Tag Archives: Luke

Children’s Sermon 4th Sunday After Pentecost (Lec. 11), Luke 7:36-8:3 – June 16, 2013

Prepare:  You will need an empty cookie jar, with crumbs in it would be even better.  If you want to have a cookie or small treat ready at the end that is fine, but not necessary.  Just make sure you think about allergies!

20130520-224945.jpg  As you invite the children to gather, make a big show of the empty cookie jar.  Things like, ”Oh man, where did all my cookies go?”

FaithCross_ConversationALT  I know what you’re thinking.  It’s pretty disappointing to see me come in with an empty cookie jar, isn’t it?  Well, I think that I ate them all.  I didn’t mean to, but I just couldn’t help myself!  Do you forgive me?  Oh, good.

You know, today’s Gospel story is about forgiveness, too, but it’s kind of funny how Jesus talks about it.  In the story there is a woman who has had a bad life, and she has done some bad things so that she could survive and have food to eat.  When the other people see her with Jesus, they tell Jesus that he should leave her alone, that she is not a good person to be seen with.  Instead, Jesus turns to the woman and tells her that all of her sins are forgiven!

Well, that makes the other people a little angry.  They know that she has done bad stuff, most of them think that she has done far worse things than any of them, and they tell Jesus what they think.  Now here’s the funny, or strange part.  Jesus says, “She has done lots of bad things.  When I forgive her she loves me more.  You have done very few bad things, so for you my forgiveness is not such a deal.  But for her, forgiveness is life and love.”

Hmmmm.  So, do you think that means that we should do bad things so that God forgives us, so that we can love God more?  Should I be happy about eating all the cookies because that means I can love you more?  That seems a little backwards, doesn’t it?

I think what Jesus is saying is God love all of us enough to forgive whatever we do wrong, whether it is something big or something small.  We should not be angry about God forgiving other people, because they deserve forgiveness, too.  It also means that we should live like people who are loved and forgiven.  Always doing our best to love each other as God loves us.

FaithCross_PrayALT  Merciful God, thank you for the amazing gift of forgiveness in our lives.  Thank you for the forgiveness that you show to us, and thank you for the ways that we can forgive others.  Teach us to live in your love and to share your love with everyone we meet.  Amen

FaithCross_BlessALT  In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit you are loved by God. (have children repeat this)

~GB

Permission to use for nonprofit. When printing give credit to Faith Formation Journeys. Intellectual property rights apply.

Children’s Sermon 3rd Sunday After Pentecost (Lec. 10), Luke 7:11-17 – June 9, 2013

Prepare:  The best possible set up for this is to find some “Pied Pipers,” Maybe a group of youth who are willing to follow you first and help call some of the children along.  The idea is to generate excitement about something that has yet to be seen.  You will also need something fun at the other end, like a Martin Luther bobble-head, or a cool poster of Jesus, or a beautiful cross, or . . .  It almost doesn’t matter, as long as it’s something unexpected.  Hide it somewhere so that you can lead the children around for a little while.

20130520-224945.jpg  Start in a different spot than you usually would, and call for the children to follow you.  Make sure that you “Pied Pipers” are ready to get up and encourage the children to come along, too.  When you find the object, be excited about it and show the children what you found as you head the usual spot.

FaithCross_ConversationALT  Well, that wasn’t what I expected to find!  What did you think we were looking for? (take a few answers)  I think that we were a little like the crowd in the Gospel story today.  See, they were following Jesus even though they didn’t know where he was going or what he was planning to do.  They were just following to see what would happen – kind of like you following me!  Now I have to admit that what we found was fun, but it was nothing compared to what Jesus showed them.

The story goes like this, Jesus had just healed a slave that belonged to a Centurion (a Roman soldier) and the people were amazed that Jesus could heal him, and that Jesus would help a Roman soldier!  So they all started to follow him.  Then, as people saw the crowd, more people started to follow, even though they didn’t know what they would see.  When they got to the next town they saw something amazing and unbelievable!  Jesus talked to a widow!  Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, why is that amazing?  Well, a widow is a woman whose husband has died, and when Jesus was teaching widows were worse to talk to than Roman soldiers!  People couldn’t believe that Jesus would talk to her.  To make things worse, Jesus was interrupting a funeral – the widow’s son had also just died.  Jesus, seeing how hard this was for the woman raised her son from the dead!  Now the crowd was blown away by the things they had seen.  So much better than the (whatever your object was) that we found.

I think that this is still true for us today.  We often try to follow Jesus, even though we don’t know where Jesus is leading us.  But, it we do our best to follow, and keep our eyes and ears open, we might hear and see some amazing things!

FaithCross_PrayALT  Amazing God, we do our best to follow you and see the things that you do in the world.  Teach us to rejoice in the work that you do.  Teach us to not just follow you, but to help you do the work that needs to be done.  Amen

FaithCross_BlessALT  In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit you are loved by God. (have children repeat this)

~GB

Permission to use for nonprofit. When printing give credit to Faith Formation Journeys. Intellectual property rights apply.

Children’s Sermon 2nd Sunday After Pentecost (Year C, Lec. 9), Luke 7:1-10 – June 2, 2013

 

Prepare:  Find several action figure toys, some that are inherently good and some that are inherently bad, and two boxes or baskets to sort them into.

FaithCross_ConnectALT  Have the action figures out for the children to see as they gather (yes, this will be “dangerous” in terms of distraction).  Ask them if they have a favorite superhero (or whatever relates to what you have with you)

FaithCross_ConversationALT  It sounds like you guys have some good favorite heroes!  I have some here with me, and I think that I have some good guys and some bad guys, but I’m not sure.  Can you help me sort them out?

(Take some time to sort the good guys and the bad guys into the baskets or boxes)

Wow, thanks!  So, I’m going to guess that we all like the good guys, right?  Those are the ones that we want to play with most of the time, right?  I like having some bad guys around so that the good guys can be heroes and save people, but I always want the good guys when I play.  But, which box do you think belongs to God, the good guys or the bad guys?  We will get back to that question later.

That makes me think of the Gospel story that we hear today.  Jesus is walking through a town when a Roman soldier comes to him and asks Jesus to heal his servant, who is really sick.  Well, really the Roman soldier sends some of the Jews in the town to talk to Jesus, because the soldier thinks that he is not good enough to talk to Jesus!  When Jesus goes to his house, the soldier says that Jesus should not come in because he is not worthy to have the Lord in his house, Jesus needs only to speak the work and his servant will be well.  Jesus is amazed by the soldier’s faith and heals the servant with a word.

I think that everyone would agree that most of the Roman soldiers were the “bad guys” where Jesus lived.  People were afraid of the soldiers and would do what they were told to do.  So, why would Jesus help this soldier?  (See if you get some answers – but steer them to – ) Because God loves everybody!  So, back to our heroes and villains.  Which box belongs to God?  (Steer them toward both boxes!)

Yes!  Both boxes belong to God, because God loves everybody.

FaithCross_PrayALT  God of Love, we rejoice in the love that you shower on us!  Teach us to rejoice with you in loving the people we would call our enemies.  Help us to share your amazing love throughout all our days and with all people.  Amen

FaithCross_BlessALT  In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit you are loved by God. (have children repeat this)

~GB (thank you to Pastor Michael Stadtmueller for the great idea!)

Permission to use for nonprofit. When printing give credit to Faith Formation Journeys. Intellectual property rights apply.

Children’s Sermon Easter Sunday, Luke 24:1-12 – March 31, 2013

ffjChildrenSermon

Faith+Open:  Greet the children with, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!”  If they do not know the response, teach them to say, “Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!”  This will be important at the end.

Faith+Share:  Have you ever lost something important?  Or even worse, have you ever had anything important stolen from you?  (While this is a real story from my life, it can serve as a generic story for anyone to tell.  It would be even better if you had your own story!)  I remember one time when I had something stolen from me.  I was at work and when I came out after work and walked to my car I noticed a pile of broken glass.  Someone had broken the window on my car!  I ran to the car and looked inside, and they had stolen my radio!  That was a terrible feeling.  I was mad, I was nervous, I was sad, I was worried, and I felt completely helpless.  Now, let’s be honest about this, it was just a car radio, and I needed to get a new window.  Overall it was not a big deal, but it still made me feel all those bad emotions.  I never did get the radio back, but I had insurance that helped me replace the window and get a different radio, so I guess it turned out ok.

Well, in today’s Gospel story we hear about something that starts out kind of the same way, but is much worse at the beginning and unimaginably better by the end!  This is day that we remember when some of Jesus’ friends went to see his body, remember he had died on the cross a few days before.  They were planning to clean and prepare his body the way that they always did when someone they loved died.  Well, when they got to tomb where the body was supposed to be it was not there!  They thought that someone had stolen Jesus’ body!  This isn’t a thing, like my car radio, it was the body of their friend, of their teacher, it was the body of Jesus.  Can you imagine how upset they must have been?  How scared they must have been?

But then, two angels appeared and gave them amazing news!  Do you know what they said? (Give a little time for answers.)  That’s right, they said, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here, but had risen.”  WOW!  Isn’t that exciting!  Sometimes it is hard for us to really be excited about it because we have heard this story before and we know the ending, but try to imagine how they must have felt then.  Amazed, confused, excited, maybe even more scared?  Let’s share the excitement of the story.  I want you to greet people today with Easter greeting that we used at the beginning.  We will practice again at the end, but let’s pray first.

Faith+Prayer:   Risen and Living God, Alleluia!  We praise you for the miracle of the resurrection.  Help us to live in the excitement of the risen Christ today and every day. Amen

Faith+Blessing:  Say, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” – Let then respond, “Christ is Risen indeed! Alleluia!”

~GB

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Children’s Sermon March 10, 2013 Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 Lent 4C

ffjChildrenSermonNote: The Jesus Storybook Bible is an excellent resource for this story. The author does a beautiful job of emphasizing how God’s love never fails. Consider reading this version as the Gospel that everyone hears (audible gasp! I know, but could be awesome!!)

Scripture: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

 

FaithCross_ConnectALTGather the children and welcome them. Start by asking how many of them have a brother or a sister. If you have kids that do not ask if they have a good friend. Do you ever feel like they get something that you don’t? Or have you ever said, “that is not fair!”? Hear there comments–but be prepared they may have more stories on this topic than normal!

FaithCross_BibleALT “There is a story that Jesus told about a family.” Read the story of the prodigal son from a children’s bible or paraphrase the story in your own words. Highlight that Father loved both the children no matter what and that forgiveness happened before the younger son could even say he was sorry. Then ask, “Are you surprised by how the father greeted the son who returned? Have you ever forgiven someone or been forgiven? How does that feel?… In Lent we often talk about focusing on the cross. One thing the cross reminds us of is that Jesus died on the cross because we are loved and forgiven no matter what–even if we are mean to someone, even if we are jealous, even when it does not seem fair.”

“Now take your hands and whisper something into them that you would like to tell God–either an I’m sorry for something or thanking God for something.” Show them by cupping your hands and whispering. Say, “Hold this in your hand while we pray and then we will release them up to God on the Amen.”

FaithCross_PrayALT Jesus, we are sorry for the things we have done that have hurt other people. We thank you for your love and forgiveness. Help us to remember your love is for us and for others. We release our prayers to you (open hands and lift them up to the sky). Amen

FaithCross_BlessALT Go with this blessing: You are loved and forgiven always.