Preparation: a needle and thread–use a larger one if possible so that they can see, a sign that says Go in Peace, Serve the Lord (optional as you can do this verbally as well) Worship station supplies are a coloring page with cross–click here for a pdf of that page.
Gather the children up front with you and greet them. “Well, I heard Jesus saying some interesting things today about camels and needles and other things that sound just impossible. What are some things that you think are impossible?” (take answers, you will likely get some crazy ones like flying, etc) Yes those sound pretty impossible and some of them truly are not things we do as humans (like flying–careful not to encourage dangerous things!)
Today Jesus talks about it being more difficult for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get their own way into heaven. I brought this sewing needle with me to show you, can you see it here. This is the eye of the needle, the part where the thread goes (put the thread through or did it ahead of time.) Now, let’s use our imagination–how big is a camel? Yep this big, huge (spread out your arms) and how will a camel walk through this needle like the thread? Sounds crazy right? Well Jesus is using some big imagination there! Even exaggeration–talking about something that is not really possible. There was also this man, who asked Jesus a big question–what do I DO to have eternal life. And Jesus tells him to give away all that he has –everything and then he will know what it is to have eternal life. How do you think the man felt? Yep, he felt pretty gloomy because he just did not think he could do that-it sounded impossible. Does that sound impossible to you? What are some ways that we do give away we have and share? (talk about some things they do and any project you are working on together)
I also noticed that it says Jesus looked at the man with love–Jesus sees him and us with love! Then Jesus says, it is not possible for you to DO anything on your own but with God all things are possible. You can give things away and you can share with others even when it is difficult. And no matter what you do God’s love is there and Jesus going to the cross and rising again is what gives us eternal life, so there is nothing you can do to make it happen on your own.
What we DO matters, how we go out and share God’s love. AND God will be with us and gives us eternal life no matter we have or do not have or do or do not do. So yes we need to care for others and we need to know that Jesus is the one who saves us. We say something at the end of each service-Go in Peace and serve and the Lord. Do you know what that means? Go out of this place, knowing God is with you and do things that show God loves you and everyone else.
I have a sign here and so let’s have two people make an arch with their hands and I will hold this sign up for you. Now before we go back to our seats you will walk through this arch and sign and hear the words, Go in peace and serve the Lord and you can say thanks be to God as you go to your seat. As you hear these words remember that God goes with you no matter what you do in this world.
Option: Have two kids make these arches as people leave the sanctuary and encourage them to go through that tight space and hear the words that God loves you as you go in peace.
Have a cross coloring outline on a sheet of paper and the words Jesus looks at you and Loves you (paraphrase of verse 21)–Here is one made for you, click here! Inside the cross write the things that we struggle to give away to God and need to lay on the cross. Around the cross write or draw the ways God loves comes to you.