Prepare: You will need to create an “obstacle course” of some kind. If you have a place to make an actual course go ahead! If not, you can just come up with a wondering or difficult route to get to the children’s sermon place. Maybe make a few cards that have instructions for how to move, like hop on one foot, crawl, crab-walk, etc. You will probably want to gather the children in a different place than usual, so that you can travel a little.
As the children gather, tell them that you are going to be traveling across the sanctuary to the place they can hear about the story. Tell them that the journey is to “prepare” them, because the story says to prepare the way of the Lord! And that the rest of the story is waiting for them when they get there. Then go ahead and travel by what every way you have come up with.
Finally here! That was a tough trip just to go across the room. Now, the rest of the story! We heard that we are supposed to prepare the way of the Lord, and Jesus seems like a complex guy, so I came up with a complex way to get here. Let’s see if I did it right!
The story says, “Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.”
Straight? uh oh. Our path was not straight! Sometimes we do that same thing to Jesus. We say that we are all set to let Jesus in, but we put up road blocks, and make Jesus do funny walks just to prove that he really wants to be part of our lives. But in Advent – as we prepare for Christmas – we are told to clean out all the road blocks, to get rid of the rules and restrictions of what Jesus can and cannot do, and make Jesus’ path straight and easy.
We are called on to do some work!
Loving God, we thank you for sending us your Son, Jesus. We are trying hard to make a straight path for Jesus, but sometimes it’s really hard to do. Give us courage to keep working, and thank you for sending Jesus, even when we are not ready and the path is not straight. Amen.
God finds you even on the crooked path!
Find something that you congregation is working on – like a long-term service relationship in the community, or having supplies on hand for people in need – and create a list of “road blocks” to getting that done. Put the list up somewhere in the worship space, or include it in the printed materials. Start a discussion about how to move forward. What can be done to get the blocks out of the way and move on with the project?