Gather the children to the front of the worship space. Ask them what they can see from there. Ask them who they see. Then move them to the back of the sanctuary. Ask them the same questions. If time, move them to either side of the sanctuary and ask the same questions. Hopefully they will see different items and people. Coach them a bit in this if necessary.
Say, “Our Bible story today is kind of hard! Jesus tells a story of a man Lazarus who is left all alone: no one really saw him or they ignored him because they had much more fun things to look at, such as yummy food, pretty clothes, exciting toys. There was a man who had lots of food, clothes and money and he should have seen Lazarus and helped him but didn’t. Jesus tells this story to remind us that sometimes we need to move around and not be in the usual places in our lives to see new people and maybe see what they might have to teach or give us or for us to teach and give them. Jesus wants us to see everyone, even people who look, act or think differently from us. Jesus always sits with all of us together! And Jesus invites us all to be together. Everyone is invited to be with Jesus!”
I want us to go back to those different places in the sanctuary and tell the people there that we see them, God loves them and so do we! (Go to the back of the sanctuary and say, “We see you, God loves you and so do we!” Repeat on the sides of the sanctuary and the front.)
On a table that is accessible for all, place quarter sheets of plain paper in a basket, along with paper crosses (cut out) pens, and glue sticks. Invite people to write on the quarter sheet a material item or an activity that they “cannot live without.” Have on the instruction sheet this message: “We have many items or activities in our lives that we hold closely and are an integral part of our lives. We might even go as far as to say that we “could not live without them.” Is that true? Are those items/activities pointing you to life with God or life with those items/activities? What might replace them if you gave them up? More time for prayer? For service? For your neighbor? Those items/activities are not “bad” in and of themselves, but might be distracting you from life with God. Jesus tells us that life with God is focused on God and other people, not ourselves. Glue a cross over the item/activity that you wrote as a reminder that Christ comes first in our lives.”
*You could also print this blessing on the crosses.