Christ the King C

Day: Christ the King Sunday

Lectionary Passage: Colossians 1:11-20

Scripture Focus: Colossians 1:15-20

Object: Two or Three different hats (baseball, cowboy, fireman, etc.) and a Crown hidden inside a bag

This morning I’ve got some hats with me and I want you to guess who wears them. Okay, first one… (put on the cowboy hat). Who wears this kind of hat? A cowboy, exactly. Okay, what about this one… (put on the baseball cap)? A baseball player. You guys are good at this game. What about this hat… (put on the crown)? A king! Exactly. Kings wear crowns.

And there is a very special king that I want to tell you about: Jesus. And today is Christ the King Sunday. It’s a special day we set aside every year to celebrate that Jesus is the King of kings. That means Jesus is in charge of everything. But you know what Jesus wants to be in charge of the most? Your heart! Jesus wants to live in your heart and help you follow his way all your life. That means we can’t let other things rule our hearts. We can’t pick things like sports or sleeping in or scouts over Jesus. We’ve got to make Jesus the King of our hearts by putting him first in our lives.

Let’s pray: God, we give you thanks for your Son Jesus who loves us and loves the world. Help us remember to make Jesus the king of our hearts today and every day. Amen.

Proper 28C

Day: Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Passage: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Scripture Focus: 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12

Object: A Picture of Lazy Smurf

Our Bible story for today reminded me of one of my favorite cartoons: The Smurfs. It was about these small blue creatures who love to eat smurfberries and go on adventures. One of the Smurfs was called Lazy Smurf. Can you guess why? … Because he was lazy! He spends almost all his time sleeping, either in bed, a hammock, on the grass… pretty much anywhere, anytime, day or night. Lazy Smurf was the laziest of all the Smurfs.

I got thinking about Lazy Smurf because our Bible story warns us against being lazy. It says that laziness is not a good thing. Laziness means we’re not willing to work. As followers of Jesus, we’ve got to learn to work. Not just at regular jobs to earn money like our moms and dads do, but we’ve also got to work for God! We can work for God whenever we help others or tell them about Jesus. So, instead of being a lazy smurf, we’ve got to be worker smurfs!

Let’s pray: God, help us all to be good workers for you each and every day and all the time. Amen.

Proper 27C

Day: Proper 27C

Lectionary Passage: Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21

Scripture Focus: Psalm 145:1-5

Object: Noisemakers (one per child) TIP: If you can’t give each child a noisemaker, then use toss confetti to shower the children as they shout “God is Wonderful!”

I love to celebrate! Really, I love, love, love to celebrate! I love to celebrate birthdays and holidays and anything else that suits my fancy. And, of course, you’ve got to have cool things to help you celebrate… like these noisemakers! (Give each child a noisemaker).

This morning, I want us to celebrate. But not just any old thing, I want us to celebrate God! That’s what our Scripture passage is all about. It’s about celebrating God because God is wonderful and loves us all so much. You know, each and every day God reaches out to us with that love and that is something to celebrate. So, get your noisemaker ready… after I shout “God is Wonderful” I want you do blow those noisemakers to celebrate. Ready? 1… 2… 3… God is Wonderful! (Let the kids blow the noisemakers). That was awesome! Want to do it again? Alright, 1… 2… 3… God is Wonderful! (Let the kids blow the noisemakers).

As you take these noisemakers home with you, I want you to remember to always celebrate God because God is wonderful and amazing and always good to us.

Let’s pray: God, we want to praise and celebrate you and all that you do for us each and every day through your love. Amen.

Proper 26C

Day: Proper 26C  (Reformation Day)

Lectionary Passage: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12

Scripture Focus: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12

Object: Calendar

Good morning! Does anyone know what Thursday was?  (The kids are sure to say Halloween.) Halloween? I thought it was Reformation Day! Hmmm… let me check my calendar…. well, it looks like we’re both right. Thursday was Halloween, but it was also Reformation Day.

I bet you already know all about Halloween, so let me tell you about Reformation Day. On Reformation Day we remember this really courageous event. You see, a pastor named Martin Luther thought the Church was in trouble because so many people had forgotten the way to follow Jesus. And he was right! So, Martin Luther decided to do something really bold: He went up to church door and nailed a letter to it explaining that to be a follower of Jesus was all about having faith. And a lot of people agreed with Martin. Those people became known as Protestants and they started the Protestant Reformation. That’s why we celebrate  Reformation Day.

And you know who else agreed with Martin Luther and the Protestants? Paul! In our Bible passage for today, Paul gives thanks for the faith of the early Christians. He knew that’s what they needed to follow Jesus. And the same was true for Martin and his friends and for us today. Following Jesus is all about having faith in him. That’s something we can’t afford to forget ever!

Let’s pray: Dear God, thank you for giving Martin Luther the courage to stand up and tell others the good news of faith in Jesus Christ. Help us always remember this and to be bold in telling others, too. Amen.

Proper 23C

Day: Proper 23C

Lectionary Passage: Psalm 66:1-12

Scripture Focus: Psalm 66:1-2

Object: None

I bet you’ve noticed that in worship we do a lot of singing. Every Sunday we sing songs together. Have you ever wondered why we do that? Well, the answer is pretty simple. Do you want to know? Okay, I’ll tell you. We sing songs in church because the Bible tells us to!

It says that we should shout to the Lord and sing praises to God. So, whenever we get together for worship, we sing songs about God to God. And, you know what? No matter what, we can all sing to God. Even if you’re not the best singer, God made your voice and wants to hear it! So, remember to sing songs to God and sing them loudly!!

Let’s pray: God thank you for giving each of us a special voice to sing praises to you. Help us to sing loudly in church because we are singing to you. Amen.

Proper 22C

Day: Proper 22C

Lectionary Passage: 2 Timothy 1:1-14

Scripture Focus: 2 Timothy 1:7

Object: Baking Soda, Water, and Vinegar

Preparation: You will need two bowls with about 1/2 cup of baking soda in each and about 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar. Because the vinegar and baking soda will react, you want to be sure the bowls are placed on baking sheet or towel to absorb the mess.

This morning we’re going to a little experiment to help us better understand our Scripture passage. Okay, first of all, I’ve got three things: Some baking soda, water, and vinegar. First we’re going to see what happens when I add some water to this baking soda (pour the water into one of the bowls).… Well, that wasn’t too exciting. Nothing happened. Let’s see what happens when I add some vinegar instead… (slowly pour the vinegar into the bowl and to see the chemical reaction). Whoa!!! That was amazing! The vinegar had a way cooler and more powerful reaction than the water.

Well, in our Scripture passage, Paul is telling us that God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power. Timidity is when you’re too scared to do anything. Kind of like what happened when I mixed water and baking soda… a whole of nothing. But, God gives us a spirit of power so that we can do amazing things! Kind of like mixing vinegar and baking soda. God’s spirit helps us go out in the world and tell others about Jesus without being afraid. And that is an amazing thing.

Let’s pray: God, thank you for giving us a spirit of power so that we can do amazing things for Jesus Christ. Amen.

Proper 21C

Day: Proper 21C

Lectionary Passage: 1 Timothy 6:6-19

Scripture Focus: 1 Timothy 6:9

Object: Helium Balloon, Ziplock bag full of Coins, and clear fishing line

Preparation: Tie the clear fishing line to the helium balloon string. Then, tie the balloon string to the bag of coins so that the balloon is weighed down. During the sermon, you will cut the balloon string below the part tied to the clear fishing line so that as the balloon soars into the air you can hold on to it by the fishing line, which hopefully the children won’t notice.

This morning I’ve got this great balloon with me. Can you all see what is weighing it down? A bag full of money! The money is keeping the balloon stuck in the same place, dragged down by a heavy burden. And you know what? That can happen to us to.

Our Bible story for today warns us that we can get dragged down by money. We can get so caught up in being rich that we forget there are more important things than money. Like following Jesus. Just like this balloon, we can get stuck in one place because we’re weighed down. But, I wonder what happens when we cut our ties to money…. (cut the balloon string tied to the bag of money and let the balloon float into the air while holding onto the fishing line).

You see, when we are dragged down by money, we can’t soar to Heaven as followers of Jesus. It’s a good thing the Bible warns us about that trap so we can cut our ties and focus on being friends with Jesus.

Let’s pray: God, help us remember that things like money can drag us down so that we aren’t able to follow Jesus. Give us strength to cut those bad ties and soar after Jesus. Amen.

Proper 20C

Day: Proper 20C

Lectionary Passage: 1 Timothy 2:1-8

Scripture Focus: 1 Timothy 2:1-3

Object: None

How many of you have ever prayed for others? That’s great! But I wonder how many of us remember to pray for someone who is authority? That means someone who is in charge, like your principal or police officers or the President of the United States. I know that sometimes I forget to pray for these people.

Luckily, our Bible passage for today reminds us to pray for them. So, I want us to do just that right now.  Fold your hands and close your eyes and repeat each part after me:

Dear God, we give you thanks for all the people who are in authority. We pray that they will make good choices and follow Jesus Christ. And we pray that you will help keep them safe. We ask all this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Proper 19C

Day: Proper 19C

Lectionary Passage: 1 Timothy 1:12-17

Scripture Focus: 1 Timothy 1:13-14

Object: None

One of my favorite movies is Transformers. In it the heroic Autobots battle the evil Decepticons to save Earth. The cool thing is that both Autobots and Decepticons are robots that can transform into machines. My favorite one is Bumblebee. He’s an Autobot who transforms into a yellow sports car. I think it is so cool how the Autobots can start out as one thing and then transform into something completely different like a car!

And that reminds me of our Scripture passage. It’s not talking about Autobots, but it does talk about transformation. That’s when you start out as one thing and become something different. In our Bible passage, we learn that a person can be transformed! We can go from being an unbeliever to being friends with Jesus. Even though we look the same on the outside, on the inside a major transformation has happened. Instead of thinking bad things about God or not believing in God at all, when we are transformed, we learn that God loves us and we love God back. Now that is a pretty cool transformation!

Let’s pray: God thank you for helping us to become something totally new when we become friends with Jesus. Help us teach others about this amazing transformation. Amen.

Proper 18C

Day: Proper 18C

Lectionary Passage: Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

Scripture Focus: 139:1-6

Object: Binoculars (or use your hands in imitation of binoculars)

Note: This sermon works best when you can loom over the children like a big imposing presence

The first time I ever heard this Scripture passage I got really, really worried. I got a picture in my head that God was up in Heaven spying on my every move (dramatically look down on each child with your binoculars.) I felt like God was just waiting for me to do something wrong (pan the children with your binocular stare). So that God could bust me in the act! I did not like that idea at all.

But now I know that isn’t what this Scripture passage means at all. It does say that God watches over us every minute. But not because God wants to bust us doing something wrong. God watches over us because God loves us! That means we are never alone. God is always right there watching over us. That also means God knows us better than anyone else in the whole world. God knows when we are celebrating and when we’re having a bad day. No matter what is going on, God knows about it and we can trust that God still loves us.

Let’s pray: God we are so grateful that you watch over us. It is good to know you are always there and we can count on your love. Amen.