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.