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A Fresh New Year - Children's Sermon / Object lesson

 

   (Church year: Season of Ephiphany - as an alternate to this talk about The Three Wise Men (in progress - check it out)
Happy New Year

Children’s Sermon idea: This is an object lesson about starting afresh in the New Year. Show your day timer or notebook from the previous year. Show that it is a little messy and discuss some regrets, mistakes and the fact you didn’t do some things that you believe God wanted you to do. Then show them your brand new day timer or notebook representing the New Year. There is no point in trying to change the past but we have an opportunity to start afresh and write on our planner / calendar the things that God wants us to do for the coming year. Consider getting the kids to suggest some things to put on your “to do” list. (For dramatic effect you could throw you old day timer or notebook in the garbage bin.)
 --- Another idea: Show some Old items and contrast them with New items you recieved at Christmas. Use this to discuss that we have a brand new year that God has given as a gift to us. 
(Note: Churches that follow the liturgical calendar will recognize that Advent is the beginning of the church year. However, most kids still recognize this as “the New Year.”)
 
Object lesson props: Old day timer, calendar or notebook and a clean, new day timer, calendar or notebook.
Alternative: If children are very young you could also use a used coloring book and a new coloring book instead of a calendar.
Or....use a dirty blackboard representing last year and clean it off to demonstrate that God has a brand new year full of new excitement. 
 
Full Children’s Sermon: Good morning children. I trust you all had a good Christmas. At this time of year you often hear people saying “Merry Christmas.” Sometimes you hear people say “Merry Christmas and a happy _____ _____ ?” That’s right, a Happy New Year. A brand new year started on January 1. This is the new year of 2010. Now is a good time to think about planning to do the things that God wants us to do in this New Year. I want you to look at these two notebooks. This book is the planning book that I used for last year and this is my new planning book. Let’s look at the old one that I used last year. Wow. It’s a bit messy isn’t it? Let’s look through it. (Discuss successes, failures, mistakes and things you didn’t get around to doing.) Now look at this new planning book that I’m going to use for the coming year. (Show them the nice clean pages.) Doesn’t this look nice? Nothing has happened yet so I have the opportunity to start afresh. I can’t change the past but I can plan to do the things that God wants me to do this year. The beginning of the year is a good time to pray and ask God to show you the things he wants you to do in the coming year. There also might be some things you don’t want to do in the coming year. It’s also good to ask God to give you his strength and power to do his will. We can’t do the work of God in our own strength; we need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us. (Consider getting the kids to suggest some good activities and write them into your notebook right there. After you have finished you could throw your old day timer or notebook into the garbage)
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, thank you that it is the beginning of a new year. Please forgive us for the things we’ve done wrong in the past year and give us your strength to live for you in the New Year to come. This is the beginning of an exciting new adventure. Thank you that you promise to be with us and guide us every day. In Jesus’ name – Amen!

Copyright Andrew Hewlett - Sundaychildrensfocus.com   Feel free to use this on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider putting a link to this site. Blessings, Andrew

Children’s Sermon / Sunday school lesson idea for Christmas Eve.

holyfamilychristmas

 
Children’s Sermon idea: Show a beautifully wrapped gift to the children. Discuss the wonders the outward appearance. Unwrap the present and place the plain looking box to the side. Let each child handle the beautiful reflective wrapping paper, the bow, the ribbon and the name tag. Consider displaying the “wrappings” in a place where all can enjoy. Discuss with the children that we can get fascinated by the wrapping and other adornments and forget the main gift. Explain how this can happen with Jesus. We can become so fascinated by things to do with the season that we forget Jesus who is the main gift. 
 
(Alternate idea/ addition: If you have a baby in the congregation you could give the gift to the child and watch them play with the bow, the box and the ribbon while not understanding that the main gift is inside.)
 
Object Lesson items: A small gift in a plain box wrapped in beautiful paper and other adornments.
 
Full Children’s Sermon / Object lesson:
 
Good morning children. Are you all pretty excited about Christmas? Look what I brought along this evening. It’s a beautiful little gift. (Let the children hold it or pass it along) I bet baby Timothy here would like a gift like this. (Hand the gift to the very young child.) Hmmm. It looks like they are trying to eat the wrapping. That’s not quite right. It is very beautiful though. Look at this bow. (Remove it and pass it along.) And look at this paper. (Remove it and pass it along placing the plain box off to the side) Hold it right up to your eyes. It looks very cool. Look at this ribbon. Do you see that wonderful pattern on the top side? And look at the name tag. It has my name written on it. Look at the little Angel picture on the back side. This is some of the most beautiful wrapping I’ve ever seen. I’m going to place it over here where everyone can see it and enjoy it. Good that looks very nice. Now everyone can enjoy seeing it. Great. I guess I should lead us in our usual prayer before sitting back down in the congregation.  Uh oh. Something is missing here. Where is the box that was inside all this nice wrapping? I almost forgot. Look what is inside this plain box. It’s a beautiful and valuable (Diamond, gem, etc. – let the children see it)
TRANSITION: I was so interested in looking at the outward wrapping that I almost forgot the gift that was inside. The wrapping is only the outward covering. The important thing is the gift inside.
This reminds me about the Christmas season. There are many wonderful things about Christmas. There are the Christmas trees; there are Christmas lights, wonderful carols, gifts, etc. However, what is most important about Christmas is Jesus; the greatest gift of all. If you received a gift it would be sad if you only enjoyed the paper, the bow and the ribbon and forgot the present inside. At Christmas it would be even worse if you enjoyed the hymns, the lights and the songs and forgot about Jesus! This Christmas let’s remember that Jesus is the greatest gift of all. He was born in a manger many years ago and he is alive today. Although we can’t see him right now we know he is the greatest King of all and that he loves us and leads us into the wonderful life of God. We don’t want to forget that.
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, thank you for all the wonderful things about Christmas. Help us to enjoy this season but help us always to remember that Jesus is the most important thing about Christmas.
We pray that many others would come to know his love and his life. In Jesus’ name – Amen!

Copyright Andrew Hewlett Sundaychildrensfocus.com   Feel free to use this kids sermon on Sunday morning but please give credit to sundaychildrensfocus.com and please do consider making a link to this site. Blessings, A.H.
 
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Advent - John the Baptist           Lectionary: Luke 3:1-6

Object lesson and children's Advent sermon: John the Baptist sounds the alarm – be prepared  
Prepare the way
john the baptist alarm warning

Children’s sermon idea: Show the children a small battery operated smoke detector. (These are very common) Push the test button to catch their attention. Discuss the role of a smoke detector and then explain the role of John the Baptist. Wake up! It’s dangerous to be ill prepared for Jesus.
 
As a Sunday School lesson: Demonstrate the smoke detector’s loud beep.
-Discuss what sort of things John could do to warn the people that Jesus was coming.
-Discuss the things the children might do if they knew Jesus was coming tomorrow.
-Discuss what they can do now to get ready for welcoming Jesus at Christmas and being ready for his return at any time. (What does it mean to “repent” and “wake up.”?)
 
Object lesson items: Small battery operated smoke detector. If you don’t have one a friend or neighbor will. They can usually be released by pressing up and turning a ¼ turn counterclockwise.
 
Full Children’s Sermon for Advent:
Good morning children. Today, in this season of Advent our bible reading is about John the Baptist. John the Baptist was a messenger sent to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. He knew Jesus was coming and that the people needed to get ready. This morning I brought something from home that is designed to wake us up and get us ready. (Hold up the smoke detector). Do you know what this is? It’s a smoke detector. It’s designed to make a loud beep if it detects smoke from a fire. That way, if a fire started in your house late at night it would beep loudly, wake you up, and then you could get to safety. Listen to the loud beep. (Push the center test button to sound the alarm. Or, you could hold a match underneath, blow it out, and let the smoke trigger the sound. You could ask them to pretend to be asleep before sounding the alarm. ) That really woke you up didn’t it!
The smoke detector wakes us up and warns us that we’d better get ready and go to safety. John the Baptist was a bit like this smoke detector. A long time ago many of the people living in Israel were not thinking about being right with God. John the Baptist sounded the alarm, by saying “wake up,” “repent” and get ready for the Savior. This took place many years ago in Israel but John’s message is important for us today. If we are being asleep to God it’s important that we wake up. I think it is especially important at this time of year when we are getting ready for Christmas. At Christmas time it is especially important that we are living in such a way that our hearts are open to Jesus Christ. We certainly couldn’t have Christmas without Jesus Christ. Also, if we wake up to God and live lives pleasing to him we will be ready when Jesus returns.
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, thank you for these smoke detectors that wake us up and warn us when there is a fire. Thank you for sending John the Baptist to prepare the way and wake people up in preparation for Jesus. We know that if we have our hearts right before you we will be ready to welcome Jesus this Christmas and we’ll also be ready to see him when he returns to earth again. In Jesus Name – Amen!

Copyright sundaychildrensfocus.com   Andrew Hewlett 2008 Feel free to use this at your Church Service or Sunday school but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus and consider putting a link to this site. Blessings, A.H.  or "like" us on facebook










 

Mary's Song about the Kingdom of God- The Magnificat -


The upside down Kingdom      The Song of Mary

Text for Advent 4: Luke 1: 39-45
(The following object lesson can be used for in a children's sermon or for an introduction to an Advent Sunday school lesson)
 
Object lesson idea: Have some pictures of very sophisticated people and very poor and humble people. Have the children arrange them in order of importance. Kings and rulers on top and poor people on bottom. Explain how the coming of Jesus turns this world order “upside down.” Get the children to look through a magnifying glass that is held out at arms length. This will make everything look upside down. Jesus shows us that the worlds system and values are upside down.
 
Object Lesson items: Magnifying glass, Pictures of sophisticated people and poor people.
 
Children’s Sermon / Object lesson: Good morning children! This morning’s bible reading from Luke 1 is called Mary’s song or “the magnificat.” Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Mary is saying that her son to be born (Jesus) is going to “turn the world upside down.” To show you what this is like I’ll be using this magnifying glass. But first look at these pictures. Help me arrange them from top to bottom according to importance. (Pin the pictures on a board or get the children to hold them up.) That’s right; this person in the very fancy car would go on top. Yes, this poor person would go down here. (Get all the pictures in the “right” order.”) This certainly is the way that most people see things; the rich and famous on top and the poor and helpless at the bottom. However, the bible teaches us that Jesus turned things upside down. Jesus wasn’t that impressed by rich and glamorous people and he had a love and compassion for the helpless. Jesus saw the world very differently than other people. I’ll show you what I mean. Look at this magnifying glass. It’s used for making small things look big. But if you hold it out at arms length it makes things look upside down. (Hold it about two feet in front of the children so that they can see that it makes things look upside down.) Jesus looked at people differently. (Look through the magnifying glass at the ordered pictures) Now when I look at these pictures I see the poor people at the top and the rich and sophisticated people at the bottom.  Now the famous people look like they are at the bottom and the poor people are at the top. The way of Jesus and his kingdom makes the way of the world seem upside down. If you have a magnifying glass at home trying looking through it like this. When it makes things look upside down remember that this is like Jesus’ kingdom. In his kingdom many things are “upside down” compared to the world.

Children’s prayer. Dear God, we are so thankful that even though we are not rich or famous we are still very important to you. Help us to see the world the same way that you see it. Help us to follow Jesus and live the way you want us to live even when others may not understand. - In Jesus’ name. Amen!
 
 (Note: I realize I’ve used some big words here. Please substitute words that are appropriate for your audience. I’ll fix it up when I have some time)


Copyright sundaychildrensfocus.com  Andrew Hewlett  Feel free to use this on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus and consider linking to this site. A.H.

 

 

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