Tag Archives: God with us

See God’s Love With Us! Matthew 1: 18-25, Advent 4 Year A, December 18, 2016

 Have a crèche or the nativity scene where the children can gather around. If you already have the baby Jesus in the manger in your congregation, have the baby removed for this message. Ask the children “what’s missing from our scene?” Hopefully they will say Jesus! Say, “Jesus isn’t in the manger yet, as we celebrate his birthday next week. We have been waiting these last four weeks to finally see the baby Jesus, haven’t we? It’s hard to wait and it’s hard to know what we can’t see. We keep looking for baby Jesus, don’t we!”
 Our story today is about Jesus being born and that finally, Mary and Joseph saw baby Jesus! Have seen a new baby? They are very tiny and everyone is very excited about them aren’t they? Moms, dads, brothers and sisters have waited to see what this new baby will look like and it can feel like someone is missing. And when the baby is born, it’s almost like the baby has always been with us because we immediately love them . When we love someone, it feels that we have always loved them. This is what God wants us to know and so had Jesus come as a baby. When Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and Wise men looked at Jesus, they were looking at God’s love! When we look at each other we are also looking at God’s love! God has always loved us and will always love us. God wants us to see this love and to know that this love is forever. In sending Jesus as a baby, God says that love is never missing from our lives, Jesus and his love is always with us. This love is with you, and you, and you and you and everyone here, and everyone not here. Jesus tells us that when we love other people with kind words and actions, that we are showing people Jesus’ love for everyone to see! Let’s put the baby Jesus in the manger to remind us of this love and sing “Jesus Loves Me.”

Have the phrase “See God’s Love With Us.” printed out with each letter of the phrase printed on a separate sheet of 8 1/2 by 11 paper. Hang the letters up so that it reads as the phrase and have pens, markers, etc. available. Invite people to write words of where they see God’s love and action in the world that begin with each letter of the phrase “See God’s Love With Us.” (You can also have more than one phrase/word.)

Dear Jesus, you came to the world as God’s own love to be with us. Your love never leaves us and is always with us. May we not be afraid to share this love so that evryone sees you and your love! Amen

 +God’s love is with us+

God’s Words of Eternal Life and Love For Us All John 6: 56-69, Pentecost 13B, August 23, 2015

20130822-223520.jpgHave the children gather around the communion table. Ask them to tell you what happens at this table and in the worship service in regards to communion. Encourage them to tell you and the whole congregation, the story of the Last Supper and what Jesus is doing/offering in Holy Communion. Let them (if you’re comfortable) touch some of the things on the altar.

(In my ELCA tradition, some congregations do not commune children until a “first communion” class has been taken and some offer communion as soon as they have teeth. I personally, defer to offering communion to all ages and offer classes once a year for whole families to engage in the conversation of “What is Holy Communion?” Please tweak this Children’s Sermon to meet your congregation’s theology and tradition! Know that Faith Formation Journeys is here to support and honor your ministry! Thank you for your partnership!)

20130822-223633.jpg In our Bible lesson today, we heard Jesus talk about eating his body as if it were bread. Kinda weird huh? But, Jesus also reminds the people around him, his disciples, of the story of the Israelites who wandered around the desert for 40 years and God gave them manna or bread that came from heaven every single night. Jesus was reminding them that God over and over tells us a story of love, life, and being with God forever. And Jesus is telling people that the story of God’s love-IS FOR EVERYONE! That was so hard for people to hear! God’s story of love was even for people that we don’t like, are different from us, dress differently, act differently, live differently, like different foods, books or are even not nice to us! Are there sometimes people that you sorta hope you don’t have to be nice to? Yes, we all do! But Jesus tells us the story over and over that God LOVES everyone-even people we might not like-and will take care of them just like God takes care of you! Is that hard to believe sometimes? It is for me and even for a lot of adults. God wants all people to know about love and life forever.

So each time we gather at church, we always have communion, which means “together.” God gathers us all together and we all eat the same bread, and drink the same grape juice or wine. Even with people we may not like. Jesus says that when we eat this bread and drink from the cup, we are reminded that God is already so close to us that God is IN us, working in us and through us. If God loves us and is always with us and all people, how can we tell people the story God’s love? (Accept all answers-offer some congregational specific examples that the children could participate in.)

20130822-224425.jpg Dear Jesus, thank you for being the living story of God’s love for us. We are part of God’s story of love for the whole world and may we tell it every single day in every word we say and with every action we do. Your story of love goes on forever and forever through your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship Have a good sized booklet or two on a table with markers, crayons, stickers and other materials as needed. On the cover have the logo and name of you congregation. Have blank pages on the inside for people to write/draw part of God’s story in their lives. (You could also have blank sheets unattached and then bind them when finished.) Have this booklet available for a worship station for a few weeks. Find a way to share some of the stories in a corporate, gathered setting. Encourage all ages to participate!

20130822-223908.jpg +Jesus story of eternal life and love is written in you+