Tag Archives: love

Children’s Sermon Mark 5:21-43 5th Sunday after Pentecost Year B June 28,2015

Preparation: There are two options here.
A) fill a bag with different things to touch–a soft stuffed animal, baggie of dirt, something prickly (but not too sharp!), silly putty or something kind of slimy or sticky. You can either keep these in the bag and have them reach in and guess or you can take them out one by one to so they can see as well.
B) prepare several small bags with the same items in them, just one per bag so that kids can reach in and try to guess  what they feel.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children with you. Show them the bag you have brought and prepared. “I have brought some things with me today that I want to explore what you think about how they feel.” Proceed to either have one or two children reach into the bag without peeking or bring the items out one by one and have them feel them and talk about what they feel like.

20130822-223633.jpg“I brought these items today because as I heard the gospel read I noticed that the word touch was used quite a lot. Do you remember what the story said about touch?” See what they recall, help them remember the places in the story that Jesus was touched or touched someone. “Touch is one of our five senses, and it’s an important one. Touch helps us know when something is too hot or too cold right? Touch also tells us what something is and helps us know our surroundings. In the Bible today we hear about Jesus and his healing touch–that he is able to heal the woman and the daughter with his touch and his words. This tells me that not only does Jesus care for us in words and by listening, but Jesus also cares for us in all the ways that we feel, either with our hands or with our hearts. You know, when I get a hug from one of my kids or a friend, that is a touch that can warm my heart and make me feel loved. Or when I get to curl up in my bed with favorite pillow that is a sense of touch that makes me feel warm and safe. And when we hold hands to pray or bless one another by putting our hands on one another’s head or shoulder that is touch that makes me feel connected to you and to God. So even though my touch may not make  a disease go away or heal all their hurts, our touch of prayer and blessing and love can bring the presence of God and hope to another person.”

20130822-224425.jpgLet’s pray together this way–let’s hold hands but first look at your thumbs. Let’s make both our thumbs go to the left and then hold hands with the people next to us. When we do this we have one hand supporting one person next to us and another hand being supported, or held up by the other person. (show them this with the people next to you) Lets pray–Loving Jesus, you give us hands to feel and hearts to love. Help us to use kind touch to bring your healing to others. Amen

20130822-223908.jpg+May you know the healing touch of God today+


FaithCross_WorshipFor a worship station you can either have the same items from your bag set up at the station and have people feel them and then write something that makes them feel and prayer on paper below each item.
Go to this link from the Still Waters website and scroll down to the station on making hot chocolate as a fun way to have people make a gift for someone they love or who needs a healing prayer.

Children’s Sermon Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, Matthew 22:34-46, October 26, 2014

Prepare: You are going to play a word game, so you will need several cards with either a noun or a verb on them and one more that says “LOVE.” The number of cards you use depends on how much time you have, but you probably need at least 3 of each plus the “LOVE” card. They should be simple and obvious, like RUN, or DOG.

Worship Station: The worship station can be done without added stuff, but if might be helpful to have paper for everyone to write on, or even better small note cards.

NOTE – I am using this with my congregation as part of our stewardship/giving commitment Sunday, so I will also include that idea, but you can leave out the giving commitment part if it does not line up with what your congregation is doing.

FaithCross_ConnectALT  Ask the children if they know what a noun is and what a verb is. You might have to explain it, and if they are too young you can also just use “thing” or “action.”

FaithCross_ConversationALT Alright! Good, now we are going to play a word game! I will hold up a card and you tell me if it is a noun or a verb.

Start with the easy ones, and offer lots of encouragement! Then hold up the LOVE card last.

What do you think of this one? Is love a noun? You can feel love, right? We know when we love someone or when someone loves us, so maybe it is a noun. But, maybe it is a verb, too. Love is something that you do, too! Think about that for a minute. When you love somebody you want to do good things for them. You want to make them feel good, and you want to take care of them. So love is not just a noun, love is something that we do.

In this Bible story that we read today we hear Jesus talking about love because someone asked him a very difficult question. They want to know what the greatest commandment is. I think that they were thinking of the 10 commandments – you know, “have no other gods,” “Honor you parents,” “Don’t kill.” But Jesus, like he so often does, answers the question in a completely different way. Instead of picking one of the 10, he kind of picks them all. He says the most important thing you can do is to love. Love God, love yourself and all the people around you. Remember, love is not just a noun, it is a verb! To love all these people we have to do something! We have to care for them, we should do good things for them, we should work to make them feel good, joyful and safe. That is a difficult thing to do, and I think that Jesus knew that when he said it. Let’s pray for a little help learning how to be more loving.

FaithCross_Worship *Stewardship Emphasis* If you intend to collect pledges you can have baskets out or whatever your custom is. If you are not colleting pledges you can just have people do the prayer work and write down their love commitment.

Ask the people to think for a moment about the person or situation that most upset, angered, frustrated, or otherwise made them unhappy in the past week. Then ask them to turn to the person next to them and just share the one word that they felt in that situation. Nothing more! Not what was happening, not who was involved, just one word about how they felt.

Next have them think about how they could have been more loving in the situation and write that on the paper (if you are using paper). That is their commitment to be more loving this week.

If you are collecting pledges, do that now, and tell them that they are making a double pledge. One to support the church financially in the coming year and the other to be more loving, even in the most difficult times of their daily lives.

20130822-224425.jpg    Loving God, we often fail to be the loving people you created us to be. Help us to see past our own hurts and anger and to live out your love in our lives. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg God loves everything about you.



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Children’s Sermon Pentecost 7A Romans 8:26-39

Preparation: markers and paper with the words “what If” at the top (or print the whole poem if you like) either to hand out or at worship station

20130822-223454.jpg Gather the children with you. Ask, What kinds of things do you worry about? (take their answers) Yes, I worry about those things too sometimes (or add in your own worries). In fact I have this poem here by Shel Silverstein that lists all kinds of things that might be worrisome.
Read Poem:   Whatif by Shel Silverstein

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear

and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I’m dumb in school?
Whatif they’ve closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don’t grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won’t bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!

That is quite a list of what ifs! Sometimes I also think that all these what ifs and worries and things that could happen or event things that DO happen that are sad or scary, what if God does not love me anymore–??? Have you ever thought of that what if?

20130822-223633.jpgDid you hear our scripture for today though? I heard it loud and clear, let me read it to you. “For I am convinced–which means I am very, very sure and certain, that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height , nor depth,(–insert their worries here and say things like not war or divorce or darkness or lost teeth, etc) nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Do you Know what that means–not one single thing will ever make God’s love go away. Not for you, not for me, not for anyone. Phew… that is some good news, to know that love will be with us no matter what happens or does not happen.

FaithCross_WorshipI have these papers for you that say ‘what if’ on the top. I want you to go ahead and write or draw anything that worries you or scares you. Then after you do that, draw a BIG HEART over the top of it and write God’s Love in that heart to help you remember that nothing will separate you from God’s love.

20130822-224425.jpgJesus, help us remember, no matter what ifs we worry about, no matter what comes our way, that your love is with us to stay. Amen


20130822-223908.jpg+May you know God’s love is with you always+


Children’s Sermon, Pentecost 2, June 22, 2014 – Matthew 10:24-39

Prepare: Bring a small cross – ideally one that stands up on its own.  If you are doing the worship station you will also need a basket to put under the cross, small pieces of paper and some pencils or crayons.  For the worship station (or even just for the children’s sermon) you can also have small crosses to give to the children.

FaithCross_BibleALT  Wow!  Did you hear what Jesus just said!  That didn’t sound like Jesus at all!  He said that he comes to bring a sword, not peace, and that he comes to divide families so that everyone is fighting!  What is he talking about!  That seems really scary, and I thought Jesus was kind and loving!  (ok, enough exclamation points, you get the idea, be excited.)

FaithCross  Let’s back up a minute and look at this again.  Do you think that Jesus really means that he came to make people fight?  No, I don’t think so, either.  So what does this mean?  Maybe we can think about it a different way.  Nearly all of the things that Jesus did with his disciples, nearly all of the stories that we read about Jesus were things that made people really uncomfortable and angry when he was doing them.  That doesn’t make much sense to us today because we have nearly 2,000 years of people talking and thinking about Jesus that helps to make all of this being Christian stuff seem pretty normal, but I bet I can still make you feel uncomfortable about doing what Jesus asks us to do.

Think about this – imagine that you are at the pool with a few of your best friends.  You are laughing and joking around, splashing each other, and just having a good time when you see someone from school that none of you really like.  All your friends decide to pick on that person, and they start splashing and yelling, which obviously hurts that persons feelings, but your friends don’t really care and they keep splashing and being mean.  Now, you know that if you make your friends stop, or go help the other person that your friends are going to be mad at you, but you also know that it’s the right thing to do . . . so, what do you do?  Stay with your friends where it’s safe and comfortable or defend and help someone who you don’t like?

When people choose to follow Jesus 2,000 years ago there was a risk of real violence and danger, there was a risk of swords!  Thankfully most of us will never need to deal with that, but we do sometimes have to make difficult choices because of what we believe and what that means for how we behave.  Sometimes doing what we should do comes with the risk of loosing a friendship.

(if you are doing the worship station, just skip to the prayer here)

I have a cross here.  Let’s take a few seconds to think about what other things we risk or give up when we follow Jesus.

FaithCross_Worship  Worship Station: Have your cross set up (or your basket of crosses if they are going to take one with them) with the basket, paper, and pencils near it.  Invite the children (or whoever else wants to join in) to take a piece of paper and think about two things: 1. What do you risk (or give up) when you follow Jesus  2. What is the reward for the risk?

Write the risk on the piece of paper (or draw), and leave the paper in the basket.  Then say a prayer for courage and of praise at the cross (or over the cross that they are taking with them).  You are welcome to print out the prayer below for people to use if they would like.

20130822-224425.jpg  Loving Christ, following you is difficult.  We often have to make choices between the things that make us feel safe and comfortable and the things that are right and good.  Sometimes following you means that we might upset someone that we love and care about.  Give us courage to do what is right and good even when it is difficult.  Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg  May God give you strength to love everyone you meet.






Weekly Devotion Page for June 22, 2014

31 June 22 - Seccond Sunday After Pentecost.pubHere is the devotion page for the Second Sunday after Pentecost, June 22,  2014

Just click on the picture to download the PDF file!

We have started a new format for our inserts (starting with Pentecost, June 8, 2014).  To learn more about this format read this – Keeping up with what God is Doing,

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

Children’s Sermon Fourth Sunday of Easter, 1 Peter 2:19-25 (and John 10:1-10), May 11, 2014

Prepare:  Find a picture of someone who fought (or is fighting for) human rights – like Martin Luther King Jr., or Nelson Mandela.  I will use Martin Luther King as my example here, but it really doesn’t matter too much who you choose.

20130822-223520.jpg  Have your picture out as the children gather, and ask if any of them know who is in the picture.  If they know who it is, ask them why this person is important.

FaithCross That’s right, this is Martin Luther King.  He wanted equal rights for African Americans.  He tried very hard to be peaceful and kind, but he was also sure that he was doing the right thing.  There were people who were very angry with him for the things that he was saying and for the changes that he wanted people to make in their lives.  He knew that we should treat all people the as beloved children of God.  No one is less of a person than anyone else because they are a boy or a girl, or because their skin is light or dark, or their hair is straight of curly.  We all belong to God.

The sad part of this story is that Martin Luther King was treated badly.  He was arrested, he was beat up, he was yelled at and eventually he was even killed because he knew what was the right thing to do, and he kept doing it.

I thought of Martin Luther King when I reading from 1 Peter.  In that letter, Peter (or maybe Peter’s followers) write that even if it is scary we should keep doing what we know is right, even if we get in trouble for doing it.

Now wait a minute . . . you really have to think about this!  If you’re hungry, is it right to go take all the cookies out of the cookie jar, or steal someone’s lunch?  Is it pushing someone out the way because you are late?  No, doing the right thing is acting with love!  So, instead of taking someone else’s food when you are hungry, it is sharing or giving your food to someone else who is hungry, too.  Instead of pushing someone out of your way, it is stopping to help someone who needs it even if you are going to be later because you stop.

Sometimes acting with love can be the hardest thing to do, too.  Acting with love might mean getting on the bad side of a bully because you help someone who is being bullied, or tell a teacher or adult about the bully.  Acting with love means giving food or help to someone who is homeless even if other people what to ignore them.

At the end of this little passage from 1 Peter, we hear that even if we mess up, Jesus always welcomes us back.  Even when we don’t always act with Love, there is a place for us with Jesus.

20130822-223749.jpg   Loving God, help us to love one another the way that you love us.  Help us to see the ways to act with love and kindness in everything that we do, and forgive us when we mess up and forget to be loving.  Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg  Send them out with a traditional Easter greeting!  You say, “Christ is risen!”  They respond, “Christ is risen indeed!”



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Children’s Sermon Seventh Sunday After Epiphany, Year A, Matthew 5:38-48, February 23, 2014

Prepare:  Find a picture of Baljeet and Buford from “Phineas and Ferb” (and if you have not watched any “Phineas and Ferb” go watch some!)

20130822-223454.jpg  As the children gather have your picture of Buford and Baljeet out for them to look at.  Some of them will probably know these two characters, so ask them to describe their relationship.

FaithCross  Yeah, Baljeet and Buford!  Buford is a bully and Baljeet is his usual target, right?  Buford picks on him all the time.  So, I imagine that Baljeet is always plotting a way to get back at Buford, right?  Baljeet is smart and has a good reason to find some way to embarrass or hurt Buford.  He probably has secret plans and is building a Doofenshmirtz-style ‘Inator (if this doesn’t make sense – go watch the show!), like an anti-bullyinator.

That’s not true though, is it?  Baljeet and Buford actually care about each other.  Buford protects Baljeet, and Baljeet stands up for Buford when people say mean things about him.  They have even saved each other’s lives several times!  Isn’t that a little strange?  Buford is a bully!  Why would Baljeet stand up for him?

I think that Baljeet and Buford have gotten to know each other, and understand how the other person feels.  They know what really hurts the other person, and they know how to help each other feel better.  This is something that is easy in a cartoon, but how well can we do that?

Alright, this next part is just in your head, don’t say anything out loud!  I want you to just think about someone that you might call an enemy.  This is probably someone who is hard for you to love, right?  What do you think would happen if you acted with love around them?  I don’t mean that you should try to give them a hug right away or anything, but what if you treated them like a friend?  What if you got to know them and let them get to know you?  It’s harder to really not like someone when work hard to understand them better.  You might never be good friends, like Baljeet and Buford, but maybe you can find ways to be more caring.

Let’s listen to what Jesus has to say about this, too.  (Either read the Gospel text here – or re-read Matthew 5:42-48 if it has already been read).

20130822-223749.jpg    God of love and kindness, give us the courage to act with love even when we want to be mean and cruel to others.  Help us to love everyone we meet with the same love that you give to us.  Amen

20130822-223908.jpg  May God’s Word shine a light into your life today and always.


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Children’s Sermon Epiphany 6A Deuteronomy 30: 15-20, Matthew 5:21-37

Preparation: Take the  biggest paper or sheet that you have and make a BIG heart, markers or crayons, and a Valentine you received if you did receive one(and if you did not receive one, I am sorry and God loves you and so do I)
optional–smaller hearts cut out of paper

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children up front. “So, did any of you get or give a Valentine this week?” (take answers) “Me too, I especially like the one my dad (or whoever) gave me because even though I know he loves me it was really nice to get this card as a reminder.”

20130822-223633.jpg“We heard some difficult to understand readings from the Bible today. I heard a lot of words about how we can live together as a community and what things not to do. One part that stuck out for me is that it says in Deuteronomy that all these ways of living out the commandments God gives us are ways that we can walk with God and live with one another. It can be difficult to figure that out sometimes–do you every problems with the people you live with? Me too, sometimes I get frustrated or sad or angry, these things we all feel sometimes. We can also remember though that the commandments from God and the rules we live with in a home or at school or work or daycare come from a place of hope that love will be the first thing we are about.”

“So how big of love do you think God has for us? This much? (put your fingers a little bit a part) or this much? (put your hands a part) No? This much? put your arms wide. I know that God’s love is so big and wide that we can’t even imagine it because it stretches over the whole world holding all people. I thought I’d try though and I made this God sized Valentine (bring out your large Valentine). Now I know that it can’t find the actually whole world in it but I would like us to imagine it does and that all the ways that we help other people or show love to those that we even have a difficult time with can fit in this heart. Especially I want you to know that YOU fit in this heart and that God’s commandments and love are for you.”

Have each child put their name in the heart–You could also have smaller cut out hearts that you hand out for them to put their name on and then stick to the big heart. You could have them do this right then or if you have a sacred space time or a prayer time or even at offering have the children come up and put their hearts in God’s heart.

20130822-223749.jpgLoving God, thank you for your commandments of love. Help us to love one another as we walk with you.


20130822-223908.jpgYou are loved child of God