Preparation: Have a “Hello my name is…” name tag for each child as well as some markers for them to write.
Gather the children and ask a couple of them if you can call them “hey you” or something silly like “male child” or “female child.” Hopefully you will get some giggles and some children insisting that you call them by their real names! You could also just decide to call all the children Joe or Fred…unless one of them has that name! Say: “Does your mom, dad, grandma or grandpa, etc. call you by a fun nickname? Why do they call you that? Is is because they know you really well and love you? Yes! More than likely your parents picked out your name because it means something special to them and because YOU are special to them. Our names and nicknames are ours and the people who know us and love us call us by them.”
Tell the children the story from Luke about the woman who was bent over for 18 years and how no one really saw her, talked to her or took notice of her at all. She was just an old woman in a crowd and no one even knew her name. But Jesus saw her. He called to her by saying “woman, come over to me.” Even Jesus just used a plain name for her. But then Jesus did something wonderful-but not what you think. Yes, Jesus healed her back and she could stand up and see all the people around her but Jesus did something even better than that! He gave her a name: “daughter of Abraham.” Now that name may not seem like much to you or me-but it would be like when your mom, dad, grandma, grandpa or someone you love calls you sweetie, or love, or a nick name that shows how much that person loves you. Jesus was calling her a name that meant that God loved this woman very much and knows who this woman is and will be with her always.
God loves each of us and calls us “children of God” that means that we belong to God first and foremost. In the water of baptism God says that our name that people on earth call us may be Ella, or Brigette or John but God calls us God’s child now and forever.
Have the blank “Hello my name is…” name tags for the children. Have markers for them to write their names on their name tags. Have the children put them on to remember that they are loved by their family, friends and God.