Prepare: Bring a mixed up Rubik’s Cube, or other similar puzzle, and a Bible with a bookmark on the Hebrews passage.
Be working on the puzzle that you brought as the children gather and talk about how difficult it is (make a good show of this, even if you do know how to solve it!) Ask the children if they have ever had to do something that was hard or scary as you continue to work a little. After a few answers . . .
Well, I give up on this! Let’s look at the Bible story for today instead. I think that we should look at this story from the book of Hebrews. (Grab your Bible – you may want to be ready with slightly more gentle language for all the horrible things that happen to the people – and read or paraphrase the text through 11:38.) Wow! I thought I had trouble in my life! Can you imagine what these people went through? Not having enough food, people who wanted to hurt them because of what they believed, no place to sleep or keep safe and warm? There’s more, listen to this, (Read or paraphrase 12:1-2).
So all these people who had to endure horrible things are encouraging us so that we should be strong in our faith in God and work to do all those difficult and scary things that we need to do. Some of you are probably starting school soon, and that can be scary. A new teacher, or a new school, or maybe even school for the first time! Sometimes when we get ready for the first day of school we have to go to the Doctor for shots, that can be difficult and scary, too, no matter how nice the doctors, nurses and assistants are. This Bible story tells us that we should face these scary things with confidence because there is a whole bunch of people who are cheering us on and who are ready to celebrate with us in success or console us when we fail. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, and by the love of God in Christ Jesus. Well, with all that in mind, I think that I’ll give this puzzle another try, but let’s pray first!
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