Gather the children together: When I was your age, when we went to see grandmas and grandpas or aunts and uncles, we always drove our car. Sometimes the trip was a day, sometimes two days and sometimes even when we planned for a trip to take a day or two it might take three or four because of things happening that we didn’t predict, such as a flat tire, someone not feeling well or bad weather. I’m not the most patient person, so if it seemed that the trip was taking a long time I would ask my parents, “Are we there yet?” I discovered that if I asked that a lot, they would stop answering me.
How many of you have ever been on a car trip? As you drive down the highway there are signs along the road. What do some of those signs say? (Accept all answers.) Yes, some will tell you where the next gas station is, where a restaurant or a hotel might be, or how far to the next town or rest stop. Does every sign you see mean that your trip is over? No. Sometimes we see a sign for the town that we are going to and get really excited only to find out we have a long way to go. Or we go for hours or days without seeing the name of the place we’re going and so we ask: “Are we there yet?” It’s really hard to not know how much time until we get to grandma and grandpas, or a friends house, or whatever fun place we’re going. It can be hard to wait for fun things like our birthdays and what’s coming soon? Christmas! We don’t like to wait but to know when things will happen.
Jesus had been telling his disciples, his friends, all about when he would come to see them again. Jesus wanted them, and us, to know that there will be a time when we are all with God forever… but not yet. We don’t know when Jesus will come back and the disciples were wondering if there would be a “sign,” like a road sign that would let them know exactly how long until Jesus comes back to us. But Jesus says that the signs may not help us to know. Jesus also says that we don’t need to worry about if we’re there yet, we don’t need to be scared about anything because God promises to be with us forever. The important thing for us to remember are the signs of Jesus’ love such as water at baptism and the bread and the wine at communion. What are other signs of Jesus’ love in our lives? (Accept all answers: homes, moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, friends, sharing, hugs, praying, etc.) Jesus wants us to share these signs of love with the whole world! We are a sign, almost like a billboard of Jesus’ love for the whole world to see!
Have someone with a digital camera take pictures of people. Print them out and place them on a big piece of butcher paper or poster board. Have the title: Signs of God’s Love. You can also have pictures of the different ministries from your community to add to the sign. Or have people write stories or draw pictures on the butcher paper (poster board)of who shows them signs of God’s love. Place the banner where it is seen as people enter your building or better yet, can be seen by those on the street!
Thank you for all of the signs in our lives of your love, especially your son Jesus. Make us signs of your love and hope for the whole world to see. Remind us to not be afraid but to trust your promise to be with us always. Amen.