CHILDREN’S MESSAGE for Lent 5
Theme: How to Serve
Materials: a cross formed by 2 branches of a Christmas tree (or a limb of a tree that could look like a Christmas tree); if possible, a tennis racquet and a tennis ball; crosses made from palm branches (or other material) to give to each child
I’m wondering what a person does who serves? A tennis player can serve by using a racquet and hitting the tennis ball to another player. Do you think that is what Jesus meant when he says in today’s lesson: “If you want to serve me, then follow me.” No, I don’t think so. What did Jesus do to serve others? (He listened to them, he taught them about God, he gave them food, he healed the sick, he prayed for them, he did lots of acts of kindness.) Can we follow Jesus’ example and be kind and caring to others? You bet!
I brought this cross to remind us of something else Jesus did. Does this cross look strange? It’s because it was made from the branches of a Christmas tree. It feels rough like a tree branch. This cross helps me to think of Jesus’ special life: the time he was born in a manger that we celebrate with a Christmas tree, to all the serving he did, to even his death on a cross, because He loved us so much.
I have a cross for each of you to remind you to find a way to serve others this week.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, as your followers, open our eyes to the ways we might serve you at home, at school, in our work place, and in our neighborhoods. May we honor and glorify you in our service to you. Amen.
CHILDREN’S MESSAGE for Lent 4 (Year B)
John 3:14-21, John 12:32
Theme: God So Loves Us
Materials: for each child, 1 large pretzel and 1 small pretzel; a basket for the pretzels
How does a person get ready to pray? (close eyes, fold hands, bow head)
Have you ever seen anyone fold their arms across their chest like this to pray? Let’s see you try it. First cross your arms in front of you and then place them close to your chest.
Long ago in the country of Germany something special was made during the season of Lent, the church season we are in right now. Bread bakers decided to make a bread product that reminded them of a Christian praying. We still have that bread product today. Can you guess what it is? (show the large pretzel and explain how it mimmicks folded arms).
In today’s Bible lesson we are reminded how much God loves us. God gave us Jesus to die on the cross so that we will know that we will be loved forever. The pretzel also can remind us of Jesus taking his outstretched arms and folding them around us to give each of us a giant hug.
Today I have 2 pretzels for each of you. The little pretzel is like you praying. The larger pretzel reminds us of Jesus’ huge hug.
Let us pray. Dear God, thank you for being with us, for listening to us when we pray. As we cross our arms, still us to feel your presence and your love. And the children of God say…Amen.
Author: Georgia Girvan (presented March 2018)
Many thanks to everyone who participated in the Thrivent Action Team Bunco event through donations and participation! Through your support, $500 was raised to provide travel support for SOV youth attending the ELCA National Youth Gathering in July, 2018.