts at home and whenever they left home. Hand out the index cards or scrolls that you have prepared and encourage the children to take them home and put them on their table or by their door or in a special place. Tell them to try to read and say the Shema as a family every day this week.

Faith+Prayer and Blessing: 
God, you love us all the time. Thank you for the gift of your words and your love for us. Help us to show our love for you and our love for others by the way we act and live. In the name of the Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Extension Ideas: 
1. Have kids repeat the Shema or parts of it.
2. Make mezuzahs or scrolls together instead of handing them out
3. use chart paper and have the kids come up with which category each commandment goes into
4. Teach them the song “Love the Lord your God”  Here is a link to a youtube so you can hear the music

Lyrics:
Love the lord your God
With all your heart and
All your soul
And all your mind
And love all humankind
As you would love
Yourself and…

Love the lord your God
With all your heart
And all your
Soul and mind
And love all humankind

We’ve got Christian
Lives to live
We’ve got Jesus’
Love to give
We’ve got
Nothing to hide
Because in God we abide

Love the lord your God
With all your heart
And all your soul
And all your mind
And love all humankind
As you would love
Yourself and…

Love the lord your God
With all your heart
And all your
Soul and mind
And love all humankind

We’ve got Christian
Lives to live
We’ve got Jesus’
Love to give
We’ve got
Nothing to hide
Because in God we abide  LOVE

~LB

Children Sermon Pentecost 18A Matthew 22:15-22

Preparation: offering plate

Faith+Open: Gather children to you. Hold up the offering plate. Do you know what this is used for?

Yes for offering. What goes in offering? Yep mostly money, although you know sometimes a picture or note comes in the offering and that is wonderful too! 

Faith+Share: Why do you suppose we collect an offering during worship? Take some answers and see what they have to say. You can also ask if they put anything in the offering plate.

We do take offering as a part of worship because it is a way for us to be in ministry together, to put our money together and use it to help others, to teach people, to have a building to gather in, to have a place for people to pray, and sing, and worship, and get help, and talk to God, and all of the things that we do here together. Our gospel story today is Jesus telling the leaders of the synagogue and the people listening to him that we ‘give to God what is God’s’. What do you think is God’s? Take some answers. Is money God’s? Are we God’s? 

Yes, really it’s an interesting answer because everything is God’s. So when we give to God what is God’s we are saying that we offer what we have in money, time, in our prayers, in who we are. And we are all children of God. We can offer what we have and ourselves to God everyday, not just in worship but in worship we do come all together to share and to give and to praise God for everything.

Faith+Prayer: God, thank you for all that you have given us (list some things the kids brought up). Help us to know how to offer what we have to you and how to share what we have with others. Amen

Faith+BlessingRemember that you are God’s child all the time and everywhere. 

Extended Idea: 

1. Talk about saying ‘It’s Mine” and then say how God says YOU ARE MINE all the time!

2. Offering is a time that kids can participate in worship, even without money. They can add drawings or notes or coins that they have. Consider having a basket up front (on a stand or held by an acolyte) where kids can come during the offering time of worship and bring their own offering. This has been a delightful experience for many churches and they do it every week!

3. If you have a children’s church time, kids could draw pictures of their offering–something they are good at or draw/write a prayer, etc. and when they come back to worship they could be welcomed to put it in the offering basket.

Philippians Children’s Sermon Series #4: Phil 4:1-9

Philippians Children’s Sermon Series

Series Note: In the lectionary year A Pentecost 14 through 17 we read through Philippians as the Epistle each week. The letters of Paul can have challenging content to teach to children (adults too!). We have written a children’s sermon series based on the scripture verses in Philippians. You can use these as a series or on their own.  The overarching theme is focused on how we are those who walk with and live as servants of Jesus and yet Rejoice that God is with us in all of our daily living as we strive to “let our gentleness be known and remember the Lord is near” (Phil 4:5 paraphrase). 

Preparation: You could use instruments and noisemakers if you choose for this children’s sermon. Streamers and ribbons would also make it fun! If you are going to have the whole congregation join in the blessing time then have it printed in the bulletin.

Faith+Open: Gather the children. Recap what we have been learning in Philippians or sum up Philippians that Paul is in jail and writing to his friends reminding them to tell the story of Jesus, serve others, be kind to each other, and to remember that God is with them all the time.
Say, “Paul says in Philippians chapter 4 to REJOICE all the time! He is in jail and still rejoicing that God is with him and that he knows that God loves him and all of us. We can rejoice and celebrate that this story of Jesus is about us and for us.” 

Faith+Share: “What are ways that we rejoice?” “Yes we can make some noise when we rejoice can’t we?” I am going to ask you some questions about when we can rejoice and I want you to yell loud the word REJOICE (and shake/play these instruments if you are using them) after each question. Let’s practice!”

“Let’s get the congregation to join us!” (practice yelling rejoice and making noise)

God is with us…REJOICE!
All the time….REJOICE!
When we are in worship…  REJOICE!
When we are at play…  REJOICE!
When we are happy…  REJOICE!
When we are worried…REJOICE!
When we are at work… REJOICE!
When we pray….REJOICE!
When we tell the story…REJOICE!
When we are lost….REJOICE!
We know God is with us. REJOICE!
All of the time. REJOICE!
We know God loves us….REJOICE!
All of the time…REJOICE!

Do you remember the blessing we have been saying? Let’s bless the whole congregation. We are going to turn towards them and say the blessing together.” Gather kids up so that they are facing the congregation to give them the blessing.”

Faith+Blessing: Say together the words from Philippians 4:5 (NRSV) while doing the following actions:

Let your gentleness (flat hands palms facing body circle each other)  be known to everyone (open hands and arms out). The Lord is near (hands to heart)

Extended Ideas:

Teach the song “Rejoice in the Lord Always and Again I say Rejoice.”
Have streamers and ribbons for the kids to wave in the air (or make them if you have a children’s church)
Send kids out into the congregation with their instruments and noisemakers to do the litany and have them stay there for the blessing.
Use the blessing as the benediction this week.

~LB&BW

Philippians Children’s Sermon Series #3: Phil. 3:4b-14

Philippians Children’s Sermon Series

Series Note: In the lectionary year A Pentecost 14 through 17 we read through Philippians as the Epistle each week. The letters of Paul can have challenging content to teach to children (adults too!). We have written a children’s sermon series based on the scripture verses in Philippians. You can use these as a series or on their own.  The overarching theme is focused on how we are those who walk with and live as servants of Jesus and yet Rejoice that God is with us in all of our daily living as we strive to “let our gentleness be known and remember the Lord is near” (Phil 4:5 paraphrase).

Preparation: You will need a children’s bible. (Spark Storybook Bible is recommended because it has a nice paraphrase of Philippians)

Faith+Open: Gather children. “Do you remember that if you were hear last week you took some stars home?” Where did you put them?” Get answers. “I hope the stars reminded you that God is with you in all kinds of places. 

Faith+Share“I want to read you more about the story of Paul who is the one who was writing this letter to the Philippians. While I read notice where Paul is writing from.”

Read from the Spark Bible or other children’s Bible. The main ideas is to convey that Paul is in jail, he is scared and sad, his friends are worried about him but he even while he is suffering he knows that God is with him.

After you read say, “Where was Paul?  Yes, even though he is in jail Paul still knows that God is with him. He knows that God is with him and his friends as he prays for them. He is trusting God even when it’s really hard.  How many different places can you think of that God is with us?”
Refer to the places the kids talked about in opening

“God is with us in all these places and God is with us when we are sad or scared and when we are joyful or happy. We also know that we can be kind and gentle with our friends and family and neighbors because then they know that they are loved by us and by God. That is why we are learning this blessing and doing it each week. It helps to remind us that God is with us, always near to us and that we can live together in community and be gentle with one another.”

“Let’s say it together…”

Faith+Blessing:  Say together the words from Philippians 4:5 (NRSV) while doing the following actions:

Let your gentleness (flat hands palms facing body circle each other)  be known to everyone (open hands and arms out). The Lord is near (hands to heart)

Extended Ideas:
Make a mural of drawings of all the places God is with us.

Philippians Children’s Sermon Series #2 Phil. 2:1-13

Philippians Children’s Sermon Series

Series Note: In the lectionary year A Pentecost 14 through 17 we read through Philippians as the Epistle each week. The letters of Paul can have challenging content to teach to children (adults too!). We have written a children’s sermon series based on the scripture verses in Philippians. You can use these as a series or on their own.  The overarching theme is focused on how we are those who walk with and live as servants of Jesus and yet Rejoice that God is with us in all of our daily living as we strive to “let our gentleness be known and remember the Lord is near” (Phil 4:5 paraphrase). 

Preparation:
1. Find a star pattern, write or type the Christ hymn or the Phil 2:1-13 scripture reference, and make enough stars either for the children OR for the whole congregation. You can google star patterns or just draw one and photocopy and cut out for enough copies. If you plan ahead you can get some older kids to cut these out for you!
2. Get baskets to put the stars in.
3. Recruit 2 (or more) kids to hold the baskets during communion. YOu can also use a stand if that works better. These kids will hand out the stars after people have taken common (or when it works best for you in your worship service)
4. Suggested hymn to sing could be “This Little Light of Mine”

Faith+Open: Gather children. “I want to read to you the Christ Hymn that we hear/heard today in Philippians. Listen as I read this because it is telling you a story.” Read or paraphrase verses 5-11. For ideas for actions that can go along with it go to this link atWorshiping with Children.

Faith+Share: “Paul is telling the story of Jesus to the Philippians to help them remember how to tell the story of Jesus to others. What did you hear in this story?” (get at the idea that Jesus came to be with us on earth and that Jesus is also our Lord to be praised)
“How do we tell the story of Jesus?” Get some ideas. Then say, “When we are in worship telling the story of Jesus and our faith in our hymns and prayers and in communion and in listening to the world of God.” Get specific, talk about a certain hymn you are singing that day or tie in the actions of communion as a way that we tell the story of Jesus. If you have a baptism today that is a good example as well.

“Paul says that God is at work in YOU. This means that we are a part of telling the story and showing the story of Jesus. God is work in us and we then are like lights for the world. I have these paper stars here because they remind me of how we try to be lights for God in the world which means we can be blessings to other people and show them Christ. On each star is the Christ Hymn (or the scripture reference) on one side and the other side is blank. I would like you each to have a star and do two things. First, while you are listening to the sermon draw or write a way that you can be a blessing and shine this week. Maybe you can help someone at home or a neighbor. Maybe you can visit someone who is lonely or sick. Maybe you can be nice to someone at school that it’s hard to be nice to. Second I want you to take this star home and put it where you can remember not only to shine for Christ but that Christ is with you all the time. You can put in on your bathroom mirror or fridge or bulletin boat or in your backpack.” 

“In fact, I think everyone can do this during the week. So you get your stars now, but grown ups… (address the congregation) you can have a star too. There will be a basket of stars being held for you to pick up after you take communion. Think about how you are going to shine Christ’s light this week and how you are going to remember God is with you. You can put your star on your mirror or fridge or hang in your car or on your bike, wherever you will see it this week.” 

“Let’s say our blessing together now. I invite everyone to join us.” (you may need to teach if you have only done this once or if you are using this outside of the series)

Faith+Blessing: 
Say together the words from Philippians 4:5 (NRSV) while doing the following actions:

Let your gentleness (flat hands palms facing body circle each other)  be known to everyone (open hands and arms out). The Lord is near (hands to heart)

Extended Ideas:
Decorate the stars
Have kids write the verse on the stars
Have an area for people to put their stars in the church–perhaps they make one to take home and one to keep at church.

Philippians Children Sermon Series #1 Phil. 1:21-20

Philippians Children’s Sermon Series

Series Note: In the lectionary year A Pentecost 14 through 17 we read through Philippians as the Epistle each week. The letters of Paul can have challenging content to teach to children (adults too!). We have written a children’s sermon series based on the scripture verses in Philippians. You can use these as a series or on their own.  The overarching theme is focused on how we are those who walk with and live as servants of Jesus and yet rejoice that God is with us in all of our daily living as we strive to “let our gentleness be known and remember the Lord is near” (Phil 4:5 paraphrase). 

Preparation: In your context think about or find out what the children or youth specifically or the church together are doing as service in the community or the world. For example, the children’s offering in our congregation is currently going to the Kid’s Cafe portion of our local food bank. Then find another older youth or adult who is willing to be person number 2. Work together to think of three ways you can give as examples of being in service to the community, family, and/or neighbors.

Faith+Open: Gather the children with you. “I heard in your Sunday school (or in our church or in our community) we are raising money for (or collecting) __________” So you know I think that is pretty cool–Since I heard you are doing that, I decided I could_______________ (fill in what you are going to do, either contribute or better yet, that it made you think of something you can do in your family or neighborhood).

Faith+Share: Person 2 interrupts (after you have said what you are going to do) “Wow, I think that is a fabulous idea! You know, hearing about how the kids/the church are______________ and that you are __________ I think I can help with those things too but I also know that ________________ needs______________.

Say, “Great idea. That is pretty neat how we have inspired to work together where we are and where we can to be in service in Jesus’ name. It reminds of our reading from Philippians today where Paul says, ‘Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for faith of the gospel.’” (NRSV Phil 1:27–feel free to paraphrase or summarize). We are serving in the Holy Spirit together even when we are doing different things. AND God is with us in our serving and in our daily struggles and in our daily joys.

“I want to teach you a blessing from Philippians that we are going to use for the next few weeks as we read from Philippians in worship. This blessing is on that reminds us how to serve one another with kindness and reminds us that God is with us always.”  (Teach following blessing)

Faith+Blessing: Say together the words from Philippians 4:5 (NRSV) while doing the following actions: Let your gentleness (flat hands palms facing body circle each other)  be known to everyone (open hands and arms out). The Lord is near (hands to heart)

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.