Tag Archives: love

Children’s Sermon – July 31, 2016 – Luke 12:13-21

Prepare: You will need a “treasure chest” of some kind.  It can be an actual chest, or as simple as a little box.  It doesn’t need to have anything in it.

20130822-223520.jpgAs the children gather, set your treasure chest down carefully in the middle of the group, and ask them what they think is in it.


Those are some good ideas! I think that I know what kinds of things you would keep in your treasure chest now.

In the Gospel we hear today, Jesus tells a story about a rich man who has so much stuff that he builds big buildings just to put stuff in.  He is very proud of what he has accomplished and of all his stuff, but he dies at the end of the story! Who gets all the stuff then? I think that is pretty interesting, but not as interesting as the question that started Jesus telling a story (because, you know that when you ask Jesus a question he is going to tell you a story for the answer, right?).

I guess it’s not really a question, but a request.  A man asks Jesus to tell his brother to split the family fortune with him.  Basically he wants half of his brother’s stuff. I think that Jesus is trying to tell this man that he is worried about the wrong things, or that he isn’t paying attention to what is really important. The man seems to be willing to make his brother man just so he can have more money, or animals – more stuff. Now, I wasn’t there, so I don’t know if the man liked his brother, or didn’t like his brother, but it seems to me that Jesus is telling him to stop focusing on stuff, because things can get used up, be stolen or lost, and don’t last forever. Gathering things up in a box is just about as good as having an empty box (You can open the empty box here if you want.) What we should treasure is people! We should care for each other and use our wealth to help each other, not store it up and hide it away.

20130822-223908.jpgYou are God’s treasure

20130822-223749.jpgLoving God, you treasure us and care for us. Thank you! Help us to treasure the people around us more than we treasure our stuff. Amen

FaithCross_WorshipFor a worship station, invite your congregation to think about the people that they treasure.  It doesn’t have to be someone in the room, they can even be friends and loved ones who have died.  Give them a minute to call those people to mind and then offer a “popcorn” prayer where people can name the people they treasure aloud or silently.

If naming people in prayer our loud is not part of you tradition you may want to have a few “plants” in the congregation to get the prayer started.


Children’s Sermon – July 10, 2016 – Luke 10:25-37

Prepare: Make a poster (or a use a flip chart) that says “Who is my neighbor” across the top.  If you are doing a worship station, either make the poster two-sided (same on the back) or make two posters.  You will need one for the children’s sermon, and a different one for the congregation.

20130822-223454.jpgInvite the children to come forward with a request for help.  Something like, “I need some of the smartest people in the room to help me answer this question, so please send all the children up here!”

20130822-223633.jpgHave your poster ready to go, and read it to the children. In today’s story about Jesus, someone asks him a pretty easy question, and, to be honest, I think that Jesus just over-thinks it. He launches into this long story about a traveler who gets attacked by robbers, and there are priests and leaders and people we don’t like . . . I just think it’s a mess!

So, let’s see if we can make sense of this question and maybe get a clearer answer than Jesus gave us.  Who is your neighbor?

(write their ideas on the poster as they say them – you can, and should, repeat them for all the people to hear. Go with the flow here, but once things start to calm down, or it seems like a good time to add some complexity go on to the next part.  You’re going to have to ad-lib a little depending on what they have said, what they say, etc.)

OK, so a neighbor is someone who lives next to you? What about across the street? OK, so what about the neighbor of my neighbor, is that my neighbor, too? I have a friend who lives about two blocks away . . . is she my neighbor? What about her neighbors, are they mine, too?

Here’s a tough question – what if all of these people look different from me? What if they have curly hair? Or different colored skin than me? Or what if they are really short, or really tall? What if they like tuna and I think it’s gross?

Boy, the deeper we get into this neighbor question the more difficult it is to answer!  Maybe Jesus was right to tell a story rather than trying to give a simple answer.  See, the story that Jesus tells about neighbors taking care of each other doesn’t put neighbors in a specific place – not next to you, or down the street. Jesus’ story doesn’t make sure that neighbors look like us, or think like us. Jesus’ story even says that sometimes the person we think should be a good neighbor isn’t a very good neighbor at all!

Maybe what Jesus is trying to say is that our neighbors aren’t just the people who live near us, or look like us, but instead they are anyone and everyone who needs our love and care.

20130822-223749.jpgLoving God, thank you for being our neighbor and for giving us people who love us a care for us. Help us to be loving and caring neighbors to all the people we meet. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpgGod’s love binds up your heart.



FaithCross_WorshipFor the worship station, set up a prayer station around you “neighbor” poster and encourage people to think about the people who they don’t want to be neighbors with.

Following Starts with Love Children’s Sermon Luke 9:51-62 June 26, 2016

20130822-223520.jpgGather children to you. Who has ever played follow the leader? Yeah, it is a good game where one person leads others around and they follow the actions of the lead person. Which is easier for you, to be the leader or the follower?

20130822-223633.jpgI have a different kind of following game to try. Who will try this with me? (get a volunteer) We are going to sit (or stand) facing each other with our palms in the air. Now I am going to do some simple actions with my hands and _____ (name) is going to try to follow me.

How about you try–turn to someone sitting next to you have try out being the other person’s mirror (if you do not have time for this, encourage them to try this out during an open worship time, communion or after worship or at home) Which was easier to do? How did it feel to lead? How did it feel to follow?

We just read about Jesus telling his disciples, his friends, to follow him. They are worried because some people do not like them, a whole village in fact has sent all of them away. And they are worried because Jesus wants them to leave their family and homes and friends behind and follow him. Just like following the leader can be difficult in our little game, following Jesus may not always be easy. Sometimes people don’t like us, sometimes people are afraid of us, sometimes we are not sure what exactly we should do as followers of Jesus. When it’s difficult or we are unsure, we can remember that following Jesus starts with love. When the followers got messed up I noticed some giggling and then the leaders tried again. This happened in the game because we knew we were playing and we care about the people around us. Following Jesus begins with knowing that we can care about others and that we are first and foremost loved by God and then sent to share that love.

20130822-224425.jpgJesus, help us to follow you. Help us to know how to begin with love and end with love. Help us remember your love for us goes anywhere. Amen

20130822-223908.jpgGod in my head

God in my heart

God on my left

God on my right
FaithCross_WorshipSet up a space where people can try out the mirror game. Have a large mirror available with markers and let people write down prayers about following God.

Attention of Compassion Luke 7:11-17 3rd Sunday after Pentecost June 5, 2016


You will need a partner for this who is good at ‘not paying attention’ until the last noise. They could even be acting as if they are sad or very distracted.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children with you. Have your partner off to the side looking away. Start to welcome them and tell them the story and then interrupt yourself and say, “oh, ______ (name), hey, come join us! I want you to hear this story.”  Person should look around but not turn towards you or the person can just keep his/her head down.

Hhhmmm… kids, I know this person has been kind of distracted and even sad lately… I think hearing from Jesus could help… could one of you go tap ____ on the shoulder and see if he/she will come over?

Huh, it’s like ____doesn’t even hear us… maybe we should get louder. Come up with a loud noise you can do together like clapping or snapping.

Hhhmmm… being loud did not work… being annoying did not work… how can we show _____ our love? Take suggestions. Then go over to the person and either give a nice pat or hug and say we care about you, will you come sit with us. The person can look up in surprise even and say thank you and come over.

20130822-223633.jpgWhat worked in getting _____ to come sit with us? Showing some love. Or another word is compassion. Compassion is when we see and know someone else is having a difficult time or feeling bad and we have a desire to do something, to help them. Jesus today in the gospel saw a woman who was weeping because her son had died. He had big compassion for her and even though he had all these people crowded around him and wanting his attention, the woman did not notice him right away. Jesus went to her and said, stop crying–which is what got her attention right away! She wanted to see what Jesus would do. Jesus healed her son, brought him back to life. The Bible tells us he had compassion for her–he felt for her and he could not help but take action. It is another story of God’s big love for people! That our feelings, our grief, our life, our death are all things that God loves brings to life.

20130822-223749.jpgGod of big compassion, give us eyes and ears and hearts to see those around us who need your big love. Fill our hearts and eyes and ears and minds with your big love so we remember you are filled with compassion for us too. Amen

20130822-223908.jpgMay you have and give compassion in Jesus’ name +


FaithCross_WorshipAt the end of the children’s message in the pews or tables around your sanctuary have small paper hearts. Ask people to write the name of a person, place, or issue that they have compassion for on the heart. Have another very large heart cut out of paper that all the other hearts can fit into. Or an outline of a heart on a wall or large mural. Ask people to place their hearts inside the big heart. Make a sign over the big hear that says God’s Big Compassion and Love Heart for All. As people add a heart they can lift up their passion and compassion in prayer.

Children’s Sermon Dance of God’s Love Trinity Sunday Year C

Preparation: Pick a song that you know well and/or your children knows well and that you can dance to. Some ideas: Lord of the Dance, Dance with Me, Canticle of the Turning, Marching in the Light of God–do the dancing verse!

You will also need two willing dance partners to start.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children up front with you. Say, “Have you ever played the game framer in the dell?” Explain the game. It’s a game with a song that goes “the farmer in the dell, farmer in the dell, heigh ho the merry-oh the farmer in the dell” and all the kids stand in a circle and dance and sing the song. During the verses, one kid at time they are pulled out of the circle until there is only one person left.

Well I have another dance for you today. Invite your partners to stand up with you and hold hand sin a circle. Start singing your song and dancing in a circle together. Sing one or two lines and then take the hands of a few more kids. Sing some more and then invite them all to join you. You may need to drop hands at this point and just dance together. Now invite the congregation to join you by standing and dancing.

(For example, if you use Marching in the Light of God you can sing half the first verse, get a few kids and finish. Then get them to all stand up and say we are singing  in the light of God and then invite the congregation to do the dance verse. You can modify for time or size of congregation. You can also pick a shorter song, like Alleluia-Praise ye the Lord or Love , Love, Love, that’s what it’s all about. )

OR go up front with your dance partners before you invite the children up. Start singing your song and dancing with the other two (so there are three total, cause.. trinity 🙂 Then get some other kids to join you. Then invite the whole group up front to join the song. Then invite the congregation to dance and sing with you.

20130822-223633.jpgWhen the song is over have everyone sit down. Say, “God’s dance is different than the farmer in the dell dance, isn’t it? How is it different?” Take answers and then say, “Yes, see, we talk today about one way we can think about how we see God, as a trinity, a three in one. There are many ways God shows us where God is and who God is and there are three that we talk  in the trinity–God the father or creator, God the son in Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit. That is why I started with 3 people dancing. And God does not stop there, because the Holy Spirit wants to bring everyone in to know Jesus, to know God’s love, to know that God is everywhere they go, so it’s kind of like a dance where all are invited to participate with God and that is what sends God’s love out to the world. Just like we added people, the Holy Spirit’s love keeps getting added.

20130822-223749.jpgGod of the dance, thank you for showing yourself to us. Help us to dance with you and bring in more and more people to your love. Amen


20130822-223908.jpgMay you know and do God’s dance of love in your heart.


FaithCross_WorshipDance of God Footprint Wreath: Have cutouts of a footprint or have people trace their feet and have some done and glue or taped onto a cut out circle or an actual wreath. You will be making a wreath out of the feet. Instructions say: Write a way you can join in God’s dance on the foot and then put your foot on the wreath as you say a prayer to join in God’s dance.

What is Love? – John 13:31-35 April 24, 2016

Prepare: Get a large piece of poster board or a big piece of banner paper and write on it (it can be fancy!) “What is Love?”

20130822-223315.jpg Ask the children to start naming things that they love.  You are kind of looking for one of them to say something like, “my Xbox!” When you get a few of those objects use that as a segue to ask, “What is love?”

20130822-223633.jpg In the story today, Jesus tells his disciples that people will know who they are because they love each other. Every time I read this story it gets a little more difficult for me to understand because “Love” is such a difficult word! We had a whole list of things that people love, from our parents to toys! How can one word describe how we feel about such different things?

Even more than that, Love is more than liking something or someone. For example, I can love someone but be really angry with them at the same time. Stranger still? Sometime I find that I am upset with people BECAUSE I love them! If I didn’t love them I wouldn’t really care what they were doing, and I wouldn’t be upset.

So, today, let’s make a list of what it means to Love someone. Ready? Go!

(make the list on your board or banner)

Wow! What a list! Think about how you show your love this week, and think about some of the things on this list.

20130822-223908.jpg Jesus loves you!

20130822-223749.jpg Loving God, be with us as we work to be loving disciples. Help us to love each other even when we don’t really want to, and grant us your forgiveness when we don’t love the way we should. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship For the worship station – Make the “What is Love?” list an all congregation project.  Either as a prayer station or as a group activity where you write items on the list as people say the,

“We Are One” Children’s Sermon on Genesis 2: 18-24 and Mark 10: 2-16

20130822-222604.jpgHave a bunch of larger building blocks (foam ones are great!) with you. Make sure that you have enough that each child gets at least one. Gather the children around the blocks as best you can. Ask “do you think that we can build something out of these blocks? Let’s build a house.” Take your block and place it on the ground. Say, “There here’s my piece, am I done? No? My block can’t be a whole building all by itself? We need more pieces? Ok. Here’s one for each of you. Let’s put our blocks together and build a simple house.”  This might get a little chaotic depending on how many children you have! When done, say, “Wow! Look how we built that together! Each one of our pieces is important. What happens if I take a block away especially from the bottom?” Let them guess and then take one away-hopefully it will break or fall a little…if not remove one more! Without all of the blocks we just don’t have a complete building do we?

20130822-223633.jpg In our Bible story this morning, Jesus is reminding us that we all need each other and how we treat other matters. No one person is more or less important and we need to make sure that we are taking care of each other and including each other so that we can be whole-like our whole building. What happens when we tell someone that we don’t want them around anymore? (Remove a block.) Yes, we’re not whole and we need them. In our story from Genesis we read that God created us to work together, to not be separate blocks doing our own thing but to be like one building. Jesus says that God thinks that we are all important no matter how big or how small to God and so we treat each other how God would treat us. What are some ways that we can show people that they matter to God, to us and that they are not alone? (Maybe try and highlight some service/outreach ministries that are accessible to children and young families in your congregation. But allow all answers of sharing, helping, loving, hugs, nice words, helpful hands, etc.) That’s right! We have so many ways to show God’s love for everyone!

20130822-223749.jpg Dear God, thank you for creating animals, plants, and all people. Thank you for never leaving us alone but being with us always. We want to love everyone as you love us, God. In Jesus name, amen.

FaithCross_Worship have a Jenga type wooden blocks on a table. Have permanent markers on the tables for people to write examples of how we are all one in Christ and/or how we care for each other and creation. Have them place their blocks to “build” the Jenga set. (You may want to have it started and someone there to facilitate.) For a hymn of the day that can be listened to instead of sung while they are doing this, check out the Alternate Routes song: “Nothing More.” Great lyrics for this activity!

20130822-223908.jpg +God cares for you+