Tag Archives: faith

Children’s Sermon for Christmas Eve/Day – Luke 2:1-20

Prepare: You don’t need much for the children’s sermon.  You can, if you want, have some small gift for the children.  I would suggest a small star or small sheep if you want to do that.  The only other thing that might help is a familiarity with the Christmas song “Do You Hear what I Hear?”

 As the children gather ask them  if they know the Christmas story. If they do, ask them what their favorite part of the story is.  If you have a tight schedule you might want to skip this, but it is a chance to hear where they are with the story and it might change how you do the next part!

 Well, I have a story about the Christmas story. I think that most of us know the Christmas story, but did you ever think about how that story got to us?   I was thinking about that because I was listening to a song called “Do You Hear What I Hear?” The song starts with the wind whispering to a lamb, the lamb tells the shepherd, the shepherd tells the king and the king tells everyone!  The message is that Christ is born!

As I was listening to the song I started thinking about the story of Jesus, and I realized that the song is probably not that far off.   OK, OK, in the actual story there isn’t a talking sheep, but think about the story that we hear at Christmas.  Mary and Joseph know what’s going on because an angel told them – that’s kind of like the wind whispering to you.  The angels also told the shepherds who came to see.  Later on there were thee wise men, or maybe kings who heard about Jesus somehow and came following the light of a star!

So there is just this handful of people who know what is really happening in that little stable in Bethlehem, and they all manage to keep it quiet for a long time. We don’t really hear much about Jesus as a child, but then Jesus’ story gets really interesting! More people hear about Jesus as a teacher and healer, they tell their friends and neighbors, who tell their friends and neighbors.  The word of God spreads far and wide, churches spring up in the far corners of the world, books are written, songs are written, there are paintings and sculptures made, plays are performed, people are feed, baptized, blessed with God’s Word all over the word and throughout the centuries of time.

And it all started with an angel telling people to “Come and see.”

So, this Christmas, I encourage you to invite some one to come and see. It doesn’t have to be today, or tomorrow, or even this month.  But be like those angels and shepherds, the friends and neighbors – invite someone to “come and see!”

 Emmanuel, God with us, thank you for coming to us. For coming to us as a baby at Christmas, as a healer when we are sick, as a teacher when we are struggling, as a savior when we are lost. Give us the courage to tell the story, and to invite people to come and see! Amen.

 May God’s peace go with you

 A game of blessing telephone!  Start with two children.  Give them each a blessing and ask them to go bless two other people. Each person then blesses two more, etc.  Give it a little time to spread through the whole congregation!

You can use the blessing above, encourage people to make the sign of the cross on foreheads or on hands as they bless.

Get up and Go! Children’s Sermon Luke 17:11-19 Pentecost 21C October 9, 2016

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children up front with you and welcome them. Say, “I am wondering.. what do you think faith looks like?” Pause for a moment. “Like maybe it looks like folded hands in prayer? (show with hands) Or maybe it looks like showing the I love you in sign language? (who with hands pinky, index and thumb fingers up with the middle and ring down) I wonder if we can come up with a posture that shows faith?” Then say, “Let’s all strike a pose, move your body into a position that you think looks like faith.”  Do this experiment together a couple of times. Comment on ones that stand out, ask questions of ones you do not understand.

20130822-223633.jpg“In our story today from Luke, Jesus heals 10 lepers-10 people who were sick and being healed meant they could return to their homes and families. And as they ran off to do this, one of them turned back and prostrated himself and gave thanks. What does it mean to ‘prostrate’?” See if anyone knows and if not show them a bowing down. “This man showed faith with this bowing action. And then Jesus says something else, he says Get up! and Go! Sometimes we think of faith as praying or bowing or sitting quietly and those are all true. They help us connect with God, to hear God and to talk to God. And Jesus gives us another way to show faith. Get up and Go!”

There is a song about this that I really like. It’s called “Go!” I want to teach it to you now (or just sing if your setting knows this song. This part can also be skipped to shorten and you can just move to the prayer).  This song is by Eyewitness

Lyrics: Go Out and Pray

Go out and pray like it all depends on prayer.
Go out and work like it all depends on work.
Go out and love ‘til the final day ‘til he comes.
Go out and sing the greatest song you know.
Go out and study His word so we all can grow
Into the fullness of the likeness of His Son.

Words and Music by Eyewitness

20130822-223749.jpgFor our prayer, we are going to get up and Go. So let’s stand in a circle together. Everytime I say Go! raise your arm in the air and say Go! Back
At the end I will say Amen, Let’s Go! And you say “Let’s Go!”

Jesus, you tell us to Go! And pray, and work and sing and study and grow! Help us to Go and live and act in faith knowing your love Goes with us.

 

20130822-223908.jpg+May you know God GOes with you always+

 

 

FaithCross_WorshipGoogle images of ‘postures of prayer’ and put them on a large poster.   Set down a rug or some yoga mats and invite people to try out different postures. You can go a step farther and have cards for them to take home to try out there as well.

Unbelievable – John 10:22-30, April 17, 2016

Prepare: You will need a pencil and (if possible!) a diamond, or a picture of a diamond. The diamond can be an engagement ring, or in an earring, etc. It doesn’t need to be loose or even big.  The idea is to show the difference between the two.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children as you normally do, and as they gather, ask them to tell you the name of someone whom they trust. Could be a parent, a teacher, a coach, sibling, etc.  Just get them thinking about people they trust.

20130822-223633.jpgJesus talks a little bit about trust in today’s Gospel reading. He is being questioned by some people who really want to know who he is. They just want Jesus to tell them who he is! Jesus says, “I already told you, you just don’t trust me.” Well, really the word Jesus uses is “believe.” They don’t believe, even though they have heard the truth.

That got me thinking – Jesus, to them, just looks like a traveler, or at best a carpenter. There is nothing fancy about him. He doesn’t have fancy robes that make him look like a king, he doesn’t boss people around like he is in control of them. He doesn’t ACT like God!  . . . but, sometimes he does.  They were all just really confused.

So, to help think about this in a different way, I brought a couple of things – a pencil and a diamond ring (or a picture of one, whichever you can manage!). Two very different things, right? This one you can write or draw with, and this one is, well, a diamond ring!  But, at their heart they are the same thing. Both the diamond ring and pencil are special because the thing at the very center – and that thing is something called carbon. The black part at the middle of the pencil is made mostly of something called graphite (there are other things in there, too, but it’s mostly graphite). Graphite is made out of carbon.  The center of the ring is a diamond, and diamonds are carbon crystals.

So, both of these things, the pencil and the diamond ring, have carbon at the center. The pencil is a simple tool, something that we use everyday. The diamond is something special that we display because it is beautiful. (If you happen to have an engagement ring you can talk about why that particular diamond is special!) Even though they seem very different on the surface, at their heart they are the same stuff.

Back to Jesus! To the people standing around him he looks ordinary, like the carbon graphite in a pencil. But his disciples know that he is something really special, like a diamond. And just like the carbon, Jesus can be both!

 

FaithCross_BlessALT

Christ is Risen!

Christ is Risen, Indeed!

Alleluia!

FaithCross_PrayALTLoving God, you are the very thing that we need everyday. We rely on your love and mercy day in and day out. We give you thanks that you can be so close to us in our ordinary lives, and we praise the special treasure that is your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

FaithCross_WorshipWhat is something that you take for granted?

Have you congregation think about things that are “everyday” tools, or “everyday” staples in their lives. Create a space where people can write a prayer of thanks for the ordinary parts of their life and praise God for the simple and wonderful things that make life go better. (You can also have them tweet the prayers, or post them to your church’s FB page, etc.)

Collect the prayers and include them in the prayers of the people.

 

Children’s Sermon – 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, year C – Luke 4:14-21 (and Isaiah 61:1-2)

Prepare: You will need a bandage of some kind, like an ACE bandage, for the children’s sermon.  And bring a Bible with Isaiah 61:1-2 marked.

For the worship station you will need the mission statement of your congregation.  If you do not have one you can use the mission statement of your wider church organization.  Here is a link the ELCA Mission Statement page.

20130822-223520.jpg Gather the children and show them the bandage, asking them if they know what it is for. Once they answer ask if any of them have ever had to have a bandage?

20130822-223633.jpg  We will get back to the bandage in just a minute, but first I wanted to talk a little about what Jesus says in the Gospel story we hear today. Jesus is in his hometown synagogue (you might want to take a minute to explain that word – for most the children, equating it to a church will be enough!) and he decides that he is going to read from the scriptures. He chooses a couple of passages from a book called Isaiah and reads them. My favorite of the two passages he reads is Isaiah 61:1-2, which says this – (read)

Then he does a crazy thing, he says, “That person that Isaiah is describing? That’s me!”

Well, this makes the people who are there a little uncomfortable and upset, but we are going to save that part for next week! This week we are going to look at what Jesus said – remember that bandage?

One of the things that is in Isaiah, but not in the Gospel reading is that Jesus will, “Bind up the brokenhearted.” I love that phrase! It’s such a wonderful image of comfort and care. If i hurt my wrist I can use a bandage to bind it up and support it until it heals and is strong again. If I cut my finger I can bind it up with a bandage until the skin grows back and it can protect me again. But if my heart is broken what can I do? Jesus says that He is here to bind up our broken hearts so that they can heal and be strong again. He wraps them up and protects and comforts our hearts when we are brokenhearted! I love it!

20130822-223908.jpg Jesus comforts and protects your heart.

20130822-223749.jpg Loving God, bind up our brokenness with you love and care. Help our hearts to heal and be strong so that we can help bind up other hearts that are broken. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship Sometimes this passage in John is called “Jesus’ Mission Statement.” Invite your congregation to read it again, and then read your church’s mission statement. Open up a little time for interactive discussion about what is important in each statement. How is your church’s mission similar or different from Jesus? Should they be the same? Should they be different?

If your congregation is using the Weekly Devotion Inserts (here is a link to the one for this week!) ask them to get them out and work through the exercise on the back – make a mission statement for the week and post it somewhere it will be seen!

Children’s Sermon – September 6, 2015, Mark 7:24-37

Prepare: For the worship station you will need some way to vote, like a large piece of paper and post-it notes, or some large jars and some beans or beans.

20130822-223520.jpg As the children’s sermon time approaches find some place in the worship space where you can “hide,” but where everyone can see you.  Work with the other worship leaders to set up a time for the children to search for you. When they find you gather in your usual place.

20130822-223633.jpg OK, maybe I was being a little silly.  I mean, you all know that I was here!  That kind of reminds me of Jesus in our story today. He keeps trying to stay out of the spotlight, but everyone knows where he is! A woman who is not really accepted in the community finds him and asks him to heal her daughter. Anther group of people bring their friend to Jesus so that Jesus can open his ears and let him hear. All this happens when Jesus is trying to have a little quiet time, but everyone know where he is!

People seem to be coming to Jesus for several different reasons, but they all have one thing in common – they have faith that Jesus can do something about it – whatever “it” is. People come who are sick, or who need guidance, or food, or just need to be loved. This story is interesting because the two people that Jesus heals didn’t even bring themselves to Jesus – in fact, one person doesn’t even show up! Family and friends are showing up at Jesus’ feet to get help for the people that they love.

Sometimes we need to show up for our friends and family, sometimes we need to be the ones who have faith when other people cannot. So, I am going to start a prayer and I want you to think of someone who could use a little more Jesus in their life. You are welcome to share that name out loud, our you can just say it silently in your heart when we get there.

20130822-224425.jpgLoving God, sometimes having faith is really hard. Sometimes we want to show up and be with you and we just can’t find the way. Today we offer prayers for our friends who could use your love in their lives, hear us as we pray for _______________ . Amen

20130822-223908.jpgGod’s love shines through you.

FaithCross_WorshipSet up your jars for a game of “Would you rather?” If you don’t know this game, it usually involves having to choose between to disgusting things that no one would ever want to do, but we are going to Baptize it!  You can have as many “would you rathers” as you want. The idea is to ask some hard questions and get people thinking about sharing their faith with the people that they love, and inviting those people to come to church with them. IT should be two options that are both good ideas, not, “would you rather eat a doughnut or invite a friend.”

You should come up with ideas that speak to the needs of your community, but here are some ideas –

Would you rather:

  1. Invite that friend from school, work, or the gym to come check out what you do every Sunday?
  2.  Stand on the corner on Sunday morning and invite complete strangers into the building? or
  1. Would you rather volunteer to visit people in the hospital? or
  2. Work at the homeless shelter for a day?
  1. Make phone calls to new members and visitors? or
  2. Take communion to a homebound member?

 

 

 

Children’s Sermon/Worship Station – June 14, 2015, Mark 4:26-34; 3rd Sunday after Pentecost

Prepare: You will need a large piece of banner paper (probably white) and a bunch of crayons of markers.

20130822-223520.jpg Ask the children, “Have you every planted anything? Flowers, or vegetables, or a tree? What did you do to help if grow?” Wait for a few answers.

20130822-223633.jpg I think one of the amazing things about planting seeds is that all of the information that the seed needs to become a plant is inside that little seed! If you plant a pumpkin seed in a good place and give it water it grows more pumpkins with a whole bunch more seeds, it’s amazing!

In the story from Mark today, Jesus is working hard to explain what God’s Kingdom is like, and he chooses seeds and plants to help him explain. Jesus knows how amazing seeds are. It almost sounds like Jesus is just as fascinated as we are! He talks about how just a few seeds can grow into a bounty of food, or how a tiny little seed can become a huge tree (Jesus uses a mustard seed, but maybe we could think of an apple seed growing into a big apple tree!)

Jesus seems to be saying that God’s Kingdom holds more wonders than we can imagine, and more bounty than we can dream of. If a tiny little apple seed can grow into a big tree that can produce maybe hundreds of apples every year, imagine what the kingdom of God could be like!

FaithCross_Worship For the worship station, invite people to gather around the banner paper and create a prayer garden. Invite them to draw a flower or tree, or to write a short prayer on the paper. Find a place around your church where you can keep the banner up for a while with a sign that encourages people to add flowers, trees or prayers throughout the summer season. If you really keep it up, you could make the “harvest of prayer” part of you Sunday School kick off in the fall!

20130822-223908.jpg My God’s kingdom grow in you!

20130822-223749.jpg Bountiful God, We thank you for the wonders of seeds and plants. Help us to grow in faith just as the plants around us grown through the warm growing seasons. Amen.