Preparation: Find three people to help you tell the gospel story: a man, a woman and a boy. Go to this link at Worshipping with Children for the reading: Jesus as boy in Temple
Faith+Gather: Invite the children forward. Ask, “What does the Christmas story tell us about Jesus?” Accept answers, “Right, that he was born as a baby, just like you and me! Today we here another story about Jesus growing up, this one he is older, maybe about 12. Are any of you 12? Well I have some people here to tell us the story. A father like Joseph, a mother like Mary, and Jesus as a boy.”
Faith+Share: Have the three people you found tell the story using the provided script or your own. Then ask, “How do you think it felt for Mary and Joseph when they couldn’t find Jesus? How do you think Jesus felt when he was found?” We don’t have many stories of Jesus growing up, in fact this is about it but what’s important here is that we remember that Jesus was born and he grew up like you and I do, he had experiences with his family and friends and community that were about being lost and found and happy and sad and all those human things. And it says here that Mary kept these things in her heart. What do you think that means? I think your moms and dads and people who love you keep things about you in their hearts, like remembering what you were like or when you teach them something about love or God just like Jesus as a boy taught his parents about the importance of being close to God. And I also know that God keeps you close to God’s heart because just like Jesus grew up like we do, Jesus is also God and able to know us and love us fully. This is why we keep stories of Jesus in our hearts and why we come to worship, so that we can remember all the time that we are loved and kept close to God’s heart.
Faith+Prayer: Jesus, we are glad for your birth, we are glad for you being a child, we are glad that you know us and keep us in your heart in love. Amen.
Faith+Blessing: God in our head, God in our heart, God on our left, God on our right. (say these words while making the sign of the cross and have the kids do this with you)
Scripture: John 2: 13-25
Preparation: Pictures of the temple and a very large heart
Faith+Open: Gather children to you. Say, today in our Gospel reading Jesus goes into the temple, do you know what the temple was? Take answers and show your picture/s of the temple.
Faith+Share: The temple was a place that people went to worship God, but it was also a place where all the rituals took place and where people could gather together. People at that time would bring animals and food and money to the temple to give to God. They needed a way to have the animals checked and a way to exchange money so they had the right kind for the temple. In order to do the rituals the best way it took a lot work. Jesus today goes into the temple and gets very angry at what is going on there. He says that the people have forgotten what it was that God meant to do by giving them a temple, a place to worship. He says that now that God is doing a new thing with Jesus. God is not just in the temple but is in Jesus and in the world. This story shows us not only that Jesus was very human and could get very angry like we get angry sometimes but that also God’s love was bigger than any temple or any building or any gift or sacrifice could ever hold. God’s love is so big that it bigger than anger and bigger than all the sins, all the things we can do wrong. So even though Jesus is angry with people in this story, Jesus is also declaring God’ love to be so very huge.
I have here a very big heart so show God’s love. Do you think it’s even bigger than this heart? It sure is! I am going ask that all of you write your name on this heart because God’s love is big enough to hold us all. You can have children write their names during this time or tell them it will be in the back of the church or it will be out during the offering time for them to write one–whatever works best in your setting.
Faith+Prayer: Jesus, we know that you lived like we do. We know that you live in the world and that you are here with us in worship but that you are also everywhere and always with us. Help us to remember how big your love is and to share that big love with others. Amen
Faith+Blessing: Make the sign of the cross saying:
God in my head
God in my heart
God on my left
God on my right