Tag Archives: Philippians 4

Rejoice in the Lord Always! Philippians 4: 4-7 Advent 3C, December 13, 2015


20130822-223454.jpgGather the children while singing this song:

Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice! 
Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice! 
Rejoice! Rejoice! And again I say, Rejoice! 
Rejoice! Rejoice! And again I say, Rejoice! 

*Here is the link for the music: http://www.hymnary.org/media/fetch/104118

Teach them the song as they get settled. Ask them how many times a day they say the word rejoice? What does the word “rejoice” mean? Do you always feel happy? No, and that’s ok. Life can have some hard days where we don’t feel happy. But rejoicing isn’t necessarily about feeling happy.

20130822-223633.jpgPaul tells us in the letter he wrote to some people who lived a long time ago that even when they are having a sad day or a hard day to rejoice. He’s not telling them to be happy or just smile, but to remember that Jesus promises to be with them always and loves them no matter what. He’s telling them to give thanks that even when life is sad or hard to know that God knows that they are sad and will be with them. Paul also tells them that they should always talk to God about everything. There is no question that they cannot ask. When we talk to God all the time, we keep God as the most important thing in our lives. When God is the most important thing in our lives, we remember that we are the most important thing to God AND that ALL PEOPLE are the most important thing to God! We can remember to treat each other how God treats us: as very important!

If you could ask God something what would it be? (Warning adults: this could be loaded! Be sure you follow up with any families if something difficult arises. Great opportunity for pastoral care and connection!) What would tell God “thank you” for? God wants to hear it all! Most of all God wants us to always talk to God AND talk to each other. When we share our happy days with other people, those days are even happier and when we share our sad days with other people, our sad days might be a little easier.

20130822-224425.jpg Dear Jesus, thank you for hearing all of our prayers. May we share your love and peace with everyone we meet. May we care for our neighbor and make sure that no one is hungry, lonely, or cold. You love all people very much and we are grateful. Please help us to love everyone as much as you love them. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship Station 1: Have hearts cut out of card stock with a variety of colored markers on a table. Ask people to write/draw a prayer on the heart. What do they want to ask God for or give thanks for today? Have a large wooden cross in a location where the prayers of their hearts can be taped to the cross. You may want to have this available at your Wednesday evening Advent worship if you have one. Offer a time in your worship for people to gather at the cross to pray some or all of the prayers.

Station 2: Have a bowl of “worry rocks.” Have several permanent markers  (black or a dark color) and invite people to write a worry on the rock on one side and the word “peace” on the other. (Or they could draw a cross as a reminder that “the Lord is near.”)

20130822-223908.jpg+The Lord is near+

December Faith + Alive in the Home Philippians 4:4-7 Advent Year C


20130822-223520.jpgIn this busy season, making time to check in with those in our households or with those whom we are in close relationship is vital. There are many ways to do this! Here is one: Gather your household around the Christmas tree or the Advent wreath (if you have one), or simply light a candle. Where do you see God doing something new in your life today? Where do pray for God’s work to be revealed?

20130822-223633.jpgPhilippians 4: 4-7 (Advent 3C, December 13th, 2015):

This is not a “typical” getting ready for Christmas scripture text. No mention of Mary, John the Baptist, prophets, little town of Bethlehem, a baby or any of the images we associate with this time of year. So why is this part of our Advent reading? I tend to think it has something to do with verse six: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication and thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

For children: What are you excited about today? What is it that you are having a hard time waiting for? Presents? Time off of school? Snow? What are you worried about today? Tests? Friends? Brother or sister? Mom or dad? Our Bible reading tells us not to worry about anything but to know that God hears our joys and our worries. Make some colorful strips of paper about two inches by about eight inches to create a paper chain. You can have 24 of them to count down to Christmas. But on each chain each day, write or draw something that you are excited about and something that you are worried about. This will be a daily prayer to God. Each day add a chain (families can create one large chain or each person can have their own prayer chain) and hang it on your Christmas tree as a reminder that Christmas is about God with us!

For youth/adults: Worry has been a primary human emotion for thousands of years. It seems that we are wired to worry about anything and everything. Some worry is good and healthy as it can keep us safe but often our worry goes overboard. Paul and the community at Philippi were not immune from worry. Paul is reminding them (and us!) that worry can crowd out our rejoicing and to offer all of daily lives, each part, to God. What is worrying you today? What brings you peace in the midst of worry? When you find yourself worrying about circumstances you can’t control, write down the worry, (paper, phone or computer) and say a prayer of thanksgiving that God is with us always.

FaithCross_ServeALT “Let you gentleness be known to everyone.” God is gentle and loving with us and we want to show the world God’s gentleness. When someone cuts you off in traffic, in line at the store, or is rude to you, offer them a prayer of grace. When you do those same actions (as we all do!), offer yourself a prayer of grace as well!  For younger children, have a small jar in a prominent place where each time someone (adults too) in the household is gentle, kind, and showing God’s love, a coin (pick which denomination works for you) can go in the jar. At the end of the month, as a household, chose a place to donate the coins. (You can have the children decorate the jar or container if you would like and keep this project going.)

20130822-223749.jpgPray for each other’s worries and joys. Thank God for God’s gentleness and love through Jesus Christ.

20130822-223908.jpg+God’s peace and gentleness be with you+