Tag Archives: Isaiah

Ash Wednesday with Children and Families

ffjChildrenSermon*This resource can be used in the home or in a worship setting where young children and families are present. The focus is on the fact that we all need to say that we are sorry and most importantly, hear that God loves and forgives us each and every day. The sign of the cross is a reminder that nothing separates us from God and that our whole lives are about pointing to God and sharing this love and forgiveness with the world.

Supplies: purple paper available for all cut into four (use 8 ½ by 11 inch paper, black chalk or ashes available, baby wipes, writing instruments, crayons, markers (*You may want to have Isaiah 58:9 printed on the back of the purple sheets.)

FaithCross_ConnectALT Read Psalm 51: 1-3. Explain to young children that David wrote this psalm knowing that he had hurt someone else and not been fair. He felt bad and was talking to God telling God that he had messed up. Remind all present that WE ALL mess up, it’s part of being a person. Have them all think of something that they are sorry about or how they messed up. Ash Wednesday is a day in the church that we specifically remember that we all mess up (we do this every Sunday with confession and forgiveness as well) and Lent is a season that we hear stories about how Jesus came to tell us that God loves and forgives us. We remember the story of Jesus being killed, which is sad and scary but we know that happens in life. God tell us even in scary things God is there no matter what. They can write or draw something that they are sorry for on the purple paper. Have families or small groups share if they are comfortable. Then gather them back to the large group.

FaithCross_BibleALT Start the conversation: “Today we are talking about how it’s important that we talk to God about everything-even stuff that we are afraid or ashamed to talk about with God because we know that it doesn’t make us look very good. BUT God says that we are very good no matter what! What’s hard for us is that we have to each and every day look to God and treat others how God treats us. How does God treat us? (Accept all answers) Yes, God treats everyone with love and care. God sent Jesus to show us that love and care and in a book of the Bible called Isaiah 58: 9 we read: “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, “Here I am.” (If you desire, have this verse printed on the back side of the purple sheets) This is what Ash Wednesday and Lent is all about. God said in Jesus, “here I am” to the whole world. The cross where Jesus died is also God saying “here I am!” in sad and scary places in our lives. We put a cross on our heads today because God says “here I am!” you to today and always.” Have those gathered use the ashes or the chalk to put a big cross over all of the things that they wrote or drew that they are sorry for. God says “here I am!” to forgive them and love them.

FaithCross_PrayALTPray a prayer of forgiveness for what they are sorry for. They can use their purple sheets as a guide if desired or just a general prayer could also work.

FaithCross_BlessALTYou can have them put ashes on each other’s foreheads or hands and say +remember you are dust and to dust you shall return. God says “here I am” in the ashes+ (Explain that wearing ashes on our foreheads in public tells the world that God says “here I am” to everyone!)

FaithCross_ServeALT Isaiah 58: 1-12 speaks about justice and how God not only meets us but sends us to share the good news of justice and peace for all to the whole world. Choose a partnership with a food justice, housing justice, peace organization, or highlight a partnership your congregation already has for the season of Lent with Isaiah 58: 6-10 as you Lenten focus.



Children’s Sermon Third Sunday in Advent, Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11, December 14, 2014

Prepare: You will need a few mission statements from companies, churches and organizations.  I included a few, but you may want others, too.  For the worship station people will just need paper and pen or pencil.

20130822-223454.jpg  Ask the children if they know what a mission statement is.  You might get a few interesting answers, but see if any of them can really tell you what a mission statement is.

FaithCross Yes, a mission statement is a simple message that tells the world who you are and what you are about.  Here are a few mission statements from companies and organizations that you might know:

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

The ELCA’s mission statement is “Marked with the cross of Christ forever, we are claimed, gathered and sent for the sake of the world.”

The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

You should also include your own churches mission statement!

Ok, so why are we talking about mission statements?  I’ll tell you! I think that this passage from Isaiah might be Jesus’ mission statement.  Here, listen to the first part of it again –

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;

Doesn’t that sound like Jesus?  Jesus even reads that passage in his home synagogue and says, “That’s me!  That is what I came to do!”

That is the Jesus that we prepare for during Advent, the Jesus that will bring good news, bind us up, give us freedom and comfort us, so go get ready!

20130822-223749.jpg   God with us, bring us freedom and release.  Bring us healing and hope.  Bring us light and life and joy. Amen

FaithCross_Worship Advent Mission statement time! You can have the paper in the seats or you can set up a station for people to move to.

Think about how you prepare your own heart for this season.  What do you look forward to?  In what ways are you more generous in Advent and Christmas?  What would it be like to prepare your heart in that way every day?

Write down a few words or sentences that describe how you would like to prepare for every day.  Something that talks about how you would like to treat others, how you would like to see the world, and what you can do to make it better every day.

This is your mission statement.

20130822-223908.jpg  Go and be God’s light in the dark.



Permission to use for nonprofit. When printing give credit to Faith Formation Journeys. Intellectual property rights apply.

Weekly Devotion Page for July 13, 2014

34 July 13 - Fifth Sunday After Pentecost.pubHere is the devotion page for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, July 13,  2014

Just click on the picture to download the PDF file!

We have started a new format for our inserts (starting with Pentecost, June 8, 2014).  To learn more about this format read this – Keeping up with what God is Doing,

Did you miss a week? Go to the Weekly Devotion page to download past weeks!

Children’s Sermon Christmas Eve, Isaiah 9:2-7, December 24, 2013

Prepare:  You will need a really good blindfold, so that whoever is wearing it is completely in the dark.

 20130822-223454.jpg As the children gather find a volunteer to be blindfolded.  They do not need to do anything other than sit and listen, they just need to wear the blindfold.  Ideally this is one of the children, but if none of them are willing it can be a youth or adult helper.  They will need to talk about wearing the blindfold at the end, so it should be someone who is not too shy.

FaithCross  I bet you are wondering why (person’s name here!) is wearing a blindfold.  We will get to that, but first we should talk about the reading from Isaiah.  Did you hear that?  What a great Christmas story, don’t you think?  (give a little time)  Wait, you didn’t hear the Christmas story in that reading?

Well, let’s see if we can tell the Christmas story together, what do you think?  (Prompt the children through the story, starting with the Mary and Joseph traveling, and end with the angels and the bright light that the shepherds saw.  Take a little time, we want that person in the blindfold to be there for a while!)

Wow!  You guys know this story really well!  Well, let’s see if we can find that story in the reading from Isaiah.  The story of Christmas is the beginning of something new.  Jesus being born changes everything.  The Isaiah reading talks about people who can’t see the good things in life, or don’t have hope, finding hope and love.  It is about people who difficult lives finding relief from the things that are hard.  Some of those difficult things could be being sick, or getting bullied, or just being sad about something.  We get used to these things, so when they are taken away it is surprising.  All of this is why Jesus came to earth, why he was born!

So, what does it feel like to have a burden lifted?  Let’s see – (Take off the blindfold) what do you see?  (Give a little time for the blindfolded person answer). 

FaithCross_PrayALT  God of hope and light, we praise you for the gift of your son and for the chance to share his love.  Help us to keep you in our hearts during this season and throughout the year.  Amen

FaithCross_BlessALT  May God’s Word shine a light into your life today and always.


Permission to use for nonprofit. When printing give credit to Faith Formation Journeys. Intellectual property rights apply.

Children’s Sermon Isaiah 7:10-17 December 22, 2013

Preparation: either make little cards that say Immanuel God with us or get some small crosses or those cross in a pocket coins or some small item to symbolize God with us.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children to the front. (If you know some of their names already be prepared with knowing some of the name meanings if you can.)  Ask, “Does anyone here know what their name means?” Take answers or point out some you know. For instance John is ‘beloved of God’ , etc. Share what your name means.

20130822-223633.jpg“In our scripture from Isaiah, the prophet who was declaring hope to people in a time when they did not feel much hope, he says that one day a son will be born and his name will be Immanuel. Do you know who we as Christians say that son is? (taken answers) Yes, we are reading this scripture today because in just two days we will celebrate the birth of Jesus, a son come into the world. and another name we hear sometimes for Jesus is Immanuel. This has a special meaning too, it means ‘God with us.’ What do you think of when you hear the name Immanuel means God with us?” (take answers and give some of your own–sharing ways that God is with us each day and all the time.)

I have a _______ (card, pocket coin, cross, whatever it is you can give them to think of God with them all the time) for you today. You can take this back with you and put it in your pocket or wherever you might want to keep it to help you remember that God is with you all the time.

20130822-223749.jpgJesus, we know your light comes into the world and we know your name Immanuel means you are with us always. Help us to feel your presence and know your love. Amen

20130822-223908.jpgGod is with you all the time and all the time God is with you. +

Children’s sermon Isaiah 35: 1-10 December 15, 2013

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children to you up front. Ask, “So what is that you are thinking you want for Christmas?” Take a few answers–we realize this is dangerous so you may need to just share what you are asking for as gift.

20130822-223633.jpgSo when we talk about what we ask for Christmas, that is like talking about what we hope for or what we expect in the future. So what other things do you hope for? Like what do you hope to be when you are older?

We heard from the bible today about what God hopes for. God has some pretty big hopes–even bigger than wanting a 3DS! (or whatever they have mentioned). At Advent we are watching for God’s hope and light to come into the world at Christmas in Jesus. So we hear from Isaiah that God’s hope is a big vision for there to be light for all people and that all people will know that even when it seems like the world is very dark that Jesus’ light still comes and brings a word of peace and hope for the future. This is a future that is hard to imagine, like it’s hard to imagine being 20 isn’t it?! So the lights that we have in our advent wreath or on the tree or on our house–where do you have lights? Well all these lights, no matter where they are, help us remember God’s big vision, that God’s light is everywhere and that God’s big hope is for the world.

20130822-223749.jpgHoly God, We hope for your light in the world. Help us to see all lights as a reminder of your love for all people and that the darkness will not last but be lit up by God. Amen

20130822-223908.jpgMay you see hope and light from God today and always +