Have a tent or a make shift canopy where you can gather the children under. Ask them if they remember what prayer we talked about last week (or last time you worshiped). Yes, the Lord’s Prayer! The Lord’s Prayer is important not just because Jesus taught his disciples to pray it but because it reminds us that we can talk to God about everything in our lives, even hard, sad or scary stuff, not just happy things. Have you ever been sad or afraid? *Share a time that you were afraid.
You just heard a Psalm (or a song) that is all about God being with us when life is sad or scary. We will have times when we are afraid or sad and that’s ok. Life is not always happy but do you know what? The person who wrote this song wants you to know something: God is with you always and forever. Forever! No matter what! Jesus wants you to know that too! There is one sentence in the Lord’s Prayer that says: “Deliver us from evil.” Evil sounds very scary but Jesus says don’t forget that you are never alone no matter how afraid you are. It might sound as if we are asking God to deliver us-as if God didn’t know that we are afraid but Jesus is saying that God knows and will cover you like a tent with God’s love! We are always under God’s shelter no matter what. Even if we can’t feel it or see it. It’s hard to understand that but it’s true! We gather here at church, in a special space to remind us that God is our shelter. We can bring all of our fears, questions and worries here to church and know that God is with us and that all of these people are with us too!
Have a table with a large piece of canvas (tenting type material) and have some permanent markers available. Invite people to write their fears on the canvas and hang it in the worship space in Lent as a reminder that God shelters us in our fear.
God you are our shelter and safety. Thank you for delivering us from evil and for your son Jesus who shows us your love. May all people feel your love, presence and shelter. Amen.
+God is your shelter+
Have a plant or a little tree for this children’s sermon. You may also want a picture of a fig tree to show the children. Gather the children (and the young at heart!) to a spot where all can see the plant.
Show the children the plant and say, “I have this plant here that I have had for some time. When I first got it, it was small. So I watered it and gave it some plant food. What do you think happened when I watered it and fed it? (Accept all answers) Yes, it got bigger! This plant maybe wont grow to be too big but have you ever seen a big tree like an apple tree or a orange tree? They started out small as well and then with love and care grew to be quite large. And those kinds of trees when they reach a certain age, if they have been cared for, will grow fruit to be shared with people and animals.
In part of our Bible story today Jesus talks about a fig tree (show the picture if you have it) that is cared for by a gardener. It doesn’t give fruit yet and the gardener tells the owner of the tree to be patient and give it more time. The gardener wants to give the tree a little more love and care and time. God is like that gardener for us. God gives us people like our moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas and all kinds of loving adults to take care of us. We grow in that love and care don’t we? Now we don’t grow apples or oranges like trees to share with people but we do have love to share with friends and our family. Do we have to wait to be a certain size or age to share God’s love? NO! We can do that no matter how old we are! What are some ways that we can share love with others? (Accept all answers) We can pray with people, open up our church to those who need a place to sleep, give people food to eat, blankets to be warm (list off ministries that your congregation participates in).
Dear God, thank you for loving us and caring for us. No matter how big we are or how old we are we will share your love with the world. In Jesus name, amen.
Make the sign of the cross on one another and say, May you grow in God’s love and care.