Preparation: canned food or loaves of bread–or whatever items you are collecting for a food bank or other project. Take your items and ‘hide’ them around the sanctuary where they will be visible from where the children sit, but not too obvious. You are going to play a version of “I Spy” with the kids looking for these items.
Faith+Open: Gather the children up front with you. Say, “Good morning! I am wondering if you can help me find some things. I think there are some items like this one (hold up a sample) hidden around this room. Raise your hand if you can spy anything from where you are.” Take a few minutes and let kids find things. You go get the items as they spy them.
Faith+Share: Say, “Wonderful job! You have found all of them-good thing we won’t be finding pork and beans behind the altar at Christmas! Do you know what these items are for?” Take answers. Then go on to explain what you are collecting the items for and how they can help. One idea for food is to have grocery bags with needed items listed on them to hand out for the kids to take home and bring back next week.
Say, “In our gospel story Jesus says that he is the bread of life and in our reading from Ephesians we are hearing about how we live together as a community, as people who care about one another. When Jesus says he is the bread of life he is talking about how he gives life and love for you and for all people. Bread is food and we need food to live. We also need the word of God and Jesus to live as Christians. We then take what we have and share with others. So we will take this food (or other item) and share with those who need it so that they can know they are loved and cared for by us and by God.”
Faith+Prayer: Jesus, we love you. Thank you for giving us the bread of life. Thank you for giving us gifts to share. We pray for everyone who is hungry or thirsting or lonely or sad. Be with them God as we know you are with us. Amen
Faith+Blessing: May your eyes be opened to see all the amazing works of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
~LB (adapted from original children’s sermon by Pastor Michael Stadtmueller)
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