Gather the children in a different spot than you normally do maybe at the font, or just on a different side of the worship space. Then ask them if they have ever had to go to a new school or daycare place. Or maybe they joined a new soccer team, dance team, swim team, etc. What was that like? Was it a bit scary to go somewhere new? Did you have to learn new things and new people? Yes! But probably your parents stayed with you for a little while anyway to get you settled, or maybe your brother or sister was with you or a friend. When we go new places we like to someone we know with us don’t we!
In our story from Mark this morning, Jesus invites his disciples to go somewhere new. Jesus simply says to the disciples, “Let’s go to the other side!” The “other side” of the sea of Galilee was a place where the disciples had never been before but they knew that there would be different people, different food and stuff they couldn’t even imagine! But Jesus said “Let’s Go!” and they got in the boat and went. Now when they were on their way a storm came up and they woke Jesus up for help. Jesus told the storm and the disciples “Peace! Be Still!” and the storm stopped! The disciples were amazed! But they learned that even when stuff is hard Jesus is there and will be with us, when we are afraid, somewhere new, and with new people. It’s kind of weird having children’s sermon here isn’t it? But you know what? Jesus is here!!!
You know what? God gives us all kinds of people in our lives to be with us and to remind us of God’s love. Today, we are celebrating all of the men in our community who care for us. Doesn’t matter if they are actually your dad, grandpa, or uncle, God calls all men to be caring adults for you and in this community! How can we tell other people about how Jesus is with them when they are scared, worried or alone?
(Have a carnation or a daisy for the children to give to each man (18 and up) in the congregation this morning.)
Create on a large piece of paper a simple boat. Have post-it notes available. Invite people to write or draw on the post-it notes prayers for where they are experiencing change in their lives. Offer these prayers during your community prayers during worship. Invite people to take a post-it note that is not their own home to pray for someone else during the week.
Have cards and pens available to write cards with words of encouragement for people to take to give to those they encounter this week in need of knowing that God is with them always. You can use the blessing below as a prompt.
We are all in the boat with Jesus together!
Dear Jesus, you tell us to get in the boat and follow you. We are sometimes afraid of new places, people and situations but you promise to always be with us with a word of peace. In the name of the one who stilled the storm, Jesus Christ, amen.
+Do not be afraid, Jesus gives you peace+