Prepare: If you can find a bridle or a bit for a horse it would be a great illustration piece. You could also bring a leash or a dog harness, but a bit would be the most impressive.
Faith+Open: As the children gather ask them if they have ever heard anyone say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” Ask them if they know what that means. Then ask if they think it’s true. Do words really not hurt?
Faith+Share: We’ve been reading this long letter from the Bible from a man named James. He says that is wrong, words do hurt! And more than that, he says that it is really hard to never say anything mean. James says that this is really important, and he gives a bunch of great examples. One I really liked was about a horse. Do you guys like horses? Have any of you ever had the chance to ride a horse? It’s pretty fun, isn’t it! Well, horses are big animals, and I don’t know a whole lot about how to work with horses, but I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t control a horse with just my hands. Fortunately we have some tools to help us control them (and people who know how to train them, that helps a bunch, too!) I brought this with me, does anyone know what this is? Yeah, it’s a bit. This goes into a horse’s mouth and then a rider can control the horse. This little piece of metal let’s you control the whole big horse!
James says that our tongues are kind of like a horse’s bit. What every our tongues say usually becomes how we feel. So, when we use mean words against people, we often start to believe it ourselves. And when other people use mean words against us we start to believe what they say, too. He says that we should think before we speak, because the same tongue that praises God should not be used make other people feel bad. We should try our best to praise God with our tongues, and to share God’s love with each other.
Maybe we should update that saying from the beginning of children’s time. How about, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, and mean words hurt, too.”
Faith+Prayer: Loving God, we praise you for all the love, mercy and grace that you pour out on us. Help us to speak loving words that show your love to other people. Amen.
Faith+Blessing: May your eyes and ears be opened to see all the amazing works of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
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