Romans 8:12-17, John 3:1-17
Theme: Holy Spirit
Material: replica or picture of a windmill
Have you seen something that looks like this? What is it? (a windmill)
How does it work? (the wind makes the arms move)
What is it used for? (helps create the power and energy to do things like turn on lights)
Can you see the wind? No, but we can feel it blow.
Can you see what the wind blows? What is an example? What is something the wind blows?
Today’s Bible lesson tells us how God’s Holy Spirit comes to us. Can we see it? (no, but we can feel it.)
You know how the windmill creates power. So does God’s spirit. It gives us power and strength to live as God’s children.
When you feel the wind blowing in your face this week, I’d like you to remember that God’s spirit is in you to guide you and to be with you, even when you are glad—show me a glad face—sad—what does sad look like?--or mad—or even bad. Can you remember that?
Let’s pray. Thank you, dear Jesus, for sending your Holy Spirit to us, so that we have the strength and power to live as your children. And the children of God say…Amen.
Author: Georgia Girvan (presented May 27, 2018)
CHILDREN’S MESSAGE for Easter 3
Luke 24:36b-48, John 20:19-31
A strange thing happened to me this morning. My bedroom is on the second floor, quite a ways up from the ground. I got out of my bed, opened the blinds, looked out the window and there was a little boy and a little girl about your size flying by, with wings. I quickly opened the window and asked, “Are you a fairy?”
Do you believe I saw the boy and girl flying? If I told you that they answered me, would you believe me?
How about if I told you that I touched them, would you believe that it happened? (No)
The story I told you really didn’t happen. But our Bible lesson today has a story that really did happen.
When Jesus’ special friends, his followers (we call them disciples) were gathered together, Jesus appeared to them. At first they thought He was a ghost and they were very very scared. They didn’t believe it could be Jesus. They knew that Jesus had died. But then Jesus talked to them. He said, “Peace be with you. You don’t believe it is me? Look at the marks on my hands and on my feet where I was fastened to the cross. Touch me.” They did, and they believed that He was indeed Jesus. How do you think these special friends of Jesus felt? (They were so happy that Jesus, their special friend, was alive.)
The really cool thing is that Jesus is with us. He loves us, just like he loved those special friends. In fact Jesus loves us when we are scared, when we can’t imagine that he is with us, or when it feels like he is sitting right next to us.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for loving us, even when we are scared, or lonely, or happy, or when we aren’t sure. Help us to trust you as our Lord and Savior. And the children of God say: Amen.
Author: Georgia Girvan (presented April 1989, April 2015, April 2018)
CHILDREN’S MESSAGE for Easter 2
April 27, 2014
Materials: review the sign used by the deaf for Jesus
Do you know how to sign Jesus with your hands? It’s way that people who can’t talk with their mouths can talk with their hands.
Put your hands out. First, take your tallest finger of one hand and touch the palm of your other hand. Next, do it with your tallest finger of your other hand. Let’s try doing it.
Note: use key words: touch, touch. Show me how you say Jesus with your hands.
Today’s Bible lesson is about a man named Thomas who wasn’t certain that Jesus had come back to life. When Jesus was with Thomas, Jesus put out his hands and told Thomas to put his fingers in the part of his hand where he had been nailed to the cross. You do it. What do you think Thomas did? Yes, he felt the scars, the owies, in Jesus’ hand, and then he knew that Jesus had come back to life and that he was indeed the Son of God.
For our prayer today, let’s say the words from the song Jesus Loves Me. Let’s use our sign for “Jesus” when we say Jesus. Are you ready? “Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.”
Alternate prayer: Dear Jesus, you came back to life. You helped Thomas to believe. Help us to know you as our risen Lord. And the children of God say “Amen”.
Author: Georgia Girvan (presented April 2014)
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)
Luke 3:21-22, Mark 4:1-11
Materials: napkins with sea shell images, cake frosted and decorated to look like a sea shell
Do you see anything unusual on the altar? (bring cake for children to see)
I wonder why we have a cake on the altar. What do you think?
Yes, this is a special day for a family in our church because ____ will be baptized.
We will declare that _____ is a child of God. Our pastor will mark _____ with the cross of Christ.
Let’s look at this cake and see if we can see some clues to help us think about baptism. What does it look like? (a sea shell) Where do you find a sea shell? Near the water. What happens in baptism? (Water is poured over the head of the person) So the sea shell helps us think of the water.
What do you see that is blue on the cake? What do you think that is supposed to be? (3 drops of water)
During baptism how many times does Pastor pour water on the baby’s head? (3--once for God the Father, once for the Son/Jesus, and once for the Holy Spirit.) This cake will help ______’s family celebrate his/her baptism.
Today I have something for each of you to help remember your baptism. What do you see on the napkin that reminds you of baptism? (sea shell) I want you to use it this week to help you and your family talk about your baptism.
Let us pray. Dear God, thank you for the honor of being a child of yours, marked with the cross of Christ forever. Help us to treasure your love for us. And the children of God say…Amen.
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.
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)
John 1:6-8, 19-28
Theme: John the Baptist’s Announcement
Materials: candy cane
What have you seen this week that tells you our celebration of Jesus’ birth is near? (Nativity set, stars, angels, trees, lights) In today’s Bible lesson John the Baptist tells all the people around him that someone very special is coming. Who do you think John was talking about? (Jesus)
Many years ago a candy maker loved Jesus so much that he decided to do something that would tell others about Jesus too. This is what he made. What is it called? (candy cane) But how can a candy cane tell about Jesus?
When a candy cane stands up, it looks like … a shepherd’s crook. The shepherd uses it to bring the sheep back to the flock, so they will be safe. It reminds us that Jesus is like a shepherd for us, watching over us and protecting us.
Now, if I turn the candy cane upside down, what does it look like? What letter? A “j”. How can a “j” remind us of Jesus? (That’s the first letter in Jesus’ name.)
When you see a candy cane this week, may you be reminded that our celebration of Jesus’ birth is coming soon.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, we want to honor you as we prepare for Christmas. We thank you for being our shepherd, for gathering us into your fold, for protecting us, for loving us. Amen.