Ask the children (and the congregation!) “Have you ever had a bad day? A day when just nothing went right, or something bad happened that day and you were very sad and even mad? We all have those days, it’s part of our lives. Some days are really happy and joyful and some days make us cry or mad. When you are having a good day, how do you act or who do you talk to? What kind of words do you use to tell people you are having a good day? How about when you have a bad day? Who do you talk to, how do you act? Do bad days make you feel more alone? Maybe you have a harder time talking to people when you’re sad? I know that I do! When I’m happy, I tell people about my good day, the fun stuff I’m doing I usually have a fun Facebook or Twitter post, but when I’m sad or angry, I don’t want to talk to people, I kinda sit in my house on my couch all by myself and feel all alone. But sometimes when I’m sad people reach out to me and tell me that they love me and remind me that I am not alone.
The Bible is full of stories about people having both good and bad days, easy days and hard days. Today we read the end of the Noah’s ark story about many hard days of Noah and his family being cooped up on a boat with lots of stinky animals and the world being flooded. God knows that those were hard days for Noah and his family (and the animals!) and God was with Noah and his family even if Noah didn’t see God directly. But God said that God would put a rainbow in the clouds to show Noah and all of us that even if days look rainy, sad and hard, God is with us always, especially when it’s hard. And it’s not just in the Noah’s Ark story, we read it in the story about Jesus this morning too! Jesus is baptized, that’s a good day, right? But then Jesus goes out into the wilderness for 40 hard days. BUT we read that God’s Holy Spirit is with Jesus-when it’s a joyful time, such as at his baptism, or a hard time like being in the wilderness. Jesus was not alone, not ever. God even sent messengers, angels, to be with Jesus. God also puts messengers in our lives to tell us about God’s love for us and we can also be messengers to tell people whether they are happy or sad, that God loves them and is with them, even if they don’t know it or see it. How can we be messengers for God? What can we tell people about God’s love for all people, even if they are sad or had something hard happen to them? (Accept all answers)
God, we are grateful that you are with us always; when we’re happy or sad, feeling joyful or feeling alone. We want all of you people to know that they are never alone and are loved by you. Give us words to be your messengers of love always. Amen.
We are all messengers of God’s love wherever we go. For this worship station have small cards (preferably with rainbows on them!), pens, markers and rainbow stickers available. During your open space or worship station time, invite all gathered to write a message of God’s presence and love to someone who needs to hear it that day. Encourage them to take as many as they need to distribute them to their friends, or neighbors. Young children can take stickers to give to friends and to remind themselves as well. Throughout the week encourage emails, cards, social media posts to remind people of God’s presence in all of lives and in the world.