Preparation: a big chart with two columns for Yes and No
Gather the children with you up front. Show them your chart and say, “So this week I was thinking about things that Jesus taught and how in our life we have lots of choices to make-lots of things and ideas and experiences and people that we can say yes or no to. Now I know that sometimes you have choices between other things too–like maybe mom or dad or grandparents ask if you want broccoli or green beans for dinner or how about this– raise your hand if you would like chocolate ice cream better and raise your foot if you would like ice cream better. So yes sometimes choices are for things but you know you are saying yes to chocolate or vanilla and not to the other even when you have these choices.
So I made this chart thinking about the things, people, ideas, ways to live that we can say yes or no to and I thought I would ask you what you thought. So let’s think deeply together, what are some things or ideas or people that we say yes or no to? I’ll go first. Yes things are things that connect us to love, to God, to other people, to helping the world. I needed help mowing my yard the other day and the neighbor boy came over to help–I said yes to accepting help. Do you have other ideas?
Knowing what we say yes to helps us know what we say no to. Like because I accepted help, I was able to say no to having a lot of pride and trying to do everything all alone. Other ideas?
Jesus today in the Gospel and throughout scripture is saying yes to people, to being in a community, to worshipping God. He is teaching to say no to separation from God, to evil, to being a part of things that do not show love. He tells us that we are all his brothers and sisters when we are saying yes to God. This reminds me of what happens in a baptism. Together we say we renounce, which is a big word for saying No. And we say no to the devil, empty promises, and anything that goes against God. (add these to the chart if they are not there or circle them) And in baptism we say Yes to remembering we are God’s children, helping other people and creation, yes to loving God and loving one another. Jesus promises to be with us everyday and all the ways we try to do this and to love us even we say yes to things that need a no.
Have a chart at your worship station for people to add their yes and no to. You could also have smaller pieces of paper with the same columns for people to take home. On this table also have a bowl of water with a remembrance of baptism or the blessing above. You can also put this station near the baptismal font if your space allows.