Gather the children and have a children’s Bible with you or any Bible will do. Say, “How many of you know your ABC’S (you can sing the song if you like!)? How did you learn them? Singing the song everyday? Lot’s of practice? When I want to learn to do something well, like when I learned to play the violin, I practiced every day. I didn’t always feel like practicing and I didn’t like it when something was too hard at first, but I kept at it as I knew that was the only way to get better. “ Ask them, “ What do you know about Jesus?” Accept all answers. Ask them, “ How do you know those things about Jesus?” Accept all answers. Probably someone will say bible. Talk about how the Bible helps us to know a little bit about Jesus and God. “Does it tell us everything about God? NO! We also learn about God all day long in our daily lives from parents, siblings, friends, SS teachers, choir directors, youth directors, maybe even pastors! What do these people tell us or show us about Jesus?” Accept all answers. Say, “Yes, every day we learn a little more about Jesus from each other don’t we? When they forgive us, pray with us, even tell us things that we don’t understand sometimes! What if we have a day where we don’t feel like showing people the love of Jesus? Yeah, we all have days like that don’t we. Me too!
In our Mark story today, the disciples are learning that they don’t know everything about Jesus yet. Jesus was telling them some HARD things! Such as people would make fun of Jesus, hurt him, and he would die! No one wants to hear of their friend getting hurt and so Peter was upset! I would be too! But Jesus knew that Peter didn’t know everything about him or God. Peter was still learning just like us! We learn our whole lives and Jesus says that the point of our lives is to seek God and to show other people the love of God. Seems easy but it’s also really hard! When we have to learn something hard at school like spelling words or math facts what do we do? We practice them every day! Loving and following Jesus is no different we have to practice it every day! We don’t have to be perfect, just try. Loving Jesus doesn’t mean that we are perfect or that everything at school is perfect, or that we will have lots of friends or get straight A’s. Jesus says life with God is all about practicing to love God even when it’s hard or we don’t feel like it. That’s how much Jesus loves us!
Dear Jesus, we love to learn about you! Thank you for all of the ways that we learn about you all day long from our families, our friends and everyone who loves us. We want to teach other people about God’s love too! Thank you for being with us even when it’s hard. Amen.
Have a cross from you worship space or some other wooden and fairly free standing cross on a table or on the floor in a place where it is easily accessible. Have post-it notes and pens, markers, etc available for people to write the names of those who have taught them about Jesus in their lives. Place those post-it notes on the cross and offer a prayer in the worship service for the people in our lives who teach us about Jesus even when it’s hard and we don’t feel like hearing about Jesus. Have note cards available for people to write either 1) thank you notes to those who have taught them about Jesus or 2) a note to tell someone that Jesus love them, or both! (You could deliver these to an assisted living facility, a shelter, a police or fire station, etc.