Have a plant to show the children. Gather them around the plant and ask them what plants need to grow and flower or if a vegetable plant to grow vegetables/fruit. Accept all answers. Affirm that plants need water, sunshine, care and oxygen to grow and be healthy. Plants need people to care for them and we need God! We are continuing to learn about the Lord’s Prayer and this week we are talking about how God want us all to be healthy and grow, which is the part of the meaning of “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” God is always at work with us!
Jesus tells the people a story about a tree that doesn’t seem to want to grow fruit. A man wanted to just cut it down and get rid of it since it wasn’t doing its job of growing fruit. But the gardener asked to give the tree more time, wondered if the tree needed more love, more food, water and sun. Trees want to grow and give fruit, just as plants do, just as we want to grow up taller and stronger so that we can do more and more things! But sometimes, like with the tree, that doesn’t happen exactly how we think it should. It might take longer than we want or we might need to wait, which is VERY HARD! What kinds of things do you want to do when your bigger? *Accept all answers (dangerous here I know!). Affirm that there are MANY things that as children they can do now, but some that need to wait until they are an adult.
God wants you to do ALL of the wonderful things that God gave you talent and ability to do! To play piano, to play soccer, to read, to cure diseases, to love all people. God promises to give you all the time that you need to grow and be healthy! God wants you to grow, learn, make mistakes and try again! You will give to God’s world in so many ways! God’s kingdom and God’s will is all about all of God’s people and creation growing and working together to be healthy and whole.
Jesus used the current events in Jerusalem to point out that God doesn’t punish but that our world and lives are filled with hazards. Jesus reminds the people and us that in all times and circumstances to turn to God. Turn to God in prayer, in actions, in thoughts and in love. Have a table with this week’s current newspapers, weekly magazines (such as Time), scissors, tape, and pens. Have a large poster board cross available. Invite people to cut out a headline or a short article to tape to the cross. They may write a short prayer by the headline or article that offers God’s presence and love into that situation.
God of life, you give us what we need to grow, learn, pray, love and bear fruit. May we offer this patience to all people that we meet. We pray for all people and places that are in sorrow and wonder why death and suffering occur. May they feel your peace and comfort. Thy kingdom come and thy will be done. In Jesus name, amen.