Prepare: Get a long piece of paper – comically long! – to use as a scroll. This could be a long strip from an art roll, or several pages taped together.
For the worship station you will need posters, images or objects that reflect concerns in your community or in the world, containers and beads (or something similar).
As the children gather tell them that you are going to show them the best way to pray. Have your scroll ready and start a prayer with the most grand address to God that you can think of. Something like, “Gracious and merciful God, ruler of all creation, Lord of the storms and sea, Spirit if Truth and understanding,” and so on. Then finish with, “let me tell you all the ways that I am humble!” At this point drop one end of the paper so that it unrolls across the floor. (Make a big deal of it! You are going for a laugh!)
So, what did you think of my way to start a prayer? Pretty fancy huh? I totally think that Jesus would think this was great. I bet God can hardly wait to hear the cool stuff I do! Let’s take a look at the Gospel lesson today and see what Jesus says. I hear it’s about praying . . .
(take a minute to review the lesson, or maybe read it if they haven’t heard it yet.)
Or, maybe not! Did you guys even hear the Gospel story today? This is exactly the wrong! Jesus was kind of upset with the guy who was bragging, and he really seemed concerned for the guy who asked for mercy.”
Jesus is calling us to action rather than words. We are called to go do stuff, not to talk about what we have done. We are called to be gracious and merciful, and to be good and just and kind. If we spend out time focused on how our actions make us feel we kind of miss the point. How do your actions, how do your words make others feel? How are you God’s hands and feet in the world? That is what Jesus is hoping for us.
For the worship station, set up a prayer station with items, images, etc, that call attention to injustice or problems in and around your community. Invite people to offer prayers by dropping beads into baskets or jars in front the the things that concern them the most.
This does NOT need to be a quiet time, you may invite people to talk about what they see and feel!