Preparation: The word for peace or love or hope or a mixture of them in different languages–you can do this visually with a collage that you make or use one of the links below. Prepare a handout or a worship station (more on station below under Faith+Worship)
A list of languages and the word for peace from Columbia University
An image of Peace in different languages
Gather the children with you. Ask them listen to you as you speak the word peace–it will help if they close their eyes (or substitute another word if you like) Say the word peace in english first, then say it in a few different languages. What did you hear? (take their answers, exploring that maybe they are not sure what they heard)
Those were all different ways of saying peace in different languages. I want to teach this word because our readings today talk about what comes out of our mouths being what is from our heart. And that when dirty things come out of our mouths, which the bible passage called things that defile, it is like our hearts are dirty. What would some of those things be that may be ugly that we say sometimes? (help them think of things like lying, exaggerating, not nice names, teasing that hurts people, etc) And our hearts probably don’t feel happy or kind when we are saying those things, but they feel closed up and hard (make a fist with your hand) So when our hearts are open (open fist) and willing to love, words that are good and kind and peaceful come out of our mouths and those are the kinds of words that help bring different people together. Can you think of some of those words? (take answers)
One way that we start to open our hearts and minds is knowing that others people, no matter how different they are from us, are a part of God’s world and they are children of God too. And when we learn about different people our hearts start to be open and not closed. So I wanted to give you some words for peace today in other languages. (either use the worship station for this or hand out an image or list of words and their languages.) Teach one or two of the words now and then instruct the children in the worship station if you are using it.
Have the words in different languages available on a handout or at a station on a poster board. Have paper and markers available and have some printed paper with a big word PEACE (or love, hope or all there) Then ask people to write down the different languages around the word peace and take them home and learn them.
Jesus, God of peace, ____, _____, ______ (insert your choice of other language for peace) Help us to see others with open hearts and help us to have words that bring healing and love come out of our mouths. Be with all those who are hurt by words and help our world live in peace. Amen