Because church can happen anywhere!
Sunday, May 27, 2018
Props: A street map and a yellow marker. Before the lesson, choose a destination on the map that involves a fork in the road for you to chart with the children.
Lesson: Because you love (insert sport here) so much, we travel a lot for competition, don’t we? We get to go to many different cities. Sometimes, we go to places I’ve never been before so I have to look it up on a map. Now, in today’s world we typically use a GPS but sometimes, it is good to just pull out an old-fashioned map so that we can see the entire route. I just happen to have a road map with me today, and I would like you to help me find the roads we need to use. (Open the map on the floor). I’m going to take a trip to (name of city). Here is where we live (point out your current location) and here is where I want to go, (point out the destination). All of these different lines are streets and highways that take me to my destination. As you look at the two places, which road should I take to get there? (Allow the children to guide you as you use the colored marker to draw the path until you get to the fork in the road.)
Wait a minute, now the road becomes two roads. I can go one-way or the other.
Which one should I take? Why can’t I take this one?
It would only get me further away from where I need to be. (Finish marking the map to your proper destination.)
Application: Did you know that our lives are like this roadmap? There is a road that God wants us all to be on, and then there is a road that leads away from where God wants us to be. The good road is called the road of the Spirit. The other road is called the road of the world. The road of the world will sometimes seem like a lot more fun. But it has a lot of bad things on it, too, like fighting, name-calling, jealousy, stealing, lying, cheating. Those who walk on the road of the Spirit are always trying to make God happy. That road has love, hope, faith, goodness, mercy, and humility. That road gives us peace and joy. The road of the world will give us temporary happiness but then leaves us wanting more. Which of the roads do you think is the best road to be on? Why do you think that is? Do you think that that road is always going to be easy? Have you ever struggled with which road to take when you are with your friends? Even if you happen to take the wrong road, the Holy Spirit is always there ready to be your internal GPS, directing you back to road of God.
Let’s Pray: Help us, O Lord, to always walk on the road of the Spirit because that will take us to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Sunday, April 22, 2018 - 50 days of Easter
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. Luke 24:30-31 (NIV)
This morning I have a picture for each of you. (Give a picture to each child printed from the link https://www.sermons4kids.com/hidden_image.htm or show them on your phone) I want you to stare at the four small dots right in the middle of the picture. Concentrate and stare at the dots while I count to fifteen, then close your eyes. When you close your eyes, a white spot will appear and there may be a picture inside of that white spot. Let's try it and see what happens. Are you ready? Okay, concentrate! One, two, three.......(to fifteen) Now, close your eyes and keep them closed. Do you see anything? You may open your eyes now. How many of you saw the face of Jesus? Some people have a little trouble seeing it at first, so if at first you don't see the face of Jesus, keep trying and eventually you will see his face.
Our Bible lesson today tells an amazing story about a day when Jesus walked and talked with some of his followers, but they didn't even recognize him. Here is what happened.
After Jesus was crucified and risen from the grave, two of his followers were walking on the road that led to a town called Emmaus. They were sad and were talking about what had happened to Jesus. Suddenly, Jesus joined the disciples and walked along with them, but they did not know who he was because God kept them from recognizing him.
"You seem to be having a very serious discussion. What are you talking about?" Jesus asked them.
One of the men answered, "You must be the only person in Jerusalem that doesn't know what has happened the past few days," Then they told them about how Jesus had been crucified, and buried, and that some women had gone to his tomb, but the tomb was empty. "We have heard that he is alive," they said, "but we have not seen him."
"Do you find it so difficult to believe what was written by the prophets in the Scripture?" Jesus asked. "It was predicted by the prophets that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his time of glory." Then Jesus quoted passages from the writings of the prophets, explaining what the Scriptures said about himself.
By this time, they had come to Emmaus and the disciples invited Jesus to stay with them since it was getting too late in the day to travel. So Jesus stayed with them and when they sat down to eat, Jesus took the bread and blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened and they saw that it was Jesus. Then just as quickly as he had appeared to them, Jesus disappeared.
They were so happy and excited to have seen Jesus that they ran back to Jerusalem to tell the others that they had seen Jesus.
Do you want to see Jesus? The Bible says, "You will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 4:29) Oh, he may not appear to you in the same way he did to the disciples in our story, but If you study God's Word and seek him with all your heart, he will reveal himself to you. You may see him in on the soccer field or basketball court. You may see him on the dance floor or in the swimming pool. Whatever you are doing, if you look for him with all of your heart, he will reveal himself to you.
Where have you seen Jesus in your life? Where do you expect to see him today?
Dear Lord, open our eyes, we want to see Jesus! In Jesus' name we pray, amen.
This lesson is from https://www.sermons4kids.com/
Sunday, March 25, 2018 - Palm Sunday
The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!" Matthew 21:9 "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" asked the governor. "Barabbas," they answered. "What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked. They all answered, "Crucify him!" "Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"
Lesson: When cheers turn to jeers
Do you have a favorite sports team? Well, when I was in school, the Dallas Cowboys were THE football team. They won the super bowl three out of four years in the 90s so everyone was calling them "America's Team." Everywhere you looked you could see people wearing Dallas Cowboy t-shirts. After each of their victories in the Super Bowl, the city of Dallas held a parade and as the Cowboys rode through the streets of Dallas, the people cheered and waved. Now, the Cowboys are not so popular. Their fans expected them to win the Super Bowl every year and the Cowboys just aren't living up to what the fans expected of them. The cheers have turned to jeers, and many of their once-faithful fans have forsaken them to cheer for another team.
Did you know that the very same thing happened to Jesus? Do you know what these are? (Hold up the palm branches or show a picture of a palm branch.) These are branches of a palm tree. Any idea why this might be important to today’s lesson?
Well, in the country where Jesus lived, the palm tree was everywhere. The branches of the palm were a symbol of victory and joy. During the time of Jesus, people used to wave Palm branches as they cheered in celebration when an important person such as a king rode through the streets of a town. On Sunday before he was crucified, Jesus rode through the streets of Jerusalem on the back of a small donkey. As he rode along, people waved Palm branches and shouted and cheered. They shouted "Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" The people cheered Jesus as their King.
Just a few days later, Jesus was arrested, tried, and led to a hill called Calvary to be crucified. The cheers that he had heard on Sunday now turned to jeers. Many of the people who just a few days before shouted "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" had now turned against him. They were now shouting "Crucify Him! Crucify Him! He is not our king. We have no king but Caesar." They were even offered the choice of whether to free a criminal named Barabbas or to free Jesus. They chose to free Barabbas and crucify Jesus. Many of His once-faithful followers had forsaken him.
Can you relate? Has there ever been a time in your life where you have felt like those who loved to be around you, all of a sudden were turning their back on you? How did that feel? How do you think Jesus felt?
And yet, Jesus knew all of this was going to happen and he still willingly sacrificed his life so that you could live yours. That’s love! So you and I get to make a choice. We can choose to follow Jesus and make him the King and Lord of our life, or we can choose to leave him behind like the people who cried, "Crucify Him! He is not our king!"
Prayer: Jesus, Blessed Jesus, today we choose to make you King and Lord of our life. Help us to be strong, and to follow you, even when all others have forsaken you. Amen.
March 11, 2018
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
Lesson: You child (team) will be challenged to see that the light lives within them at all times.
Are you afraid of the dark? It is not unusual for children to be afraid of the dark. Truthfully, it’s not unusual for some adults to be afraid of the dark, either. Some of you may have a night light in your bedroom. In fact, it might be a wise thing to do. Suppose you wake up in the night and need a drink of water. If you get up in the dark to go get a drink, you might stub your toe or bump your shin. Ouch! That hurts.
Does anyone like to go camping? If you go for a walk at night, it is a good idea to carry a flashlight. Even if you are not afraid of the dark, you need light so can see where you are stepping, otherwise, you might step in a hole and sprain your ankle. A flashlight will help you avoid those things that could harm you. If you have the choice of walking in the dark or walking in the light, which would you choose? I know which one I would choose!
In our scripture lesson today, Jesus talks about light and darkness. Sometimes, when Jesus speaks, it can be a little confusing at first, can’t it? But today’s lesson seems to be straight forward. Jesus said, "Light has come into the world." Do you know what the Light is that Jesus was talking about? (give them a chance to answer) He was talking about himself. In another place, Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” In fact, you can look all through scripture and see where Jesus is referred to as “light."
You might be surprised to know that some people actually choose to walk in darkness rather than in the light. Do you know anyone who seems like they are walking in darkness? Why would they do that? Jesus tells us, "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their evil deeds will be exposed."
Every day we make choices. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we are doing, we make choices, don’t we? When you are (on the field, in school, on the dance floor, in the gym, etc), you have lots of choices to make, don’t you? What are some of the things you have to think about while you are competing?
Those are lots of things to think about. But do you ever have to think about how to act? You actually get the choice in how you act on and off the (field, court, dance floor, etc.) If a (ref or judge) makes a decision that goes against you, and you think the call is wrong, how should you react? If we live by truth, we walk in the light so that it may be plainly seen. In other words, we can compete hard but behave with grace. As Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." As you prepare to compete today, how do you think those you are competing against will see you? What choice will you make? Will you walk in the light or in the darkness?
Dear Lord, help us to make the right choices and walk in the light. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Sunday, March 3, 2018
Jesus in Jerusalem at Passover
13 It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.14 He found in the temple those who were selling cattle, sheep, and doves, as well as those involved in exchanging currency sitting there. 15 He made a whip from ropes and chased them all out of the temple, including the cattle and the sheep. He scattered the coins and overturned the tables of those who exchanged currency. 16 He said to the dove sellers, “Get these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a place of business.” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written, Passion for your house consumes me.
18 Then the Jewish leaders asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? What miraculous sign will you show us?”
19 Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple and in three days I’ll raise it up.”
20 The Jewish leaders replied, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and you will raise it up in three days?” 21 But the temple Jesus was talking about was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered what he had said, and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
Object: This week your child (team) will be asked to think about all of the ways in which their bodies are temples to God, and to come up with how they can continue to build and maintain their own personal "temples."
In today’s lesson, we see a side of Jesus that we aren’t used to seeing. He’s angry. He has come to the Temple to worship his Father and the noise, and the smell, and the complete disregard for the sanctity of this holy place just becomes too much for Jesus. So what does he do? (Let them answer this question)
That’s right, he gets angry. He forms a whip out of the cord he is wearing and raises his voice and begins flipping the tables, doesn’t he? Once again, we hear Jesus speaking with authority (just like he did in Mark to the demons - remember?). And his anger gets a lot of attention, including attention from the religious elite. They begin to question him and why he thinks he can behave in such a manner. I mean, only the true Messiah could get away with something like that, in their eyes.
So Jesus responds to them honestly and simply, “destroy this temple and I will raise it up in three days.” What do you think Jesus is talking about in regards to “this temple?” (have a short discussion on what they believe “this temple is”. Don’t correct them if they are wrong just listen to their answers.)
Ephesians 1:22-23 22 God put everything under Christ’s feet and made him head of everything in the church, 23 which is his body. His body, the church, is the fullness of Christ, who fills everything in every way.
So now after hearing these words from Paul what do you think Jesus means by “this temple?”
That’s right, “this temple” is Jesus’ very own body. He is the temple. 1 Corinthians 12:27 says, “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.” If Jesus is the Temple and we are part of his body, are we temples too?
As an athlete, you have been given a gift by God to run, dance, flip, etc. But in order to do that, you have to be well prepared. You practice most days of the week. You have to get sleep. You have to eat reasonably well. You have to take care of yourself, right?
In what ways are our bodies like the temple in Jerusalem where Jesus worshiped? In what ways are they different?
What did the people inside the temple do to make Jesus angry? In what ways do we abuse or destroy our bodies, or personal temples, that might not be pleasing to Jesus?
What can we do to keep our "temples" holy and pure in the sight of God?
If we destroy our "temples" will God rebuild them for us? Will God rebuild our temples if they are destroyed in the course of serving and worshiping him? How do we know?
You may not realize it now but your body, your temple, is truly a gift from God. He created it in a way that is pleasing to Him and that should be enough to encourage each of us care for ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As you prepare to compete today, remember that your temple will never fail you as long as you do all you do to glorify God.
End with a prayer.