Tag Archives: Year B

Children’s Sermon All Saints Sunday 2012

Scripture: Isaiah 25: 6-9 or Revelation 21:1-6a

Preparation: A chair for every generation you have in your worshipping community and someone to represent them. There are 5-6ish living generations-depending on your source. Roughly: GI Generation (1901-1924), Silent (1925-1945), Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Gen X (1965-1985), Gen Y (1978-1990), Gen Z 1995-2007 or today)
Then 2 extra chairs-one on each end- to represent the generations that have all passed and the ones yet to be born.

You can prep people ahead or just call people forward to sit in their chair, whatever is more comfortable.

Faith+Gather: Gather the children with you and in front of the empty chairs (or if you would rather have the people in them already that is fine too). Explain the chairs and generations to the children saying that they represent all the different ages living now.

Faith+Share: Ask them, “Why do we have empty chairs on each end?” Take their answers and guide them to understanding that the empty chairs show the generations of people who have not been born and also the ones that have all lived before us. Continue with a simple explanation of All Saints Day, “Today we are remembering all the people who have gone before us and specifically we will say the names of the people who died this year. We call this All Saints day not because they are people that never did anything wrong but because they were people who were important in teaching and living faith in God even t hough they had struggles and sorrows and joys just like we do. We take time to remember that God’s promises are for us and that they have been passed down and told to us because of the generations before. And these living people–they are the saints that tell us the story now and share their faith with each other and with the next generations. And this other empty chair shows that there are people yet to be born that will need to hear the story. And who will tell them about God’s promises and love?…. That’s right, you and the others who are here to live and walk in faith with them.”
Share the scripture: “God promises to bring new life to us here on earth and to restore us all together in God’s kingdom. It’s a promise for the future but it’s also a promise for today that God is here with us and loving us all through our lives no matter our age.”

Faith+Prayer: Let’s pray together and then we will offer a blessing to all the generations. Jesus, you give us many people to share the story of God’s love. Be with each person, young and old, and be with us today as we remember the people who have died and how you love them too. Amen

Faith+Blessing: Have the children stand and gather around the chairs placing their hands on heads and shoulders. Say this blessing together or have just the leaders say it:
May you know the love and presence of God who is here in all ages. Amen

~Idea submitted by Rev. Michael Stadtmueller, written by Rev. Leta Behrens

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Children’s Sermon Reformation John 8:31-36

Scripture: John 8:31-36

Preparation: symbols of freedom like: flag, Bible, peace signs, statue of liberty, cross, hymnal (the old red hymnal was a sign of freedom in Namibia, Africa as it was given to them in a time of occupation and war but was used to declare their freedom to have english as a common language when the country gained independence)

Faith+Gather: Gather the children with you and welcome them. Say, “I have some items with me today… let’s see if we can figure out what they have in common” Have items in a bag or hidden and pull them out one at a time. Save Bible and/or cross for last. Ask kids to see if they can come up with their common element. Give them hints like, “What does this symbol mean?”

Faith+Share: After you have explored items for a minute say, “All these things are a little different and they do have different meanings, but one thing they have in common is that they bring to mind the word ‘freedom’. See the flag is a symbol of freedom for our country and the statue of liberty is a symbol of welcome and freedom not only for us in the United States but to those who come from other places. I also have the Bible here that is a different kind of symbol of freedom–this Bible is in English and did you know that a long time the Bible was only written in Greek and then in Latin? So people who didn’t know those languages could not read the Bible. Today we are talking about the day of reformation which is a day we remember a part of the history of our church but also a day that we look forward to how we are always being made new by Jesus. Part of the history of reformation is that a man named Martin Luther thought it was very important for everyone to be able to read the Bible and to teach their children what it says. So he translated the Bible and that is how the Bible is now like a symbol of freedom because it means that we can all read and know the stories of God. I also have a cross here–in today’s gospel Jesus says, ‘The truth will make you free–you all sin and are not perfect and cannot be without sin, but I have come to make you free.’ (paraphrase, you can read the scripture directly). Jesus went to the cross for you and for me and for all people, so this cross is a symbol of that freedom that we have through Jesus. It is freedom to love one another and help one another and tell the stories of the Bible to show God’s love for the world.”

Faith+Prayer: Let’s pray together. Jesus, you make us free. Thank you for your love. Thank you for the Bible which tells us your story. Amen.

Faith+Blessing: Make the sign of the cross and say + May you know God’s love and freedom today and always.

**Additional Idea: You could also do a children’s message that simply explains parts of reformation and how the Bible got translated. You could show many Bibles and talk about how we use scripture all throughout worship. Then use stickers as suggested by Worshipping With Children at this link to have kids find places in the bulletin where there are words from the Bible.

~LB

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Children’s Sermon Pentecost 21 Mark 10:35-45

Children’s Sermon by guest writer Mary Stoneback who serves Ascension Lutheran church in Colorado Springs, CO. Thank you Mary!

(if you would like to submit a children’s sermon please email pastorleta@gmail.com)

Scripture: Mark 10:35-45

Faith+Gather: Gather the children together. Ask, Have you ever asked your parents for something and they said “no?” Maybe you asked for a new bike, a new outfit or maybe a chocolate chip cookie? Was it hard to understand why they said no?

Faith+Share: Today in Mark’s Gospel reading, two of Jesus’ disciples, James and John, asked Jesus for something very big. They asked Jesus to have a special place at Jesus’ right and left side when the disciples think he will be made king, to be his special assistants. What exactly are they asking for? It’s a little different than asking for a bike, an outfit or a cookie.

Well, the Disciples didn’t really know what they were asking for either and Jesus let them know this. In Jesus’ time, the Jewish people were made slaves, living under the rule of a bad Roman king and they desperately wanted to be freed from the meanness they experienced. The prophets in the Old Testament had told people about God’s plan for a new kind of Kingdom, the Messiah’s Kingdom. Jesus was their hope for a new future but it wasn’t the kind of kingdom they expected. Jesus’ kingdom didn’t have thrones and palaces like that of Rome. Instead, it was in the hearts of Jesus’ followers. And that’s not very easy to understand.

Jesus knew that James and John were willing and would experience really hard times because they were His followers but Jesus said, “no” to their request to sit to the right and left of Him when Jesus goes back to heaven because it wasn’t for Jesus to grant that request. Jesus knew what was best for them.

Just like James and John, we don’t have to fear asking God for anything. He hears us when we pray but the answer may not always be yes. God wants to give us what is best for us, not only what we want. Sometimes it may be really hard to hear “no” even if we ask for a cookie right after brushing out teeth but God says “no” sometimes for our own good, even when we don’t always understand why.

Faith+Prayer: Dear God, thank you that we can talk with you like a parent or friend. We can ask you for help, for understanding and for the desires on our hearts. Thank you for listening to our prayers. Help us trust you, even when your answer is “no”.

Amen.

Faith+Blessing: Gracious God (pause) Help us to see you in our lives this week.

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Guest Writer: Mary Stoneback, Ascension Lutheran, Colorado Springs

Children’s Sermon Pentecost 20 Hebrews 4:12-16 and Mark 10:17-31 October 14, 2012

Children’s Sermon by guest writer Molly Sullivan who serves Lord of the Hills Lutheran Church in Centennial, CO. Thank you Molly!

(if you would like to submit a children’s sermon please email pastorleta@gmail.com)

Scripture: Hebrews 4:12-16; Mark 10:17-31

Preparation: Gather a “lovie.” Your favorite toy/stuffed animal/blanket from when you were a kid. You could also use one from your child, or a picture of yours, or just jog your memory and have a good description of yours ready.

Faith + Gather: Ask all God’s children to come have conversation with you. Invite them to sit around you. While they are coming up ask the children if they get allowance? Ask them what chores or duties they perform to receive this allowance? And then ask what they like to do with the money they receive from their allowance. (Allow several children to answer making sure to repeat their answers so the congregation can hear.)

Faith + Share: Our second reading this morning comes from the book in the Bible called Hebrews. This passage has lots of big words but basically tells us that God knows life is hard and he understands just how tough things can be sometimes. It says that God has been where we are in the form of Jesus.

Jesus knows how hard it sometimes is to follow Him. But do any of you know just how hard the Bible says it is? Our gospel text from the book of Mark explains it in an interesting way. Tell me what your “lovie” is. This is usually a stuffed animal, blanket or toy that is your favorite. (Bring yours, or a picture of yours, and show it to them as a prop). We love these things very much, don’t we? For grownups our favorite “lovie” sometime becomes money or “stuff.” People in American culture seem to think that the more stuff we have…the better. I want you to imagine giving away your “lovie,” your favorite blanket, your favorite stuffed animal, or toy. Would that be hard? Imagine someone who has lots of “lovies.” Fancy cars, lots of TV’s in their house, awesome clothes, cool toys, and the latest gadgets, anything you could ever want. Now imagine them giving that all away. That is super hard even to imagine right? The gospel story says entering God’s kingdom is just that hard. He likens it to a rich man giving up everything that is precious to him. Actually it says it is easier for a camel to fit through the hole in a needle. Funny to think about that huh? But you know what? That’s not the end of the story.

After Jesus says how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God the disciples say “Well I don’t think I can do that!” “How do we know who will be with God in eternity?” And guess what Jesus’ response is? If you do these things…meaning the really hard stuff, AND ASK ME TO HELP YOU…Then I will help you. And if you believe in me, that I am God’s Son, you will be blessed. Jesus doesn’t say it will be easy, but He says that by doing them “in His name” God will be with you.

Faith + Prayer: God in Heaven, Thank you for our favorite things. Help us to make your son Jesus one of our favorite things too. Please walk with us this week. We pray in Jesus name (and all God’s children said)…AMEN!

Faith + Blessing: Have the kids repeat: Gracious God (pause) Help us to see you in our lives this week.

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Guest Writer: Molly Sullivan, Lord the Hills ELCA Centennial, CO

Children’s Sermon Mark 10:1-16, Psalm 8 and Genesis 2:18-24 19th Sunday after Pentecost Oct. 7th, 2012 Year B

Scripture: Mark 10:1-16; Psalm 8; and Genesis 2:18-24

Faith + Gather: Invite the children forward to where you gather for children’s sermon. Ask the children about who lives in their house with them. Notice how no two families are the same?

Faith + Share: Say, “Well, all of today’s Bible stories are about God creating the world and families! We read about God creating people, the heavens and the earth and how great God’s creation is and about Jesus being very concerned that people have safe families to live in and how important children are to God. Jesus wants to make sure that everyone is cared for and loved because God loves us so much! It hurts God’s heart when people aren’t nice to each other or don’t take care of one another. We know that sometimes a mommy and daddy no longer live in the same house but we also know that mommy’s and daddy’s love their children very much and take care of them. God takes care of us like a mommy or a daddy and even if we sometimes are sad, or scared or lonely, we can remember that God loves us and puts people in our lives that love us. That can be people in your actual family or it can be people here at church, at school, or in your neighborhood. We have our family members who live in our house, but family can also be anyone who loves and care for us and we love and care for them. Who are some friends that you love and care for?”

Faith + Blessing: Have the children sit or stand in a circle and place a hand on each other’s shoulders. Have them repeat after you to each other: “God cares for you and so do I!”

Faith + Prayer: Dear Jesus, you love all of your children. Thank you for being with us always. Thank you for all the people in my life who love me. Amen

~BW

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Children’s Sermon Sept. 30th, 2012 18th Sunday after Pentecost Mark 9:38-50

Scripture: Mark 9:38-50

Faith + Open: As children come forward, randomly put them into two distinct groups preferably (depending on your space) with some separation between them. Make sure that no one migrates and make it clear that this is where they need to be. Don’t have them sit down.

Faith + Share: Take one group (this will be group 1 for reference) of the children and say “Ok you are with me. Let’s go over here for a little bit and talk.” Lead them away (maybe down one of the side aisles towards the back of the worship space) and don’t even acknowledge the other group( group 2 for reference). Begin talking to your group in hushed tones occasionally looking at and pointing to the other group still up front. Do this for only a minute to two. Then bring the groups back together.

Say to group 2: “How did it feel to be left up here alone not knowing what was going on? (Accept all answers) Did you wonder why you didn’t get to go with the other group? Did you wonder if you were different or had done something not quite right?” (Accept all answers) Turn to group 1: “How did you feel to go with me? Like the “in” crowd or like you were special for some reason?

Well in our story this morning there were two groups of people- the disciples who were with Jesus and another group who weren’t directly with Jesus but were helping people in Jesus’ name. The disciples thought that the other people were too different and shouldn’t be allowed to talk about Jesus. But Jesus tells the disciples that anyone who tells people about him ARE part of his group! Anyone who loves Jesus, tells people about Jesus, and helps people in Jesus’ name are important to Jesus and Jesus includes or welcomes anyone who believes! Pretty neat! Jesus tells the disciples “to have piece with each other” and this means to not worry about someone who is a bit different from themselves but welcome into God’s family!

We have a part of our worship service where we do this: it is called the “passing of the peace.” We do this because Jesus wants us to welcome everyone and so we shake hands or give a hug to let everyone here know that they are wanted and welcome here! So when we say “peace be with you” we are really saying “God’s peace and we are so glad you are here!”

How else can we let people know that we are glad that they are with us not just in worship on a Sunday morning but in our lives as well?

Faith + Blessing: Today when we pass the peace I want all of us to say that to each other, “God’s peace and I am so glad that you are here!”

Faith + Close: Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for loving everyone. We want everyone to feel you love for them, help us to welcome everyone we meet for you. We all belong to you and we are so thankful! Amen

~BW
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Children’s sermon Sept. 23rd, 2012 Pentecost 17 Mark 9: 30-37

Scripture: Mark 9:30-37

Prepare: Copy of verse 37 for each child present.

Faith + Open: Gather the children to your children’s sermon space. Begin by asking them a series of questions about themselves. Such as what is their favorite color, food, brothers and sisters, favorite games, etc. Then say, “Wow! By asking all of these questions I have learned a lot about all of you this morning! Have I learned everything about you though? (NO!) I will need to ask you a lot more questions and talk to you for a really long time to learn everything about you! It would take me my whole life to learn everything about even one of you!! Now I am going to tell you something about myself. (Say something in a foreign language if you can or say something with ridiculously big/difficult words.) So what do you now know about me? What did I just say? (Looks of confusion should abound!) You didn’t understand what I just said about me? What questions could you ask to find out? (Accept all answers.)

Faith + Share: Well, in the first part of today’s gospel lesson from the book of Mark, Jesus is telling the disciples something about himself that they did not understand. Jesus told them that he was going to be hurt by people, so hurt in fact that Jesus was going to die. BUT Jesus also told them that he would rise again. The disciples didn’t understand this at all but they were afraid to ask Jesus questions about it! Jesus wants us to ask questions. Jesus welcomed children and their questions and says that welcoming children and questions is welcoming God into our lives. Just as I learned things about you by asking questions, questions are also how we learn about Jesus. Do we always know all of the answers? (No) but we can talk together, read the Bible together and learn about Jesus together! I want you to write, or have mom/dad/adult you came to church with, one question that you have about God or Jesus and talk about it in your family this week. If you want you can ask another adult in the congregation too!

Faith + Close: Prayer: Dear Jesus, we want to know more about you. Thank you for hearing our questions and thank you for the people in our lives who learn about you with us. Thank you for loving us so much! Amen

Faith + Blessing: Give each child a copy of verse 37 to go in to their Bibles to remind them to ask questions about Jesus!

~BW

Children’s Sermon for September 16, 2012 – Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, year B, James 3:1-12

Scripture Focus: James 3:1-12

Prepare: If you can find a bridle or a bit for a horse it would be a great illustration piece. You could also bring a leash or a dog harness, but a bit would be the most impressive.

Faith+Open: As the children gather ask them if they have ever heard anyone say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” Ask them if they know what that means. Then ask if they think it’s true. Do words really not hurt?

Faith+Share: We’ve been reading this long letter from the Bible from a man named James. He says that is wrong, words do hurt! And more than that, he says that it is really hard to never say anything mean. James says that this is really important, and he gives a bunch of great examples. One I really liked was about a horse. Do you guys like horses? Have any of you ever had the chance to ride a horse? It’s pretty fun, isn’t it! Well, horses are big animals, and I don’t know a whole lot about how to work with horses, but I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t control a horse with just my hands. Fortunately we have some tools to help us control them (and people who know how to train them, that helps a bunch, too!) I brought this with me, does anyone know what this is? Yeah, it’s a bit. This goes into a horse’s mouth and then a rider can control the horse. This little piece of metal let’s you control the whole big horse!

James says that our tongues are kind of like a horse’s bit. What every our tongues say usually becomes how we feel. So, when we use mean words against people, we often start to believe it ourselves. And when other people use mean words against us we start to believe what they say, too. He says that we should think before we speak, because the same tongue that praises God should not be used make other people feel bad. We should try our best to praise God with our tongues, and to share God’s love with each other.

Maybe we should update that saying from the beginning of children’s time. How about, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, and mean words hurt, too.”

Faith+Prayer: Loving God, we praise you for all the love, mercy and grace that you pour out on us. Help us to speak loving words that show your love to other people. Amen.

Faith+Blessing: May your eyes and ears be opened to see all the amazing works of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

~GB

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Children’s Sermon Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 9, 2012, year B, James 2:1-17

Scripture Focus: James 2:1-17

Prepare: Find a partner to help you. You will need someone who knows what you doing so that they can play the part! Have them gather with all the children at the beginning of the children’s sermon

Faith+Open: As you gather the children, pick your helper out of the crowd and say, “Oh, I didn’t know you were here. Hmmm . . . could you go sit way over there? I want to make sure that the children get all the good seats.” Then ask the children if they can all see and hear you. Indicate your helper and say, “It doesn’t really matter if they can see, you are the important people here.” Ham this part up, make it fun so that children understand that it’s a game.

Faith+Share: What do you think? Was I being a good neighbor to our friend?

One of the readings today is part of a letter from a man named James. In the part we heard he is talking about how we treat each other. He says a bunch of things that are hard for us to do! He says that we shouldn’t treat people differently because they are rich or poor, or powerful or weak. We shouldn’t give someone special treatment because they have a bunch of neat stuff, or because they are super cool. We should treat everyone with love and respect. He even repeats what Jesus said, that we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Then he says that we have more neighbors than we think we do! Some are rich, or cool, or have neat things, and some are not rich, or not cool, but we need to love them all the same. Just like God loves us!

Now, what about our friend over there? Should we let them come sit with us? Yes! Come over here and we’ll all pray together.

Faith+Prayer: Loving God, teach us to be loving to all our neighbors, the ones who are cool, and the ones who are not so cool. Help us to love each other just like you love us. Amen.

Faith+Blessing: May your eyes and ears be opened to see all the amazing works of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

~GB

Adapted from a children’s sermon by Pastor Paul Judson.

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Children’s Sermon, Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 2, 2012, year B, James 1:17-27

Scripture Focus: James 1:17-27

Prepare: You will need a small mirror and whatever you use to find out what time it is, your watch, your phone, etc.

Faith+Open: After you greet the children, ask them if they have ever thought about their own heads. Specifically, ask them about why they have two ears, but only one mouth. Some of them will probably say something like this, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” (If you want to, at this point, you can tell them that this is a very old saying from a Greek philosopher from about the same time that Jesus was alive! His name was Epictetus.)

Faith+Share: Today we heard a little part of a letter from a person named James, and he is saying something kind of like this, but he is talking about your whole body. He says a bunch of great things in this little section. One of them is to be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to anger. He says that staying angry about things just makes you mean and wicked, and that’s not a great way to act.

James writes that we should instead hear God’s word, and then do something with it! He writes it in kind of a fun way, too. (Get out your mirror) He says that people who just hear the word are like people who look in a mirror, and then 2 minutes later can’t remember what they look like. That’s pretty silly, right? Or, here’s something that I do, I look at my phone (or watch) to see what time it is, then a couple seconds later I have to look again, because I can’t remember what it said. James writes that when we just hear God’s word and don’t do something with it, we are acting just like that. God’s words are going one ear and right out the other.

We should hear God’s word and look for the places where God needs us to work and then do something, and we will be happy that we did. I really like the end of this section of the letter. James says that the real way to practice being what we call a Christian is to care for people. A man named Eugene Peterson said it this way, real religion is this: to reach out to the homeless and the loveless, and to not let the bad stuff in the world make you a bad person (Note, this is a paraphrase of James 6:27 from “The Message”).

Faith+Prayer: Amazing God, teach us to hear and do your word. Teach us to help those who feel helpless and to love those who feel unloved. Teach us to find joy in giving our time and love to the people who need it. Amen.

Faith+Blessing: May your eyes and ears be opened to see all the amazing works of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

~GB

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