Preparations: Collect different kinds of crosses to show the children
Faith+Open: Gather the children to you. Say, I brought some crosses to show you today. There are all kinds of different crosses and different ways that we share our faith with crosses. Take out some different crosses one at a time. Share your different crosses, pointing out the differences. If you have one that is pretty, one that is more crude, etc. You may have crosses with different pictures or in various shapes. If you have an anchor cross, Jerusalem cross, etc. tell the children briefly what they are about.
Faith+Share: There are many different ways that we show the cross–some really fancy and some really natural (like a wood one). One thing these crosses have in common though is what they mean. Today Jesus says to ‘take up your cross’. That is is an interesting and even difficult thing for Jesus to say. Jesus died on a cross and did have to carry his cross up the hill. But I don’t think that Jesus meant for us to carry big crosses up hills all the time. Picking up our cross is a way to think about and to act on following Jesus. Jesus doesn’t mean that all the ‘bad things’ that happen to us are crosses but instead he means that we have a way of life to follow. And when good things and when bad things happen, he promises to be there with us.
Faith+Prayer: Jesus, you gave us the cross to help us follow you. We love you and we want to go your way. Be with us all our days and all our steps as we learn to follow you and as we remember your love. Amen.
Faith+Blessing: Make the sign of the cross saying:
God in my head
God in my heart
God on my left
God on my right