Tag Archives: love

Children’s Sermon 2nd Sunday in Christmas, John 1:10:18, Ephesians 1:3-14, and/or Jeremiah 31:7-14 – January 5, 2014

Prepare:  Bring a beautifully wrapped box.  There doesn’t need to be anything in it, it is just a visual aid. However, if you wanted to you could have a small baptismal remembrance in the box for each child.  Maybe a small shell, or a dove.  It would be a fun addition, but it is not necessary.

20130822-223454.jpg  Welcome the children with a big “Merry Christmas!”  You may get a few strange looks or “Christmas is over” comments, but that is exactly what you want.

FaithCross  What do you mean Christmas is over?  We still have one more day, today!  This is the last day of the Christmas season – it is the twelfth day of Christmas, just like that song, The Twelve Days of Christmas.  Do you know that song?  I can’t always remember all the gifts that were given in the song, but I do remember that a gift was given for each day of Christmas.  (This is where you would have the gift box out.)  I have a box here all wrapped up like a Christmas gift.  Maybe you got gifts on Christmas, I know that I got a few.

Maybe you are wondering why we are talking about Christmas gifts here?  Well, it’s because all of the readings from the Bible today talk about an amazing gift that God gives to each of us.  God adopts each one of us as God’s children.  Each of us are loved, forgiven, given God’s mercy, accepted by God for who we are.  God sets aside any and all bad things that we have done and loves us more than any of us could imagine.

Wow!  What a gift!  Now, what are you going to do with that gift?  Think about it – What did you do with your other Christmas gifts?  I, for example, got some new pants (ok, insert a gift that you got here) and I am going to wear them!  I might even point them out to people, “Hey, check out these great new pants!”  Well . . . maybe I won’t point them out to everybody, that might be a little weird . . .

Some of you might have gotten Legos, and I bet you will build them and show them to your parents and friends and aunts and uncles.  Some of you might have a new doll or toy truck – I bet you will play with that and take it with you friends houses.  Or maybe you got a new game or a bike!  You will probably play with all of them.

So, what will you do with God’s gift?  Will you keep it a secret?  Will you hide it and not let anyone know that God loves you?  Or will you share God’s amazing love and forgiveness with others?

(If you did bring a reminder for each child hand it out now)

Here is a little reminder that you are loved by God.  Take this with you and share God’s love with everyone you meet!

FaithCross_PrayALT  Loving God, we praise you for your generous gift of love and forgiveness.  We thank you for the grace that gives us another chance when we don’t get things right, and we thank you for the love that surrounds us when we are sad or afraid.  Help us to share your love and grace throughout our lives.  Amen

FaithCross_BlessALT  May God’s Word shine a light into your life today and always.


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Children’s Sermon 11th Sunday After Pentecost (Lec. 18), Luke 12:13-21 – August 4, 2013

Prepare:  Bring a toy of some kind.  Anything will work.20130715-114218.jpg  Have the toy out as the children gather.  Ask them about their favorite toys, and what toys they would like to have.

FaithCross  The story we hear from the Gospel today is about some people who really, really like things.  Kind of like us and the toys that we like, or toys we wish that we had.  Jesus says some things that are hard for us to understand, and maybe even harder to do!

It all gets started by a man who is mad at his brother for not sharing.  He asks Jesus to make his brother share with him, and Jesus says, sorry, that isn’t really my problem, it is your problem.  I’m not here to make your brother share with you.  In fact, Jesus says, it isn’t really something you should worry about either.  He wanted his brother to give him half of his money (Ok, it’s more complicated than this, but we are talking to children.  Feel free to tell more of the story if you want) and the brother wouldn’t do it.  Jesus told him that he was worrying about stuff, and he was ruining his friendship with his brother because he wanted more stuff.

I think that most of us do that sometimes.  We see things that we want that belong to other people and we want those things so much that we don’t think about how upset or angry we are making other people.  Jesus says that the amount of stuff that we collect doesn’t really matter, that there is more to being alive than collecting stuff!  Instead of filling our lives with stuff we should fill our lives with the love of God and share that love with everyone that we can.

FaithCross_PrayALT  Loving God, fill us with your love!  Fill us so full of love that it spills out of our hearts and into the hearts of the people around us.  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 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!)

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Children’s Sermon Third Sunday of Easter, John 21:1-19 – April 14, 2013

ffjChildrenSermonPrepare:  Bring some food to share.  Something simple would be best, to mirror the breakfast of bread and fish on the shore.  I would suggest rice crackers or wheat thins (think about food allergies in your own setting!)

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:  I love all these stories after Easter!  This one is really fun because it makes me think of a couple other great stories about Jesus.  The disciples were out fishing at the beginning of this story, and Jesus appeared on the beach, kind of like the first time that some of them met Jesus.  Something very similar happens, they had not caught any fish and Jesus told them to try the other side of the boat and the net fills with fish!  Then, on the beach, they share a meal of bread and fish, like when Jesus feed all those thousands of people from just a few fish and rolls.  It’s like Jesus is trying to remind them of the amazing things that they have seen and been part of, and I think I know why.

After breakfast, Jesus talks to Peter and asks him, “Do you love me?”  Peter says, “Yes, of course I do!”  Then Jesus tells him to, “feed my lambs,” and “tend my sheep” and “feed my sheep.”  What do you think Jesus is trying to say to Peter?  (wait for some answers)  Yeah, those are good answers!  Jesus isn’t just talking about sheep, is he?  He is talking about how we care for each other.  How we feed each other, how we love each other, and how we take care of each other.  Because we love Jesus, we also should love those around us because we are all part of God’s family, we are all God’s sheep!

So, before you go, we are going to share a simple meal with each other.  Each of you take one cracker and then we will pray together.  Don’t eat until we pray, just hold it.

Faith+Prayer:   Loving Jesus, we thank you for all the people who care for us in our lives.  We thank you for the food that you give to us and for the love that you show us.  Teach us to love others as you love us.  Amen

OK, bless each other and you can eat your cracker!

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


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Faith + Home Connection February 2013


Faith + Open: Gather the household either around the dinner table (this devotion can be done during a meal) or in another comfortable location. Light a candle and say a prayer, either this one or one of your own: God of abundant love, you show us your love in so many different ways. We are grateful for the love of Jesus that is with us now and always, amen.

Faith + Share: Read 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13. This passage from Paul can also be found in the Spark Story Book Bible on page 546. With younger children, stop after each verse or so and have them act out the actions or the emotions that Paul is talking about.

With children: What is love? How do you know when someone loves you? Who do you love? How do you show them? God loves you very much all the time! How does God show love for you? (Jesus, friends, family, etc.) God loves everyone and wants God’s love to flow through us to other people around us. How can we show God’s love to our friends, family, and even people we don’t know?

With youth/adults: This passage is often used in weddings but is really not about married or romantic love. It is about sacrificial love. It’s important to note that Paul is not saying that anyone should be taken advantage of or that sacrificing is only one way-Paul is saying that when people live in a loving relationship and community that reflects the love of God, then there is a mutual sacrifice and everyone is safe and cared for. How do you feel safe and cared for by people who you love and love you? What happens in a relationship when someone “insists on their own way” all the time? How can we show God’s love to our community? How would people around us know that we love and care for them?

Faith + Serve: With all of the emphasis on relationships in February, it’s easy for people to feel lonely.Write cards of support for the people of Newtown, CT. We can send our love and care all the way to CT! God’s love knows no bounds or distance! Here is an address: Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514. You can also look up churches in your denomination to send notes. These will go to the school district so you can write notes of support for the teachers and students.

Faith + Pray: God of all, we lift up to you those people who feel lonely or unloved. Let us be your love in a hurting world. Thank you for showing us how to love and being with us always, amen.

Faith + Bless: Make the sign of the cross on one another and say, “Remember that God’s love never ends.”


Children’s Sermon July 1, 2012, Mark 5:21-43 – 5th Sunday after Pentecost

Scripture Focus: Mark 5:21-43

Preparation: Get an alb or robe sized for a child. It doesn’t have to be a perfect fit, the child will just stand in one place.

Faith+Open: Invite the children to gather together and ask for a volunteer to wear the robe. Once they have it on have them turn and face the other children and away from you. Ask the child to tell you when you touch robe.

Faith+Share: That was pretty tricky, wasn’t it? In the gospel story that we hear today, Jesus does something even more amazing! But first, let’s finish talking about the robe. Jesus is surrounded by a crowd of people, all of them are trying to touch him because they believe that Jesus can heal them and make them feel better. Jesus notices when one woman touches him, and he stops to look for her. Pretty amazing, but not as amazing as what happens next.

You see, Jesus was walking through the crowd to get to someone’s house, his name is Jairus. Jairus’ daughter was dying and Jairus knew that if he could get Jesus to come to his house that Jesus would save his daughter. He had faith in Jesus. Well, at the same time, a woman who had been very sick for years and years knew that Jesus was going to be walking through the town. She knew that if she could just touch Jesus’ robe that she would be healed. She had faith in Jesus, too. She pushed her way through the crowd and touched his robe, and Jesus stopped, not because he felt her touch the robe, but because he felt power go out of him. He felt the woman get healed! She was very scared to talk to Jesus, because she thought that she had done something wrong, but Jesus was kind and blessed her. But, in the time that Jesus stopped to talk to the woman, Jairus’ daughter died. Jesus continued to the house anyway and brought her back to life.

Now, all that sounds pretty amazing, and it is amazing, but there is still something even better in the story. It doesn’t matter how we come to Jesus, he still takes time to listen to us and care for us! Jairus was afraid for his daughter, but was not afraid to ask Jesus for help. He went right up to Jesus and asked . . . well, maybe he more pleaded and begged, but he was not afraid to talk to Jesus. The woman, on the other hand, thought that she was not worth Jesus’ time, and thought she would just sneak up without being noticed. Then she was afraid when Jesus turned to find her. Jesus cares for each of us in the same way. He listens when we pray and ask for help. He looks for us when we need help and don’t know how to ask.

Faith+Prayer: Loving God, thank you for listening when we pray, and thank you for loving and caring for us even when we don’t know how to pray. Give us faith like Jairus and the woman so that we are never afraid to come to you when we need help. Amen

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

– GB

Children’s Sermon Easter 6B John 15:9-17

Scripture: John 15:9-17

Preparation: Bring a picture of a favorite pet.  It can be from childhood or a current pet or a friends pet.

Faith+Open:Gather the children and tell them a little about your pet while you show them the picture.  Ask them if they have a pet at home.  Prompt them about how they take care of their pet, feed, water, etc.  Then ask them what their pet does for them.  They may need a little help here.  Offer ideas like how a pet can be a playmate, or can bring you joy or be a companion.

Faith+Share: Pets are pretty fun, aren’t they?  Talking about pets makes me think about an important word in the Gospel story today.  Jesus says the word “abide” over and over.  He talks a lot about love, too, when he says abide.  Do you know what abide means?  I looked up “abide” in a dictionary and found a whole bunch of different meanings.  Abide can mean to live in a place or live with someone, it can mean to listen to and follow rules, or it mean to stay with someone.  Like “abide with me.”  I think that all three of these meanings show up in the story, but let’s talk a little more about pets so that we can figure out this “abide” word a little more.  Let’s start by saying that our pets abide with us.  They live at our houses with us, that covers the first meaning.  There are probably rules about your pets, like the cat needs to use the litter box, the dog needs to be on a leash, the turtle isn’t allowed on the table, the fish need to stay in their water . . . you get the idea.  That’s the second one.  The third one is a little more tricky.  I said that it means to stay with someone, but I think that it is more than just staying with someone.  It is staying with someone no matter what!  More than just staying in the same room with them, it is loving them and caring for them.
That gets us to the Gospel story for today.  It’s a story from the Gospel of John, and while Jesus says a bunch of great things in John’s Gospel, it is sometimes a little confusing.  So, let me try to straighten it out a little.  First Jesus says that the Father loves him, and that he loves us.  Then comes that “abide” word, he says “Abide in my love.”  Or live in my love, follow the rules of my love and stay with me no matter what!  He says that if we do that we will have joyful hearts.

Jesus says that if we abide in his love then we can love each other even more, which is the whole reason for the story.  To teach us to live with each other, to listen to what other people need, and to love them no matter what.

Faith+Prayer: Loving God, teach us to abide in your love, to live lives full of love, to listen to the needs of others, and to love and care for them no matter what.  Thank you abiding with us, no matter what!  Amen.

Faith+Blessing: Remember what Jesus says to his disciples: Do not be afraid and peace be with you. +


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Lent 4B John 3:14-21 March 18, 2012

Scripture: John 3:14-21

Preparation: Get the book Mama do you Love Me orPapa Do You Love Me by Barbara M. Joosse
**other books you could use: Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, Guess How Much I love Youby Sam McBratney

Faith+Open: Gather children to you. Today we are reminded how much God loves the world and that Jesus came not to condemn us–not to tell us all how bad we are but to save us, to make everyone children of God. Sometimes we think about God as a mom or a dad or grandparent or someone who takes care of us and shows us love even when do do things to frustrate them. Does that ever happen in your house? I have a story to share with you today to help us think about God’s love. 

Faith+Share: Read the story you have chosen. All these books use images to help explain unconditional love. You can shorten the story and pick favorite pages as well. End with summary statement and/or saying John 3: 16-17

Faith+Prayer: Jesus, you came to the world to show us that your love is high, wide, deep, long, and never ending. Hold us in your big love always. Amen

Faith+Blessing: Make sign of cross and say:
God in my head
God in my heart
God on my left
God on my right