Tag Archives: follow Jesus

May your life teach about Jesus, Mark 8: 27-38, Children’s Sermon, Sept. 13th, 2015, Pentecost 16B

20130822-223520.jpgGather 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!

20130822-223633.jpg 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!

20130822-223749.jpgDear 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.

FaithCross_Worship 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.

20130822-223908.jpg +May your life teach about Jesus+

New life in Christ John 12: 20-33

ffjChildrenSermonHave some flower seeds, a tulip and tulip bulb, (or a poinsettia,) soil, small pots, and markers, etc. to decorate the pots if you desire as part of a worship station.

20130715-113716.jpg Have a tulip, a tulip bulb (or some other bulb flower) or the poinsettia. Gather the children around the tulip/poinsettia. If using the poinsettia ask the children when they last saw this plant. Christmas! The cool thing about poinsettia’s is that they “bloom” (red leaves) when it’s cold and actually need to stay in a dark closet with no light for much of the year. We bring them out in the fall when there is less sunlight and that is when they thrive. In the dark the poinsettias are renewing and getting ready to grow!

If using a tulip and bulb ask the children if they have every planted bulbs before. Does this bulb look like it could become a flower right now? No. It doesn’t. It just looks dead and pretty useless right now. But we plant the bulb in the fall about 6-8 inches underground so that no sunlight gets to them. All winter they stay a bulb in the ground, dead and not doing much. And then when the weather gets warmer and the ground unfreezes and becomes softer and warmer, the bulb begins to grow a stem. And a couple of weeks later you get these beautiful tulips that grow! This dead bulb will stay just the way it is unless we bury it in the dark and let it sit for a while. Beautiful things can come from the dark!

20130822-223633.jpg In our Bible story from John today Jesus talks about how new life can come from things that look dead and useless. In nature, tress, flowers and plants have parts of them that die, these become seeds that grow into new life. Jesus was trying to explain to his disciples that he too will die, but it’s not what they think. Jesus will die, they will be sad, but God will bring new life from Jesus’ death-like this flower. Jesus’ death and God raising him to life means that we have new life too! Each and every day God makes us new and we can grow like this flower to share God’s beauty and love with the whole world. When we die, we go to be with God in new life after we die. Jesus gathers us all up in this life and in the next and we are never alone! God brings life from EVERYTHING NO MATTER WHAT! Pretty cool, huh! We have new life and we are never alone.

FaithCross_Worship For a worship station have soil, (small cup for scooping the soil), small terra cotta pots, and seeds. Permanent markers are the best way to draw on the pots so warn parents and have supervision. Have people draw symbols of new life on their pot and then plant a seed. You can have them take them home for the plants to grow during the Easter season, or give them away to an assisted living facility, half-way house or other places where your congregation can share the good news of new life and community forever in Jesus.

20130822-224425.jpgGod, you bring new life from everything around us. You promise that we are with you always, even when we’re in the dark and can’t see the sunlight. Gather all your people so that the whole world will know your presence and love. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +Grow in God’s love+

Caught in God’s love! Children’s Sermon Mark 1: 14-20 Year B January 25, 2015

ffjChildrenSermonPreparation: Have some netting from fruit or other sources cut into hearts, one for each child at least. Have a large fishing or butterfly net handy.

20130822-223520.jpg Today go through the worship space and personally invite all of the children (or anyone else you want!) to follow you. Bring a fishing (or even butterfly net) with you and pretend to “catch” the children in your net. Be a little quick about it and if the children are in the “middle of doing something” tell them to immediately drop what they are doing and come with you. By the time you arrive at the spot where you normally hold children’s time, some of the children will have been following you for a while.

FaithCrossAsk: “Why did you come with me when I asked you to? (If some child refused and it’s possible ask them why not?)” Accept all answers but hopefully someone will say something around that they knew you, they kind of knew that it was children’s time and wanted to go, etc. “It’s easy to follow someone when you might know where they are going or what they are doing isn’t it? Have you ever had your mom or dad tell you that you were going somewhere that you had never been before? What was that like? Was it a little scary or strange?” Accept all answers. But you know that your mom and dad love you and so you knew it would be ok.

20130822-223633.jpg In our story about Jesus today, Jesus is walking around, sort of like I was walking around the worship space this morning, and was calling people to come and follow him. The people he called in this story were fishermen. They caught fish for a living. But Jesus wanted them to come and catch people for God. Did Simon, Andrew, James or John have any training in telling people about God? No. We don’t even really know if they knew Jesus that well, or had even heard of him! They didn’t really know where Jesus was going but they sensed that Jesus was safe and loved all people. They were caught by Jesus’ love for us all! So they followed knowing that somehow it would be ok.

We, too, are caught in Jesus’ love and Jesus calls us all to share God’s love wherever we are and wherever we go. No matter what else you are doing, even when you’re older and have a job like your mom or dad, your first job in your life to tell others about Jesus! Jesus’ love is like this net that catches us all and connects us all to each other and God. We can catch people with Jesus in the net God’s love! (Have hearts cut out of netting to hand to each child and even adults!)

20130822-223749.jpg God of love, we are grateful to follow you. We are thankful that we are caught up in your love each and every day. May we be nets of you love in the world. In Jesus name, amen.

FaithCross_WorshipHave a large net on a cross for a prayer station. Have 4 x2 (or so) fish or hearts cut out for people to write prayers of thanksgiving for all of the ways that we are caught in Jesus’ love!

20130822-223908.jpg +You are caught in Jesus’ love+