This story is a difficult one and is not in most children’s Bibles. I would recommend paraphrasing and making the point of that the Pharisees warn Jesus to leave as Herod wants to hurt him but Jesus refuses to leave. Jesus wants to stay and be with the people and protect them. Jesus stays with us always and through Jesus we are all connected to one another. This is the main point of our children’s time for this text.
Have a large ball of string or yarn handy. Ask: Have you ever been somewhere like on vacation or visiting grandma or grandpa and you didn’t want to leave? You wanted to stay with the friends or family that you were visiting? Or have you gone to a really good friend’s house and didn’t want to go because you like being with that person so much? Well in our story today Jesus is told that he should leave town because the king Herod wants to hurt him. But Jesus says no to them. He says that he will stay right there in Jerusalem. Why do you think that Jesus would stay in a place where he might get hurt? (Accept all answers) Jesus stays in Jerusalem because in that city are people that God loves very much and Jesus would rather be with those people and be hurt than not be hurt and be away from them. Jesus wants to be with us-all of us-and will stay with us NO MATTER WHAT!
Jesus is always with you! Now Jesus tells the people at the end of our Bible story today “You will not see me again until you say ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of The Lord.” What do you think that might mean? (Accept all answers) Those are all good ideas! Could it mean that we are sent by God to show God’s love to all of the people in our day? I think it might! Because of Jesus love for us we are to show that love to other people. And that love connects us all to God and to one another. It’s a connection that we can’t really see but it may be something like this. Unroll the ball of yarn and give an end to a child and then have each child hold on to a piece of the yarn. Let the yarn weave in and out of the group. They do not have to be in a circle. Depending on the size of your congregation and how much yarn you have, pass the ball of yarn around your worship space to connect the adults and children together as well!
Look at all of the people in this room that you are connected to! People of all ages, from lots of different places and with lots of different ideas. How wonderful is that! God connects you to a group of people who love and care for one another! What are some ways that we can show friends at school or in our neighborhood that we are all connected by God’s love? Can we share what we have? Can we talk to a new person at school or sit with someone who is lonely at lunch? Can we shovel the sidewalk for a neighbor or read a book to a younger brother or sister? Yes those are all great ways to show God’s love!
While we are all connected with this yarn let’s pray: Dear Jesus, thank you for being with us all the time. Thank you for loving us all and send us to show love to all of our family members, friends, and eve those we don’t know. Hold us in your loving arms, amen.