Tag Archives: forgiveness

September Faith + Home Connection

20130822-223454.jpg Ask each person in the household to share: “Where did you see God today? Where did you need God today?”

20130822-223633.jpg Read Matthew 18: 21-35

FaithCross Forgiveness is the theme of this story from Matthew. Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive and Jesus answers with a really big number 77 times. Too big a number to keep track of! Forgiveness is an important theme in our daily lives too. From sayings such as “forgive and forget” to “better to ask for forgiveness than permission,” it seems to be part of our language and lives together to think about forgiveness. But it’s not the “get out of jail free” card that we tend to think of forgiveness as in our relationships. It’s more than wiping the slate clean and moving on. In the story of the Unforgiving Servant, it’s not just that the king was merciful and removed a debt that the servant could not have possibly repaid that is important. If forgiveness was just about ourselves and feeling better, Jesus would have stopped the story there. But Jesus goes on to tell that the forgiven servant then turns around and does not share that mercy with another person who actually owed him very little in comparison to the amount that the king had removed from him. He has the other person thrown in jail. Jesus wants us to go beyond ourselves and to see everyone around us as God sees them-beloved, imperfect and in need of radical mercy and forgiveness, not just once but over and over. Forgiveness is not a one-time act or just an action at all; it’s a way of living together as the people of God. When we live with each other rooted in this forgiveness that God shares with us over and over, each and every day without end, we are revealing the love and mercy of God for the whole world.

Youth/adults: How is forgiveness a way of life for you? How do you share God’s forgiveness with words or your actions? When was a time that you received forgiveness? When was a time that you offered forgiveness? What can make saying “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you” difficult?

Children: When did you have to tell someone that you were sorry? What did they say back to you? Have you told someone “I forgive you”? Is that easy or hard? Did you know that God loves you so much that God will ALWAYS tell you “I forgive you” no matter what you say or do? Yes! God wants to treat our friends and family the way that God loves us!

20130822-224425.jpg God of forgiveness, thank you for loving us so much that your words to us are always “I forgive you.” We are grateful that through your son Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection we shown forgiveness and love beyond measure. May we live our daily lives rooted in that forgiveness and love. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +Live in God’s mercy+


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)


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Children’s Sermon Second Sunday of Easter, John 20:19-31 – April 7, 2013

ffjChildrenSermonPrepare:  Bring something REALLY sticky, like a piece of duct tape or packaging tape (or you could go messy if you want, like honey).  You want it to be something that will stick to your hand as you try to get rid of it.  Styrofoam peanuts that have a good static charge going would work, too.  The main thing is that you need to be able to get it off your hand when you want to, but it needs to stick up to that point.

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!”

Faith+Share:  Hello!  Today is we hear this amazing story about Jesus appearing to his disciples.  They were afraid after Jesus was arrested and killed, so they were hiding in a locked room.  Do you think that stopped Jesus from finding them?  No, he appeared with them and said, “Peace be with you.”  That by itself is pretty amazing.  And then there is the whole story about Thomas and Jesus.  Thomas wasn’t there the first time, and didn’t believe Jesus came, so then . . . wait, that’s not the part of the story that I wanted to tell you about.  Man, I really got sidetracked!  Do you forgive me?   (Wait for an answer)

Oh, good, because that was what I wanted to talk about!  Jesus said something else to the disciples when he first came to them, he said, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them, if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”  Think about it this way, if you forgive a person for something then the sin goes away, but if you don’t forgive the sin sticks around.  It’s kind of like this tape (or whatever sticky thing you brought).  If I don’t do something about this it will just stick to my hand and get it my way, and stick to other things.  It might even switch hands on me and it just won’t go away.  Here’s the crazy thing.  This tape on my hand isn’t really my sin, it’s the sin that I don’t want to forgive, it’s someone else’s sin, but it’s stuck on me!

To get this tape off my hands I have to pay attention to it and make sure that I don’t grab a stick part and fold it up and get rid of it (Do this while you talk, or wipe off the honey, or . . . )  Part of forgiving someone is getting their sin out of your life and out of your way.  If you let that sin stick around it just keeps getting in a way.  Sometimes we call this holding a grudge, and it usually makes people grumpy and sad.  When we hold grudges we spend a lot of time and effort staying mad at someone.  When we forgive and let go of any grudges we can be happier and spend more time loving and caring for people and less time being grumpy.

Faith+Prayer:   Loving Jesus, help us to forgive people when they do things that hurt us or make us mad.  Help us to learn to forgive like you forgive us. Amen

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


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Children’s Sermon for November 18, 2012, Pentecost 25, year B, Hebrews 10:11-25

Scripture Focus: Hebrews 10:11-25

Prepare: Bring whatever you use to write down (or capture) important information, like your calendar, phone, tablet, etc.

Faith+Open: As the children come forward, ask them if they have ever had to remember something really important. Give the example of needing to know your address or phone number if there is an emergency.

Faith+Share: Sometimes it really helps if you can write something down. Some people write things that are really important on a calendar, or in a notebook (now give your example – I often tell people that they need to see me put it in my phone or it won’t happen.)

Today we hear a reading form a letter called Hebrews. In the middle of that reading God says, “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Wow, it would be pretty hard to forget something if it was in your heart AND written on your mind, don’t you think? That’s a whole lot better than making a note in my (your device here!).

But, when I read this, I thought, oh no! I know that I don’t always do all things that I should do and that sometimes I do things that I should not do! God’s going to write things in my mind that I know I don’t always do! Then I kept reading, listen to this, then God said, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” We are forgiven!

That doesn’t mean we should just sit and enjoy being forgiven, though. The end of the reading tells us that we should go out and encourage one another to love and do good deeds. In other words, you are free from things that you did wrong, so stop worrying about what you did and go out to share God’s love and forgiveness with everyone you meet.

So, let’s do that! On your way back to your seat, find someone and tell them that God loves them and forgives them. You can even make the sign of the cross on their forehead when you do it. Let’s start with all of you! After I bless you head back and bless someone else.

Faith+Blessing: Bless each child with the sign of the cross, saying, “God loves you and forgives your sins.” You can have people help you if you have a large crowd of children.


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