The most important thing. The priority of spending time with Jesus – Luke 10 Jesus at the home of Mary and Martha
Kids sermon idea: Highlight the fact that Jesus cares about us. He wants to spend time with us. Have a volunteer child stand in front of the children. Then ask them to hold some “important” items. (Some toys, some car keys, food, a cell phone etc.) Ask the children to look at the person, and all the items, and ask them what they think is the most important thing. Have some fun. They will probably each suggest what they think is important. Then point out the person holding the items is really what it most important! Use this as a lead in to explain the story of Jesus visiting the home of Mary and Martha. Mary chose what was most important – spending time of Jesus!
Object lesson props: Various random objects that a child can easily hold.
(Note: Be careful not to teach this in such a way that the ministry of serving is downplayed. You will also want to discuss in practical terms what it means to spend time with Jesus
Children’s focus full story: Good morning, Children! For my message this morning I need a volunteer. Thank you, Carol. Please stand-up front here so we can all see you. Now, I have a bag of some important items that I am going to get her to hold. Let’s see what I have. Here is a toy. That’s important. Would you please hold this item? Here is another item. It is a cell phone. That’s important. Please hold this item too. (Keep loading them up with various items.) Now, here is what I want you to think about. What is the most important thing here? I think these things are all important, but I want you to tell me what do you think is most important? (Listen to the children explain what item they think is most important.) Those are all good suggestions. However, what I think is most important is not these things; the most important thing is not a thing! It is a person, Carol! I know this was a bit of a trick question. But the point I want to make is that Carol is more important than all these things.
This reminds me of a story in the 10th chapter of the gospel of Luke where Jesus is visiting Mary and Martha. Mary spent time being with Jesus. But her sister Martha was very upset that she had to all kinds of work to do. When she complained to Jesus, he said that Mary was doing what was most important of all – spending time with Jesus.
Children, we want to do all sorts of things for Jesus (Give some example) However we don’t want to forget that Jesus wants to spend time with us. He loves us and doesn’t want us to be so busy we forget to enjoy his love. (This is a challenging concept so you may need to give examples of what it means to be like Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet) I want to encourage you children to spend time with Jesus in prayer, in reading what he says in the Bible, in just being quiet, sensing his love. (You might explain that although Jesus promises to be with us always, we get so distracted and can forget that his loving presence is with us. Emphasize both sides of the equation. Jesus loves us and wants to spend time with us. Also, we desperately need to spend time with him.)
Children’s Prayer: (Before starting your prayer consider taking a few seconds for the children to be silent and think of Jesus and the amazing love he has them.) “Dear God, thank you that you love us so much that you (and your son Jesus) want to spend time with us. In the busyness of the day, help us to find time to slow down and remember that you are with us and that you love us with an everlasting love. In Jesus’ name – Amen!”
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