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|Children's sermon - Prodigal son|
|Written by Andrew Hewlett|
The loving father
Parable of the prodigal son
Basic Children’s Sermon idea: Show the children two pictures of God. Have one person stand up front holding a robe and some slippers. They should be looking into the distance with longing eyes. Have another person stand in front of the children with an angry look and holding a big stick. Explain the story of the prodigal son and discuss which of these two individuals is more like God the Father.
Object Lesson items: A robe (a bath robe will do), some slippers, a big stick. Get two volunteers from the congregation.
Children’s Sermon / Sunday School lesson introduction
Read out a simple paraphrase of the Prodigal Son: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Good morning children. This morning’s bible reading is from the Gospel of Luke in the bible and it is called the story (or parable) of the Prodigal Son. Many people think it’s best to call this story “The Loving Father.” Jesus told this story because many people didn’t understand what God was like. It’s actually the same today. There are many people who just don’t understand what God is like. I’ll show you what I mean. Mr. Jones, would you be willing to come up and help me act something out? Thank you. (Hand Mr. Jones the big stick) I’d like you to hold this big stick and make a face like you are very angry. Wow! That’s scary. Please hold that pose. Now, I need one more person to help me out. Yes. Mr. Smith. Please come up front here. I would like you to hold this robe in your hands and also these slippers. I would also like you to look longingly and lovingly into the distance. You might pretend you are looking for a lost child. Great. That looks just right. Children, Jesus knew that many people believed that God was like this angry person over here. If you knew that you were not living the way God wanted you to live would you want to come home to a God like this? No. You would be afraid that all he wanted to do was to hurt you with this big stick. If you were not living the way God wanted you to live would it be better to come home to someone like this person here? Of course it would. Look, he has love in his eyes and is holding a nice warm robe – ready to wrap it around you. He also has some nice warm slippers to keep feet warm. Jesus told a story to say that this person here is really most like God. He wanted them to know that if they ever did things very wrong and got into big trouble that God wanted to reach out in love to them more than he wanted to punish them. Jesus also wanted the people to know that it was important for him to be with “sinners” (the very bad people) because God loved them. He didn’t want to hurt them he wanted to save them from all the trouble and danger they were in. Jesus was telling us that God is like a very loving father.
Children’s Prayer: God, we are so thankful that you are like a very loving father. We are so glad that Jesus showed his love to all kinds of people even those who didn’t know about God at all. Help us always to stay close to you and your wonderful love. In Jesus, Amen!
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