Children’s Sermon Pentecost 7A July 31, 2011

Scripture: Matthew 14: 13-21

Faith + Open— Gather children together with you and welcome them. We hear a story today of a time when Jesus was with many people because they wanted to hear what he had to stay. They wanted to hear him so much that they followed him around even when he wanted rest, even when they started to feel hungry and tired they did not stop following Jesus. The disciples wanted to Jesus to send them away so that everyone could go find food for themselves. But Jesus did not want to send them away. He asked the disciples for the 5 loaves of bread and the two fish that they had so he could feed the people.

Faith+Share:  How many of you had bread at meal yesterday or maybe the day before? Bread is an important part of what we eat, just like other foods are too. They are to nourish us. Jesus could make enough bread for everyone—even people who did not have bread to eat or to share. How can we help make sure others have the bread and other food that they need? (use this time to get ideas for how we participate in the kingdom of God by taking care of our neighbor.  Summer can be a great time to remind people of donating to food banks or programs that are feeding kids in the summer when they don’t get school meals. Consider having a food drive for the next couple of weeks)

Show the children the loaf of bread for communion—or a loaf that looks similar. Jesus only had a few of these loaves but the Bible tells us he feed more than 5000 people. Jesus did not send them away at all! What do we use this bread for?

Yes for communion. We do not want to send anyone away either. Jesus helps us to know that all people are welcome to eat with us and all people are a part of God’s kingdom. And before we have communion we pray the Lord’s Prayer and we say, “Give US this day OUR daily bread”. When we say this we are not just praying for ourselves or our own tables but we are praying for all people to have enough of what they need to eat and drink and to live. At communion we remember that this bread is for the forgiveness of our sins and to know that God loves each and everyone of the children.

Faith+Prayer: Jesus, Thank you for the food you give us in bread and thank you for the food you give us in love. Amen

Faith+Blessing: Break off a piece of bread for each child. Say this blessing as you hand it out: “May you always know of God’s love.”

Extended activities:

1.    Practice the Lord’s Prayer and talk more about what WE and OUR mean when we are praying.

2.     Teach the children a new table grace for them to say meals with their families.

3.     Read the story of the Feeding of the 5000 from a children’s Bible.

~Leta Behrens

Children’s Sermon July 24, 2011 Pentecost 6A

Scripture: Romans 8: 26-39

This lesson is based on the Romans 8 text. At the crux of Paul’s message in this passage is that the summary of all salvation history and God’s love for us is in the three words “God with us.” We all have times when we are afraid and need to be reminded of this fact. Paul is clear that our fear of things real and imagined cannot negate the reality and promise of God with us.

Faith+Open: After calling the children forward say, “I am sometimes afraid. Sometimes it’s just little stuff like the car running out of gas or not knowing what to say to someone. Sometimes it’s big stuff like being sick, do my friends like me or of being alone. We all get afraid sometimes. Do you ever get afraid?” (Wait for responses. You may want to ask what they may be afraid of. Accept all answers.)

Faith+Share: “Yes those are all things that can scare us right? Well today we read part of a letter from a man named Paul who went around to all kinds of different places telling people about Jesus. Paul was writing to the people in the church in Rome. He knew about being afraid. People didn’t always like Paul because he talked about Jesus all the time. They would put him in prison, be mean to him and even sometimes hurt him. Paul knew that his fear was real. BUT Paul also knew who else was real…GOD! Paul knew that God’s love was so big that it would reach Paul no matter what! It didn’t matter where Paul was, what Paul did (even if he did some not so nice things) or what Paul said, God was always there!”

“Do you know what?” God is always with you too! (Ask the kids to name places where they go in their week: school, grocery store, day care, swim lessons, etc.) “Yep! God is with you in all of those places! How can we remember that God is always with us?

Faith+Bless: Hmmm let me think….have you ever noticed how in church some people make the sign of the cross on themselves like this (demonstrate crossing yourself). Do you know why they do it? It is to remind them that God is with them forever! I am going to teach you this today! So take your right hand and use your pointer and tall finger together and start at your forehead. We start there because we want to remember that God in our head. Then we draw an invisible line with our fingers to our chest. This reminds us that God is in our heart. Then we go to our left shoulder, God is on our left. And then our right shoulder, God is on our right. So where is God? Everywhere! We can say, ‘God be in my head, in my heart, on my left and on my right.” (Make the sign of the cross as you say this together. Practice a couple of times.) Now you can do this in church too anytime you want or when we say, “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” which is God!

Faith+Prayer: Let’s pray: God we thank you for always being with us. You love us and hold us no matter where we are or what we are doing. Be in our head, heart, on our left and on our right always. Amen”

Bonus ideas: If time allows sing a verse of “God’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” You could also bring the children to the baptismal font and make the sign of the cross with water on them while the whole congregation sings.

In my sermon on Romans 8 I am going to ask the adults to write down what their fears are and place them in the offering plate to give to God. Have crayons available so that young children who cannot write can draw their fears and participate. 

~Brigette Weier

Children’s Sermon Pentecost 5A Psalm 139

Scripture Focus: Psalm 139

Supplies—something knit

Faith+Open— After welcoming the children, tell them about the Psalm for today. If your service doesn’t use the Psalm this week or if they have not heard it, read either all or parts of it to them. Ask them to close their eyes and imagine God creating them and knowing them. Be sure to read the part about being knit together in the womb.

OR: use the book Before you Were Born by Nancy White Carlstrom.   It is a beautiful children’s book based on this Psalm and could be read, or parts read, to engage children in the psalm in a way that relates to them on a personal level. You could simply read this book or read parts and continue with the rest of the elements following.

Faith+Share: When you hear the words that you were knit together in your mother’s womb what does that make you imagine or how does that feel? Show them the knit item or items you have. If you can knit or if you know someone who does, you could also show them what it looks like when the person is knitting. Explain that to knit is to carefully bring yarn together to make it into something new. Another thing about knitting is that it creates warmth that stays with us. A knit scarf is meant to be warm, to keep out the cold and to keep the heat in and close to our necks.

God knit each of you together in a careful and loving way. You were created with God’s heart and hands and God knows you in this way as well. Psalm 139 is praising and thanking God for being a God that is will us from the beginning and all throughout our lives. Just like a knit scarf will keep the warmth on you, God will stay with you in your heart. They can remember this when they wear something knit or when they use water to remember their baptism or when they come to the table for the communion meal. Ask the children to think of ways they can remember how they are loved by God.

Faith+Prayer: God you know me, God you love me. Thank you for knitting me together. Thank you for your love that stays with me. Amen

Faith+Blessing: Making the sign of the cross say this another way to help us remember God is with us—God in my head, God in my heart, God on my left, God on my right.

Extended activitiesIf you meet with children for a longer period of time outside of the worship space here are some ideas:

1.    have some knit samples the kids can put on and play with

2.    older kids can braid or twist yarn together in a bracelet to simulate knitting together

3.    create pictures of what life was like before they were born

Easter 3 A Children’s Sermon 2011

Children Sermon:

By Gus Brockmann, Worship and Children’s Ministry Director, First Lutheran in Longmont CO

Scripture Focus: Luke 24:13-35

Supplies – an easy to see optical illusion (see the picture to the left,  prints well on 11×17)

Faith+Open— After welcoming the children show them the illusion, being careful to talk about the most obvious part (in the attached file, talk about the forest).  Once they have looked for a few seconds point out the hidden picture (the tiger in the attached file).  Some of the children might spot it before you call attention to it, but that’s ok too!

Faith+Share:

Sometimes, like in this picture, we don’t always see what is really there.  It’s easy to see the trees, but we might not see the tiger until we look at the picture for a few minutes.  The Gospel today is a story that takes place on Easter, right after Jesus come back to life.  We hear about some people who run into a stranger on the road as they are walking home; at least they think he’s a stranger.  They invite the stranger to come with them, telling him that it will soon be dark and dangerous on the road.  The stranger agrees to go with them, and they talk about just happened in Jerusalem, and the stranger talks about the Bible and tells them stories from the prophets.  Once they get home, they make dinner and invite the stranger to sit and eat.

The stranger sits with them, picks up the bread, blesses it and breaks it.  In that moment, they realize that they are sitting with Jesus! They are amazed that their eyes did not see him, but they knew in their hearts that it was him.

Sometimes when we look at things we don’t see the whole picture at first, just like in the illusion.  We might not see Jesus all the time, but He is always walking with us and caring for us.

Faith+Prayer: Loving God, we bless you for the gift your Son, Jesus.  Thank you for sending him with us a friend and companion.  Amen.

Faith+Blessing: Let’s say together making the sign of the cross: God in my head, God in my heart, God on my left and God on my right.

Extended activitiesIf you meet with children for a longer period of time outside of the worship space here are some ideas:

1.    Find additional optical illusion pictures and examine them together

2.    Read the story of the Walk to Emmaus from Spark Storybook Bible or Jesus Storybook Bible

Living Water Children’s Sermon Lent3A

Scripture Focus John 4:5-42

Children’s Sermon #1 (Within Worship/shorter version)

Faith+Open–Welcome children to gather with you.

Props: a fish bowl/aquarium or pictures of water life.

We heard story today of Jesus meeting a woman at a well where she was getting water. He tells her that she is loved by God even after knowing the things she had done wrong in life. Jesus says that the water she needs is from him—Living Water.  What do you think of when you hear the words ‘living water’?

Faith+Share:  Show your ‘living water’… I think of this kind of water. Fish and plants and mud and dirt and all those things that live in the water. What else needs water? What do we use it for?

We need water for life, all of us, every human and plant and animal. And we have water in our church building all the time—where is it? Yes, the baptismal font helps us remember what Jesus said about the kind of water we need from God. That water is a water of promise that we are loved and forgiven and held by God all the time, no matter who we are and no matter who we meet in our lives, humans are held by God’s grace in living water.

Faith+Prayer: God, thank you for water, for giving us what we need to live. Please help those who do not have enough water or clean water. Fill our hearts with your living water of love and mercy. Amen

Children’s Sermon #2 (Children’s worship time/longer version)

Faith+Open–Welcome children to gather with you.

Props: a fish bowl/aquarium or pictures of water life.

We heard story today of Jesus meeting a woman at a well where she was getting water. He tells her that she is loved by God even after knowing the things she had done wrong in life. Jesus says that the water she needs is from him—Living Water.  What do you think of when you hear the words ‘living water’?

Faith+Share:  Show your ‘living water’… I think of this kind of water. Fish and plants and mud and dirt and all those things that live in the water. What else needs water? What do we use it for?

We need water for life, all of us, every human and plant and animal. And we have water in our church building all the time—where is it? Yes, the baptismal font helps us remember what Jesus said about the kind of water we need from God. That water is a water of promise that we are loved and forgiven and held by God all the time, no matter who we are and no matter who we meet in our lives, humans are held by God’s grace in living water.

Activity ideas:

Art—create pictures of living water either from cutting out shapes and gluing or coloring

Science—have buckets or milk jugs filled with water. Talk about the well water and what that may have been like to have to carry water a long way. Have kids do a relay to see if they can carry the water across the room.

Faith+Prayer: God, thank you for water, for giving us what we need to live. Please help those who do not have enough water or clean water. Fill our hearts with your living water of love and mercy. Amen

Written by Rev. Leta Behrens

March 20 Lent 2A Children’s Sermon

Scripture Focus: Genesis 12: 1-9

Background: In this travel narrative Abraham faithfully listens to God and leaves his home and goes where God leads him. When God tells Abraham that God will give his offspring the land, Abraham builds and altar and praises God. So too, does Abraham build an altar and praised God as he traveled through the land.

Children’s Sermon #1 (Within Worship/shorter version)

Faith+Open–Welcome children to gather with you.

Ask: Have you ever played a game where you had to follow someone else or copy what they did? Follow the leader and Simon says are good games for that! Let’s try it out now.

Play “Simon Says” and walk them around the sanctuary (or around whatever part of the church makes sense in your context). At a natural place to pause, stop and say, “Abraham and Sarah were called by God to follow God away from their home. They did not really know where they would end but they traveled and did their best to follow God.” Keep going.

Faith+Share:  After “traveling” a bit, lead them by the altar area where you have already placed a set of building blocks.

Explain that each time Abraham and Sarah found a place to stay for awhile, they built and altar to the Lord. This way they remembered who they worshiped and that they were trusting in God. It’s kind of like how we come together to worship God. We can also worship God at our homes. We can built altars or simply pray around the table together.

Have them build an altar and then sing a praise song such as “Hallelu-Hallelu-Hallelujah-Praise-ye the Lord.”  Talk about how no matter where we are or what we are doing we can praise God every day in our lives and God will hear us! God travels with us in our life and is always present! That is reason to sing indeed! Blessings on your week!

Faith+Prayer: God, sometimes it is hard to know how to follow you. Help us to remember that no matter where we are or where we go we are called to your children and you are will us. Amen.

Children’s Sermon #2 (Children’s worship time/longer version)

Faith+Open–Welcome children to gather with you.

Read the Genesis verses from a children’s Bible. Talk about who Abraham and Sarah are and why they are important to us as Christians.

Ask: Have you ever played a game where you had to follow someone else or copy what they did? Follow the leader and Simon says are good games for that! Let’s try it out now.

Play “Simon Says” and walk them around the sanctuary (or around whatever part of the church makes sense in your context). At a natural place to pause, stop and say, “Abraham and Sarah were called by God to follow God away from their home. They did not really know where they would end but they traveled and did their best to follow God.” Keep going.

Faith+Share:  After “traveling” a bit, lead them by the altar area where you have already placed a set of building blocks.

Explain that each time Abraham and Sarah found a place to stay for awhile, they built and altar to the Lord. This way they remembered who they worshiped and that they were trusting in God. It’s kind of like how we come together to worship God. We can also worship God at our homes. We can built altars or simply pray around the table together.

Have them build an altar and then sing a praise song such as “Hallelu-Hallelu-Hallelujah-Praise-ye the Lord.”  Talk about how no matter where we are or what we are doing we can praise God every day in our lives and God will hear us! God travels with us in our life and is always present! That is reason to sing indeed! Blessings on your week.

Faith+Prayer: God, sometimes it is hard to know how to follow you. Help us to remember that no matter where we are or where we go we are called to your children and you are will us. Amen.

Written by Brigette Weier

Edited by Leta Behrens, M.Div

Children’s Sermon Transfiguration Year A March 6, 2011

Scripture Focus: Primarily Matthew 17:1-9; includes Exodus & 2 Peter readings

Children’s Sermon #1 (Within Worship/shorter version)

Preparation: a short letter that has information about yourself in it written about you by a parent or a friend (write it from the perspective of someone else)

Faith+Open–Welcome children to gather with you.

Say: We just heard three passages from the Bible and they probably sounded very different. But they had at least one thing in common—they told about ways that God is revealed to us. God is revealed to Moses on the mountain, Peter retells the story of Jesus’ baptism when God is revealed in the voice that says “this is my beloved son with whom I am pleased. And our Gospel story tells us about Jesus being as God’s son through his appearance and a voice from heaven. They are stories about some ways that we can know God.

How do can you get to know someone? (encourage responses) We can ask them questions. Like, what is your favorite color or animal. Or what they like to do or eat. Maybe about their family or who they know well? Could my mom or dad or my kids tell you something about me? Sure!

Pick one child to ask a couple of questions to: What is your favorite color? What was the best thing you did this week? You have revealed things about yourself to me.

Faith+Share:  Read the short letter you wrote “from your parent or friend” to the kids about yourself.

Do you now know EVERYTHING about me? do you know more about me? yes!  How do we know about God? (Jesus and the Bible maybe answers, encourage other responses as well like prayer, creation, other people, etc.)

In our gospel story today God tells us to listen to Jesus as Jesus is God’s son. We can learn about God through Jesus. Reading about Jesus in the Bible helps us to know how much God loves us and how God wants us to love others. And then we can tell others about who Jesus is and how much Jesus’ loves everyone! 

Faith+Prayer: God, we know you love us and you know all about us. Thank you for revealing yourself to us. Help us to show others your love. Amen

Children’s Sermon #2 (Children’s worship time/longer version)

Preparation: a short letter that has information about yourself in it written about you by a parent or a friend (write it from the perspective of someone else)

Faith+Open–Welcome children to gather with you.

Say: We just heard three passages from the Bible and they probably sounded very different. But they had at least one thing in common—they told about ways that God is revealed to us. God is revealed to Moses on the mountain, Peter retells the story of Jesus’ baptism when God is revealed in the voice that says “this is my beloved son with whom I am pleased. And our Gospel story tells us about Jesus being as God’s son through his appearance and a voice from heaven. They are stories about some ways that we can know God.

How do can you get to know someone? (encourage responses) We can ask them questions. Like, what is your favorite color or animal. Or what they like to do or eat. Maybe about their family or who they know well? Could my mom or dad or my kids tell you something about me? Sure!

Pick one child to ask a couple of questions to: What is your favorite color? What was the best thing you did this week? You have revealed things about yourself to me.

ACTIVITY: Now put kids in partners or groups of three. Ask them to ‘reveal’ things about themselves to one another. Explain that when they are done they will share one new thing they learned about their partner.

Faith+Share:

Read the short letter you wrote “from your parent or friend” to the kids about yourself.

Do you now know EVERYTHING about me? do you know more about me? yes!  How do we know about God? (Jesus and the Bible maybe answers, encourage other responses as well like prayer, creation, other people, etc.)

In our gospel story today God tells us to listen to Jesus as Jesus is God’s son. We can learn about God through Jesus. Reading about Jesus in the Bible helps us to know how much God loves us and how God wants us to love others. And then we can tell others about who Jesus is and how much Jesus’ loves everyone! 

Faith+Prayer: God, we know you love us and you know all about us. Thank you for revealing yourself to us. Help us to show others your love. Amen

Materials: Children’s Bible, letter about yourself

Written by Brigette Weier

Edited by Leta Behrens

Children’s Sermon Epiphany 8A Feb 27, 2011

Scripture Focus: Matthew 6:24-34

Children’s Sermon #1 (Within Worship/shorter version)

**Invite someone to join you in this children sermon for a bit of ‘acting’ fun. This can be another adult, youth, or even older elementary aged child.

Faith+Open–Welcome children to gather with you.

Person 1: Walk around a bit and wring your hands looking worried.

Oh, I am so worried. I’m just worried about what should I do? Where should I go? Who can help me? I’m… just worried.

Person 2: Hey, what’s going on? Why are you so upset?

Person 1: I am just not sure about… well, I am… well, worried about all the things to do and choose from….and…

Person 2: Oh my, yeah, there can be lots of things that make us worry. (turn to kids) What are things that make you worry? (invite responses)

Person 1: See, seems like worrying is what we need to do!

Faith+Share:

Person 2: Well, I understand, there are worrisome things but we also have this message from God in our Gospel today.

Read from Spark Storybook Bible or version. Below are the words from Spark Storybook Bible

Jesus loved to teach people about how God wants people to live. “God takes care of us!” Jesus said. “Don’t worry about what you are going to eat or what you might wear or when you’ll grow taller. God will take care of these things for you. Look at the birds. Do they worry about what they eat? Of course not! God makes sure they have good. Look at the flowers. Do they worry about what color they are? Of course not! God made them each beautiful in their own way. And God makes you beautiful too. You’re beautiful simply because you are you!”  Then Jesus said, “Listen! There is far more to life than worrying. Worry gets you nowhere—so stop! The one things you need to do is put God first. Trust that God will take care of you!” Spark Storybook Bible, Augsburg Fortress, p. 276

Person 1: Oh, so just worrying probably isn’t helping me. God is promising to be there through all these things that make me worry.

Person 2: Yep, that’s right. God’s love is big and wide and God’s love is always with you. So when you worry—because we all do, we can remember these words from God and promises from Jesus. We can pray and ask for peace and we can think about these words instead of all the worries in our heads and hearts.

***Additional Option: This is a great way to open up the service to include all ages in engaging in giving our worries to God. I so hope someone does this! Tell me about it if you do!

Have kids write or draw their worries on pieces of paper and then tape them to a giant heart shape. After they are on, cover them up with another heart that matches so that they are covered by God’s love. This could be done as part of the children’s sermon time OR they could be given this as a task to do during the regular sermon and then invited up during offering or benediction or at another point in the worship to put their worries on the heart. You could also ask the whole congregation to do this and post them on the heart on their way out.

Faith+Prayer: God, we worry. We worry about__________________ (name some things that were brought up by the children). We pray for all those people who worry about daily food and shelter and clothing. We ask for your love to bring us all peace and quiet our worried hearts. Amen.

Children’s Sermon #2 (Children’s worship time/longer version)

**Invite someone to join you in this children sermon for a bit of ‘acting’ fun. This can be another adult, youth, or even older elementary aged child.

Faith+Open–Welcome children to gather with you.

Person 1: Walk around a bit and wring your hands looking worried.

Oh, I am so worried. I’m just worried about what should I do? Where should I go? Who can help me? I’m… just worried.

Person 2: Hey, what’s going on? Why are you so upset?

Person 1: I am just not sure about… well, I am… well, worried about all the things to do and choose from….and…

Person 2: Oh my, yeah, there can be lots of things that make us worry. (turn to kids) What are things that make you worry? (invite responses)

Person 1: See, seems like worrying is what we need to do!

Faith+Share:

Person 2: Well, I understand, there are worrisome things but we also have this message from God in our Gospel today.

Read from Spark Storybook Bible or version. Below are the words from Spark Storybook Bible

Jesus loved to teach people about how God wants people to live. “God takes care of us!” Jesus said. “Don’t worry about what you are going to eat or what you might wear or when you’ll grow taller. God will take care of these things for you. Look at the birds. Do they worry about what they eat? Of course not! God makes sure they have good. Look at the flowers. Do they worry about what color they are? Of course not! God made them each beautiful in their own way. And God makes you beautiful too. You’re beautiful simply because you are you!”  Then Jesus said, “Listen! There is far more to life than worrying. Worry gets you nowhere—so stop! The one things you need to do is put God first. Trust that God will take care of you!” Spark Storybook Bible, Augsburg Fortress, p. 276

Person 1: Oh, so just worrying probably isn’t helping me. God is promising to be there through all these things that make me worry.

Person 2: Yep, that’s right. God’s love is big and wide and God’s love is always with you. So when you worry—because we all do, we can remember these words from God and promises from Jesus. We can pray and ask for peace and we can think about these words instead of all the worries in our heads and hearts.

***Person 1: That reminds me of another story.

Read: All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil F. Alexander and Ashley Bryan OR He’s Got the Whole world in His Hands by Kadir Nelson. Each of these stories expands on the idea of God providing care and love for the whole world. For a more detailed look at these stories go to Children’s Literature Lectionary Link Feb. 27 

***Additional Option: This is a great way to open up the service to include all ages in engaging in giving our worries to God. I so hope someone does this! Tell me about it if you do!

 Have kids write or draw their worries on pieces of paper and then tape them to a giant heart shape. After they are on, cover them up with another heart that matches so that they are covered by God’s love. This could be done as part of the children’s sermon time OR they could be given this as a task to do during the regular sermon and then invited up during offering or benediction or at another point in the worship to put their worries on the heart. You could also ask the whole congregation to do this and post them on the heart on their way out.

Person 2: What does that story say about how God feels about the people in the world? (invite response) How about how God feels about us? (invite responses)

Sing: He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands  

(click here for a sound link from KIDiddles )

He’s got the whole world in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got my brothers and my sisters in His hands,

He’s got my brothers and my sisters in His hands,

He’s got my brothers and my sisters in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got the sun and the rain in His hands,

He’s got the moon and the stars in His hands,

He’s got the wind and the clouds in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got the rivers and the mountains in His hands,

He’s got the oceans and the seas in His hands,

He’s got you and he’s got me in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got everybody here in His hands,

He’s got everybody there in His hands,

He’s got everybody everywhere in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

Faith+Prayer: God, we worry. We worry about__________________ (name some things that were brought up by the children). We pray for all those people who worry about daily food and shelter and clothing. We ask for your love to bring us all peace and quiet our worried hearts. Amen.

MaterialsSpark Storybook Bible or other children’s Bible, picture books All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil F. Alexander and Ashley Bryan OR He’s Got the Whole world in His Hands by Kadir Nelson if using, paper, big red hearts, tape, music

Children’s Sermon Epiphany 7A February 20, 2011

Scripture Focus: Matthew 5:38-48

Children’s Sermon #1 (Within Worship)

Faith+Open–Welcome children to gather with you.  (Prop: a Valentine or big heart)

We just had Valentine’s day, right? Did you have parties at school or home? Did you get any Valentine’s? Did you give any away? Who do you give valentine’s too? (wait for responses, reacting to giving them to loved ones/people they know). For those of you in school, do you give Valentine’s to everyone in your class?

Faith+Share:  I am wondering about who Jesus would give a Valentine to. I am wondering because we just heard words from the Gospel of Matthew that tell us that Jesus said we should love our family and friends and our neighbors but that we should also love our enemies. What do you think that means?

So Jesus is telling me to love people even when they aren’t nice to me? Or even people that I don’t know? Wow. I think that sounds like a lot of Valentine’s Jesus would give away if he would give one to even the people who didn’t like him or believe him.

It also sounds kind of hard. My little brother used to make me so, so, so so mad that sometimes it was pretty hard to be nice to him or pray for him or give him something like a Valentine. Does that ever happen to you?

The good news is that Jesus does love us all and we can tell others about his love and let our love be a part of that gift from God. One way we can love is to pray for people and to let our hearts be open to know that they are loved by God too.

Option: Sing Jesus Loves Me or Love, Love, Love or other song of God’s love they are familiar with and can sing with you.

Option: Hand out candy hearts or small packs of them.

Faith+Prayer: Jesus, you have taught us who to love and how to share your love by what we say and do. Please be with all people, even those that we may not know or may not be able to call our friends. Help us to feel how big and wide your love is.  Amen.

Children’s Sermon #2 (Children’s worship time)

Faith+Open– Welcome children to gather with you.  (Prop: a Valentine or big heart)

We just had Valentine’s day, right? Did you have parties at school or home? Did you get any Valentine’s? Did you give any away? Who do you give valentine’s too? (wait for responses, reacting to giving them to loved ones/people they know). For those of you in school, do you give Valentine’s to everyone in your class?

Faith+Share:  I am wondering about who Jesus would give a Valentine to. I am wondering because we just heard words from the Gospel of Matthew that tell us that Jesus said we should love our family and friends and our neighbors but that we should also love our enemies. Let’s hear the Gospel (again) for today.

Read Matthew 5:38-48 or part of it. Recommend to read from the Spark Storybook Bible (pg. 274) or other children’s bible. What do you think that means?

So Jesus is telling me to love people even when they aren’t nice to me? Or even people that I don’t know? Wow. I think that sounds like a lot of Valentine’s Jesus would give away if he would give one to even the people who didn’t like him or believe him.

It also sounds kind of hard. My little brother used to make me so, so, so so mad that sometimes it was pretty hard to be nice to him or pray for him or give him something like a Valentine. Does that ever happen to you?

Option: Read Down the Road by Alice Schertle-This book tells a story of a little girl who is worried that because she broke eggs on the way home from the store that she will not be forgiven. Shows the unconditional love of God for us and for all people.

The good news is that Jesus does love us all and we can tell others about his love and let our love be a part of that gift from God. One way we can love is to pray for people and to let our hearts be open to know that they are loved by God too.

Sing Jesus Loves Me or Love, Love, Love or other song of God’s love they are familiar with and can sing with you.

Activity Option: Prep hearts or paper to make hearts. Have kids write them write Matthew 5:44 on their heart and decorate it.

Option: Hand out candy hearts or small packs of them.

Faith+Prayer: Jesus, you have taught us who to love and how to share your love by what we say and do. Please be with all people, even those that we may not know or may not be able to call our friends. Help us to feel how big and wide your love is.  Amen.

Materials: Children’s Bible, Valentine, supplies for activity option (paper, crayons, scissors, markers, words to Matthew 5:44), music or way to sing songs, candy hearts option, picture book Down the Road.

Christmas Week Devotions – FREE PRINTABLES

Fresh and HOT off the presses we have ready for you to print, copy and handout to whomever you so desire is a Christmas Devotion written for the final 5 days before Christmas (December 20-24). This is a devotion that homes and families of all shapes and sizes will find to be worth their time in spending a few minutes together each day of this week of Christmas. The link will take you to our googlesite where you can download the full document. Or use it online starting December 15th by looking at each day. Here is an overview:

Faith+Open–a ritual of lighting a candle, picking an ornament off your tree for your time together, and singing or listening to a Christmas song that fits the scripture for the day
Faith+Share–scripture and discussion prompts plus optional activities
Faith+Prayer–a prayer together
Faith+Blessing–a time to bless one another as the devotional time ends.

We encourage you to use this in your home and share with others. For all you wonderful youth directors, children’s ministers and pastors we encourage you to have this available for your congregations and visitors throughout Advent.

We love feedback so let us know if you used it and what you thought!
Link to devotions and supplemental pages

+Blessings to you all this Advent and Christmas,
Leta & Brigette

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.