Day: Easter 7C
Lectionary Passage: John 17:20-26
Scripture Focus: John 17:20-21
Object: Paper Chain People
Preparation: You will need scissors and a piece of butcher paper. First, fold paper accordion-fashion so that all sections are equal. The number of folds determines the number of people in the chain. Then on the top section, draw a person whose hands extend the folds of the paper. Third, carefully cut around your person. Finally, open out the paper and reveal your paper chain people. TIP: Don’t try to fold the large paper while you’re talking with the kids. Instead, have the paper folds done in advance and just make the cuts to create the people chain.
(Begin making the paper chain people) I don’t know about you, but one of the things I love most about coming to church is that I get to see some friends. And you know we’re not just friends because we like the same tv shows or cheer for the same teams or play the same games. Even though that stuff is cool, we’re friends because of something even greater. We’re friends because we all love Jesus.
In our Bible story for today, Jesus says that he wants us all to be one. I think that means that Jesus wants everyone who loves him to be stuck together with other people who love him (reveal paper chain people). By sticking together, we are one. So together we can learn about following Jesus, we can teach others about Jesus, and we do a lot of other cool stuff that we couldn’t do on our own. So, I’m glad that we are one big group all stuck together!
Let’s pray: God, thank you for sticking us together so that we can all grow closer to you through Jesus. Amen.
Day: Pentecost 8B
Lectionary Passage: Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
Scripture Focus: Mark 6:34
Welcome boys and girls! It’s so wonderful to see you this morning. I bet each one of us has a favorite animal. My favorite animal is (share your favorite animal; you may want to open it for the children to share their favorite animal…). I think if the Bible had a favorite animal it would be sheep! Sheep are mentioned more times in the Bible than any other animal. They are mentioned about 400 times!
Our story for today is one of those places where the Bible mentions sheep. It says that when Jesus saw the crowds of people who came to listen to him, he felt sorry for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. You see, when sheep don’t have a shepherd to lead them, they tend to panic and run in circles, or wander off into dangerous places. Sheep have even been known to run right off a cliff!
Jesus said people are like sheep because sometimes we are just as foolish as sheep. We run away from God or we don’t follow God’s rules. And when we turn away from God’s loving care, we’re just like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus wants every person to know that he is willing to be their shepherd. He wants everyone to follow him so that they will be loved and protected.
Let’s pray: God, help us to be smart sheep who follow Jesus instead of silly sheep who run away and get into trouble. Amen.
Day: Pentecost 7B
Lectionary Passage: Amos 7:7-15
Scripture Focus: Amos 7:14-15
Good morning everybody! When I was little, I wanted to be (share with the kids what you wanted to be when you grew up…). Sometimes we decide from a very young age what we’ll do as an adult, but often we end up doing something totally different.
In our story for today, we meet a man named Amos. He was a herdsman who took care of cows all day. He made sure they were feed and watered and protected. He was also a tree trimmer. Then suddenly, God asked Amos to become a prophet. A prophet is someone who shares God’s message to the people of Israel. It was a very important job!
I bet Amos was pretty scared when God asked him to do something totally different with his life. He might have worried that people wouldn’t listen to him or that they would laugh at him. But God was with Amos the whole time. God helped Amos become a great prophet.
I hope we will all remember the story of Amos. It teaches us that suddenly things can change in our life but we can always count on God to be with us the whole time and help us.
Let us pray: Thank you God for caring for us. Give us courage and strength to follow Amos’ example and always rely on you. Amen.
Day: Epiphany 3B
Lectionary Passage: Mark 1:14-20
Scripture Focus: Mark 1:17
Object: Fishing gear, especially a net
Good morning everybody! I’ve brought along some of my fisher gear. I’ve got my fishing pole and my fishing hat and most importantly I’ve got my fishing net! I really like to use a fishing net because I can catch a lot of fish at one time.
All this talk about fishing reminds me of our Bible story. There were a group of people whose job it was to catch fish. One day, Jesus came up to them on the sea of Galilee. And he asked them to come follow him. Jesus wanted these people to be his friends. So, they pulled their boats out of the water and left everything behind to follow Jesus.
When they did, Jesus told them they would become fishers of people! That means they were going to tell everyone about the love of Jesus and ask them to be Jesus’ friend, too. And, guess what? That’s our job too! We are called to be fishers of people. Jesus calls all his friends to tell people about God so that we can catch them in our net. And you know, I can’t think of anything better than catching people for Jesus who loves us more than anything! All we have to do is tell others about Jesus and how much he loves us and I bet our fishing nets will get full fast!
Let’s pray: God, thank you for those first fishers of people and please help us be good fishers so your church grows bigger and bigger with new friends. Amen.
Day: Pentecost 16
Lectionary Passage: Philippians 3:4b-14
Scripture Focus: Philippians 3:8
Good morning everyone! I want to describe someone to you this morning. Listen closely. This person lives in a big fancy house. He has lots of cool toys, the most expensive and fancy clothes, he has all the best games for his Wii and Playstation, he has a pool and trampoline in the backyard, he goes to Disney World every year, and he gets to eat his favorite dessert every night. Do you think he has a great life? (Let the kids answer Yes!)
What if I told you he isn’t friends with Jesus? And that all that stuff we think he is so great gets in the way of him knowing Jesus. Would you still think he has a great life? (Shake your head no so the kids know the answer is No!)
You’re right! A life without Jesus isn’t great. Even if we have all the best stuff in the world, if we aren’t friends with Jesus then it is all just silliness. And that’s exactly what our Bible story is all about. A guy name Paul is talking about how he was the most popular and the very best at his job but he didn’t know Jesus loved him. But then he became friends with Jesus! And suddenly all that other stuff wasn’t as important as loving Jesus with his whole heart.
We need to remember that all the toys and money and cool clothes in the world are not as important as loving Jesus.
Let’s pray: Help us God to love Jesus more than any other stuff and to remember that being friends with Jesus is the greatest treasure. Amen.