Bible Passage: Mark 1:14-20
Materials: fishing rod
Have you been fishing? How does it work? Throw the line in the water. Wait. Will I get a fish every time I throw the line into the water?
In today’s Bible lesson Jesus said, “I will make you become fishers of men.” What do you think that means? Can we really catch people? I think Jesus was talking about catching people to be a follower of Jesus. How might we do that? We could do it by the way we treat other people. We could be loving and kind. We can also tell others about Jesus’ love.
When you are kind to someone who is mean, will that person change and be kind back to you? Not always. Just like fishing, we won’t always succeed in catching a fish. Sometimes we will be kind and the person will still be mean. Sometimes we have to wait, just like waiting to catch a fish. We need to continue to tell others about Jesus’ love by the way we care about them. We can pray, “Jesus, please be with _____________.” (ask children to suggest boy and girl names)
Prayer: Dear Jesus, help us to be eager to share your love with others at home, at school, on the playground, and in our neighborhood. We want to be on your fishing team. Amen.
Author: Georgia Girvan (presented January 1988)
Bible Passage: John 1:43-51
Theme: Son of God
What do people lose? (toys, phones, eye glasses, car keys ) Show me the face you would make if you lost something really precious.
In today’s Bible lesson Philip, one of Jesus’ followers, told his friend: “We have found the one whom the prophets wrote about a long long time ago. He is from the city of Nazareth.” Who do you think Philip was talking about? (Jesus).
So when you finally find a lost item, what do you do? Do you say, “Look what I found.” Or “ Come see what I found.” Can I hear how you would say that? (excitedly)
That’s what Philip said to his friend Nathaniel. “Come and see.” And as Philip and Nathaniel talked with Jesus they concluded, “ You really are the Son of God, the King of Israel!”
Aren’t we lucky? We know that Jesus is the Son of God. We don’t have to wait and wonder to find that out.
Prayer: Lord, we want to declare, “You really are the Son of God!” Thank you for coming to this earth and showing us what God’s love is all about. We love you, Jesus. Amen.
During this time of year we experience the season of Epiphany. The word means, “discovery” or “realization”, somewhat along the lines of the famous exclamation, “Eureka! I’ve found it!” During Advent we anticipate the coming of the Messiah. At Christmas, Christ arrives. As Epiphany unfolds we understand more about the identity of the Savior, what he came to do.
Oftentimes in life we want important things without having a clear picture of their actual meaning. We say, “I can’t wait until I’m grown up and get to do what I want to do!” or, “Someday I’ll be married and then have children!” For most of us, the goodness we hope for comes to fruition. We do grow up, graduate from school, engage in meaningful relationships and make commitments. As we actually go through these steps, we begin to realize that we had no idea what they’d really entail. That’s scary, in a sense, but it’s also a great joy. Words like “adult” and “graduation” and “spouse” end up being far more than the two-dimensional, self-referential constructs we once assumed. At one time or another, most of us end up saying, “I’m married now. I guess I better figure out what that means!” The discovery changes our lives and our world.
God is infinite. We never come to the end of our journey with him, nor do we ever get to say that we understand the complete definition of words like God, faith, Savior, grace, and love. There’s always something else to discover. During Epiphany, we say, “God’s here and he loves us. I guess I better figure out what that means!” As with marriage, children, graduation, adulthood, and a thousand other things, the discoveries we make during that process end up transforming us in profound ways.
Blessed Epiphany to you!
--Pastor Dave (firstname.lastname@example.org / 208-362-1112)
Thanks to everyone who participated in the 2017 Tree of Sharing! We delivered 105 wrapped gifts to six families with 24 children and 9 adults. Helping to sort the gifts and deliver them to the Lake Hazel Elementary School were Vickie Swanson, Pat Stewart, Keith and Bonita Hammer, and Paul Zelus.
Theme: A Discovery
Materials: Picture of 3 Wise Men (on a Christmas card or a Christmas decoration)
Optional: small muffins with a nut or piece of hard candy hidden inside to give to the children
If I were to tell you that I had “an epiphany”, what do you think it was? (e.g. a special kind of toy, a game on my cell phone) An epiphany is like a discovery. It’s “I get it.” It’s like being able to read S-T-O-P for the first time on a sign. It’s an “aha” moment. It’s like solving a riddle.
Today I brought a candle (or card) that shows the Christmas story. Let’s look at the pictures. Who do you think traveled a long ways to make a discovery? Who was the newborn baby who was to become a King? (Yes, the Wise Men.) What did they discover? (Baby Jesus, the Son of God) An “aha” moment. This is the time in our church year when we remember this epiphany, that Jesus is the Son of God!
To help you celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord, I brought for each of you an Epiphany Muffin. What might make this different than a regular muffin? (There’s something inside for you to discover so you can have an “aha” moment). Let’s see what we can find in this muffin. (a piece of candy)
Prayer: Lord, may we experience the thrill of knowing you are the Christ, the Savior, the King. Thank you for coming to be with us. Amen.
Author: Georgia Girvan (presented January 2000, January 2018)