Preparation: a helper, a letter, your phone if you want to text
Gather the children with you. Have your helper deliver you a message in an envelope before you get started. Say, “oh, hello, this is for me? wow! A letter! A message in a letter!” Open the letter and read the scripture “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
That is the last part of the scripture we just heard for today. Jesus is sending a message!
“What kind of message do you think he is sending?” Take answers. Have your helper whisper to you that the words say messenger, not message. “oh, it says messenger, not message. Hmmmm… Well what’s the difference? Let’s see, how do you get messages today? Do you get letters in the mail? What about phone calls? or texts? or snapchats? There are a lot of way to get messages to people now. I know when Jesus was on earth with people, there were not as many ways to get messages to people. There were letters that were delivered by people, but also there were messengers who went ahead to let people know what was going on. John was telling people about Jesus before Jesus was even in town with them. Jesus is telling the followers that yes, John’s messages are about him and yes that they should listen to John.”
“Do you know who else are messengers in the Bible? Angels, the word for angel means messenger. There were many angels in the Christmas story telling people about Jesus–can you think of any? Yes, Mary and Joseph and the shepherds. Messengers are a part of how we share good news and bad news and are apart of how we tell the story of Jesus. Most of the stories of Jesus we have are ones that were told over and over before they were written down. And the stories that we have about God in our lives are good ones to send messages about–either by telling, or writing texts, or letters. you know I have a friend who texts me prayers, and I just love getting that message and that connection with God! What are some ways you can be a messenger? Who would you like to send a message to?”
You can either hand out cards or paper as a way for them to write messages now or encourage them to do that at home. You could also compose a text together and send it to someone right there!