Tag Archives: hope

Children’s Sermon, 4th Sunday after Epiphany – Matthew 5:1-12

Prepare: You really don’t need anything for the children’s sermon, but if you want to have something (I find it works better to have something to show), find something that says “hope” on it.

 As the children gather, invite them to talk about what they hope for.  Give them a little time to think, and a little space to enjoy being hopeful.

  Those are fun things to hope for!  I wanted to think about hope today because I hear “hope” in the Gospel today.  The Gospel story that we hear today is often called the Beatitudes.  There are whole books written about this little story in the Bible. People wondering who Jesus was talking about and why.  People wanting to point out who is on each side of the sayings – these people are poor, so Jesus must be talking about them.  Or, when I’m sad I know that I am one who is mourning.

I hear many of those things in this story, too! But I also hear a message of hope.  At different times in my life I think that I have been on both sides of all of these sayings.  I have been merciful, but I have been mean, too.  I have been poor, and I’ve had more than I needed. I have been happy and sad.  I have been put down because of what I believe, and I have put others down for what they believe. When I think about it like that I start to see this a little differently.

No matter who you are, no matter what is going on, there is always room for hope.  Hope doesn’t always mean that you are going to get what you want – hope is more like a sparkling of something that keeps you going. Jesus gives us hope that when we feel like we are at the bottom – under a pile of worry and sadness, we can still rise up out of it.

 God of hope, be with us when everything seems to be going wrong. Give us hope to see a better way forward.  Joyful God, be with us when everything seems to be going right and help us remember your love for the times when we need hope the most. Amen.

 Jesus loves you in the good times and in the bad times.

  What do you really hope for?  Ask the congregation this question and offer a chance to put into prayer.  One way to do this is to have paper handy for everyone, invite them to write their hopes on the paper, then collect it and read it as part of the prayers of the church.

You could also form prayer circles if you have room and time!  Have people gather in groups of 4 to 8 (no more than that!) and offer hopes within the small group.

Children’s Sermon Romans 8: 12-25 Year A, Pentecost 6 July 20, 2014

20130822-223454.jpg Go to where you normally have the children gather and flop down with a lot of drama: sigh, play with your shoe or hair. Look extremely bored. Have the kids come join you but don’t seem too excited. Say, “well, you can come up if you want but don’t hurry we have LOTS of time.” Hopefully, the children will think this is a bit funny. When they are gathered say to them, “I’m soooooo bored. I am waiting. Waiting and waiting and waiting. Do you ever have to wait? What do you have to wait for? (Accept all answers.) Do you like to wait? Is it hard? What are some things that you do when you are waiting?

20130822-223633.jpg Well, do you want to know that I am waiting for? Jesus! Jesus promised that he would come back and we know that’s true but we have to wait. Today in a letter that Paul wrote to some people in Rome a long time ago he is talking to them about waiting for Jesus. The people in Rome are getting tired of waiting for Jesus and think that Jesus should just come now so that they can quit waiting for the world to be made right again. But Paul says that it doesn’t work that way, even though we want it to. Paul tells them that THEY have things to do while they wait for Jesus that will help everyone learn about Jesus! What things can we do while we wait for Jesus to tell the whole world about Jesus? (Accept all answers but you may have to prompt a bit.) We can love people, we can help people, we can send cards to people in the hospital, we can make care kits for people in parts of the world who don’t have medical supplies, help with clean water, etc. We are waiting and sometimes it’s hard. Waiting for Jesus to come back, but it may be a long time so we might as well have something to do while we wait! God loves us and the whole world so much and we want to tell everyone!

FaithCross_Worship Have a worship station with some simple service ideas: card making for shut-ins, putting together simple care packages to keep in the car for those in need (hand sanitizer, Kleenex, water bottle, granola bar, short written prayer, all in a ziplock bag). Next to the service station have a prayer wall or table where people can write prayers about waiting. What are they waiting for in their life? Where is it hard to wait? Where are signs of God’s presence with us as we wait?

20130822-224425.jpgWaiting is hard, God. But we know that you are with us even if we are unsure. Help us to see signs of your presence in the world. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +Our hope is in Jesus+ (Make the sign of the cross)

Children’s Sermon Isaiah 11:1-10 Advent 2A December 8, 2013

Preparation: have a stump or a picture of a stump with a shoot coming out of it. Or a picture of a sidewalk with a shoot or sprig of something poking through.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children. “We are in our second week of Advent. Does anyone remember what advent is?” (take brief answers) “Yes, Advent is when we are watching and waiting for the birth of Jesus. It’s the time we remember that God comes to us even in the darkness.”

FaithCrossShow them your stump or picture. “What is this here? Yes a stump. What is a stump?” (take answers) “Yep, a stump is what is left of a tree that is cut down, would you think a stump looks alive or dead?” (take answers) “A stump has been cut down and doesn’t look very alive. But look closer, do you see this shoot coming out of the stump? It’s like this little miracle that something new can grow out of something that was totally cut down.”

**you can also add a picture of a shoot coming up from a sidewalk and have them notice how the plant has to push through any crack in the thick, hard concrete to make it through and it still is able to be push it’s way out!***

20130822-223633.jpgWe heard from Isaiah today and he is talking to people who have lost a lot. They feel pretty cut down and lifeless, kind of like a stump. They might even be afraid of what is happening in their lives. But Isaiah is also telling them that there is hope. He says from the stump of Jesse a root will spring forth. This means that even though right then the people did not have a king who was from God and they were captive to other people that God was still with them and that God promised to continue to be with them and one day send a messiah that might not look like a king but that would be a light and gift for the world. That is part of our watching and waiting because we know that even when we feel scared or cut off or sad or lonely that Jesus is with us and that we can have hope in God’s promise. Just like that miracle of a shoot of a plant that comes out of a dead stump or pushes through the sidewalk, God’s love and peace are with us even when it’s hard to see.

20130822-223749.jpgJesus, we wait and watch for you. Help us to see hope and remember that you are with us always. Amen


20130822-223908.jpgMay you know the hope of Christ +