Children’s Sermon Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Matthew 21:33-46, October 5, 2014

Prepare: This might require a little planning! You need something that you can put together quickly, and that you can substitute a “wrong” piece for an important part.  For example it could be a little Lego model that has an obvious color scheme, but bring one piece that is really the wrong color, but is absolutely needed to finish the model.

I will use a different example below, and you are welcome to use that idea, too, it just takes a little more time to set up. For the example below, you need to make a small wooden cross that should be held together with a small piece of dowel rod. The one that I have is three pieces, a base, and upright and a cross piece, with a hole in the upright and cross piece. Instead of a dowel rod bring a piece of string and tangle it around the three pieces that you have. (You will see how the Lego version works)

Here are couple pictures of what I put together:

2014-09-25 12.13.58 2014-09-25 12.15.03

For the Worship Station you will need enough small, unpolished, unremarkable stones for everyone in your congregation.  They should be small enough to fit easily in a child’s hand or in a pants pocket. You will also need crayons or markers and a big sheet of white paper (maybe more depending on the size of your congregation).

20130822-223520.jpg As the children gather, tell them that you are going to build something today, and that you hope you have all the right pieces. Ask them if they like to build things.

FaithCross_ConversationALT Let’s build something! OK, I brought the pieces with me in this bag. I thought it would be fun to make a new cross for our Sunday School room. Wait – what’s this string doing in here? Oh man, it’s wrapped around everything! I’m going to have to untangle this from everything before we can go on, wait a second. . . OK, now let’s just get rid of this string (toss it behind you or somewhere away from you), there, now we can build! This is the base that it will stand on, and this piece goes into the base like this. Then there is a hole in the upright and this cross piece, and I just need a little wood rod to go through it . . . it’s here somewhere . . . hmmm . . . I don’t see it. I really wanted to show you how the cross looks, but I don’t have anything to hold it together. Wait! I could tie it together! Where did that piece of string go? There! Almost right. I sure am glad we had that string, even if I thought it was annoying at first.

This reminds me of our Bible story. Well, Jesus did it again. Someone asked a question and he told a story! As usual, the story isn’t really about what we think it’s about. The story is really about rejection. Do you know what that means? (Wait and see) Right, kind of like what I did with the string. I got rid of the string because I thought that it was useless, and more in the way than anything. As it turns out, the string was just the thing that I needed to make everything work. Jesus is talking to the leaders of the community that he is in and tells them that the people they reject are very people that God looks to for leadership. He tells them that the people who think they are in charge of everything are not always the people that God will give authority to.

FaithCross_Worship Have a basket or bowl filled with little stones. By the basket, have them sign that invites them to reflect on a time when they rejected someone, how did it make them feel? Take a stone to remind you to give people a second chance or a third chance.

Have another station with the paper and crayons, and invite people to write a word or two about how they feel when they are accepted and loved.

They should keep the stone with them this week. Hang the paper in the a prominent place in the church for a week or two.

20130822-224425.jpg  Gracious God, we need your love and acceptance in our lives. Help us to rest in your love, and to be loving and accepting to the people around us. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg  Know that God loves and accepts you.

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