Faith + Open: gather the children to where you hold children’s time. Ask: “Do you know that we have a special word that we use in the church to praise God for loving us? What word do you think that might be?(accept all answers) Well those are great words too but this is a neat one that I really like: it is Alleluia. Can you say that? Have you heard that in worship or in other places? We sing it most often before the Gospel is read and other place in the worship service. (Sing the Gospel acclamation Alleluia if you are comfortable!) Do you all know “Allelu, Allelu, Allelu, Alleluia, Praise Ye the Lord”? Let’s sing that!
Faith + Share: We sing that song and we are so happy that God loves us and gives us life with God forever! It is a wonderful and joyful song! Well today is the last Sunday before a season that we call Lent. On Ash Wednesday, this Wednesday, you will come to church and we will tell God how sorry we are about the things we shouldn’t do and we get a cross made from ashes put on our foreheads to remind us that we belong to God. It’s important to say we’re sorry and to admit when we have done something wrong, right?
Well, we think about that in Lent and we remember that God loves us so much that God sent Jesus to earth to tell us how much God doesn’t want the wrong things we sometimes do to hurt our relationship with God. God wants us close always! So we have a few weeks to think about how God loves us and how Jesus died on a cross out of love for us. To help us focus on that, we don’t sing or use the joyful word Alleluia for the whole six weeks of Lent. We wait to sing it again on Easter Sunday on the day that Jesus rose from the dead when we can celebrate that God gives us life forever too!
So I have a slip of paper for each of you that has the word Alleluia on it. We are going to put away the Alleluia’s for the next six weeks and to help us remember we will put the Alleluia’s in this box. (Have a large box covered in purple paper with Lenten symbols on it. Have the top open and be prepared to tie the box closed with string or ribbon.) On Easter morning will you help me take the Alleluia’s out so that we can sing it? All right!
Faith + Prayer: Loving God, we don’t want to not sing Alleluia, even for just a little while, but we also don’t want to take for granted your deep and everlasting love for us. Thank you for loving us and for being with us always. In the name of your Son Jesus who loved us enough to die for us, Amen.
Faith+Blessing: May your eyes be opened to see all the amazing works of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
*Note: if you have more than one service, use a different box for each service. On Easter morning have the slips of paper that the children put in the boxes attached to helium balloons that will rise up at the beginning of service on Easter. The more balloons the more exciting the effect! For more information on the burying of the Alleluias please see http://www.elca.org/Growing-In-Faith/Worship/Learning-Center/FAQs/Alleluias-During-Lent.aspx