Have some fun instruments, ribbons to twirl, pompoms to shake etc. Have them in a basket or a bucket easily carried. Have one of these things in your hand as you walk around your worship space singing a fun song twirling a ribbon and inviting people of all ages to join in your parade. If someone says no, that’s fine, accept all who come with you. Lead the parade (children and adults!)to where you normally gather for children’s sermon time.
Say: “Wow that was fun! Did you guys like it? Yeah? What did you like about it? (Accept all answers.) Yeah, I liked those things too! I really liked that we were all together and having a good time and we could just celebrate and be a little silly. Have you ever received an invitation to a party? Did you go? Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. It’s kind of sad when we can’t go to a party and we know that it will be good one isn’t it? Have you ever had a party where not many people showed up or could come? How did that feel? We love it when all of our family and friends can be together and celebrate birthdays or holidays with us!”
Say: “In today’s Bible story, we hear about a party. The king invites his friends and family but none of them come. So the king is sad and mad and turns around and invites all kinds of people to his party, strangers, visitors, good people, bad people, all kinds. The king wanted people to celebrate with and to share the joy of the day.
God is like that. God wants all people to celebrate with her the joy of love, togetherness and being in God’s kingdom. And God invites ALL of us to be in relationship with God! God sent Jesus to tell everyone that they are invited to be with God forever! Doesn’t matter if we act good all the time or bad all the time (although God wants us to love each other), God gathers us all in for love, forgiveness and being together. How can we share this party with other people? (Accept all answers-offer ways that your community connects with the neighborhood around it.) We can share God’s love with people in so many ways! That is worth celebrating!
Option A: (You will need ribbons that are used for presents. Buy the thicker ribbons for writing on.) During worship station time, offer ribbons cut in 8 inch lengths and permanent writing pens. Invite people to write on the ribbons what they are celebrating about their new life with God today. Or they could also write where they would like to invite God’s joy into their life today. Have a cross available for the ribbons to be tied onto or attached in some way.
Option B: Have blank cards on a table with fun ways to decorate them. Have people write an invitation to give to someone in their daily life. Invite people to worship, a work service day, Sunday school, Bible study, a meal, a fun outing, etc.