Once you’ve greeted everyone say, “Did I tell each of you “I give you peace”? Good! Why do you think I did that? (Accept all answers) Yes, those are all good reasons! In our Bible story this morning Jesus says that he gives his peace to the disciples. Do you think that they were confused by that too? I think so! It’s a strange thing to give someone peace…it’s not the same as giving a sandwich, a toy or a sticker…Jesus knew that he would not always be with the disciples or with us. He would be going to be with God in heaven. Jesus also knew that sometimes the disciples might get scared because there are scary things in the world.
Do you ever get scared? What scares you? (Share something that scares you.) Those things can scare us! When you get scared what do you do? Who do you run to? (Hopefully they will answer, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa or some family/close friend.) Yes! We run to someone who loves us and will help us! Does that make us feel better? It does me! I don’t like to be scared and alone…I think that’s what Jesus means by giving us peace, Jesus reminds us that we have each other to help us remember that we are never truly alone. If we’re scared and our mom, dad, etc. are not around, Jesus is! This makes us feel better! Did you know in church we offer each other peace in our worship service? We call it the passing of the peace and we shake hands or give hugs and say, “Peace be with you.” We do this to remind ourselves that we are not alone! We have this whole community around us! Praise God!
Have strips of cloth cut out from one piece of fabric so that everyone receives the same color. Invite the congregation to write with a fine tip permanent marker the words “I give you the peace of Jesus.” Have them take the strip of cloth with them to their seats. If your congregation has as part of you liturgy the “Passing of the Peace,” invite them to tie this strip of cloth around the wrist of someone as they offer a sign of peace. If not, choose a time to do this in your worship.
God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, you are one and we are also connected as one. May we share your peace and love with everyone that we meet. Remind us when we are scared that you are with us and will never leave us. We pray for your peace to reign in our hearts and our world. Amen.