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The Greatest Command – Love God and Love your neighbour   Matt 22: 34-46 or Mark 12:28-34

 
Idea for Youth group talk or Children’s sermon:   
Show the children a “Guinness book of world records.” Ask them is they know what is the greatest
(fill in the blank) in the world. Test them on some fun facts about greatness. Explain how the religious teachers tested Jesus by asking him what was the greatest commandment of all. Discuss with the children how Jesus said the greatest command of all was to love God and to love others.
 
Object lesson items: A Guinness book of world records. (Ask families who have children. This is a popular book. You can also find it at the library.)
 
Children’s sermon / Sunday school lesson introduction:
Good morning children! I’m going to show you a very interesting book I have here this morning. It’s called the “Guinness book of world records.” Have you heard of this book? It is full of world record holders. It lists the greatest athlete in the world, the greatest hamburger, the greatest painter, and the greatest roller skater. (Show some pictures to the children and have some fun. Then ask them some “test” questions about greatness.) Who do you think is the greatest singer of all time? What is the greatest rock and roll band of all time?
(You might even mention that the Bible is mentioned as the best selling book of all time.)
 
Today’s bible reading from the gospel of Matthew tells how the religious leaders asked a “test” question to Jesus. They asked him what was the greatest commandment of all. Of course, Jesus knew the answer! He said that the greatest commandment was to “love God and to love others.”  He said that the whole message of their bible (the Law and the Prophets) was about the importance of loving God and loving others. That is important for us to know too. It’s nice to know who is the greatest hockey player, what is the greatest country in the world and what is the greatest book in the world. Yet, it is most important that we know the greatest commandment is to love God and love others.  
 
Children’s prayer: Dear God, Jesus taught that the greatest command of all. With the help of your Holy Spirit help us to obey this command to truly love you and to love others. In Jesus’ name – Amen!


Copyright 2011 sundaychildrensfocus.com Andrew Hewlett  Feel free to use this Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus and consider linking to the web site.  Thank you!  A.H.
Resources for Sunday School / Children's Church   

Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar - Give to God what belongs to God (Matt 22: 15-22

Idea for Children’s Sermon:
Show the children a coin and demonstrate how you can “flip a coin” and make a decision by guessing “Heads” or “Tails.” Explain how you can trick a person by saying “Heads I win, Tails you loose.” Tell the children about how some religious leaders tried to trick Jesus and get him in trouble with a coin. If the children are very young you might want to simply go with the idea that it was impossible for them to out-smart Jesus.
 
(Note: R.T France, N.T. Wright and J. Nolland all have a slightly different take on this passage. You may want to adjust the ending to fit your own theological take on things. I would be very easy to confuse the kids with a bunch of religious theo-babble.)
 
Complete Children’s sermon
Good morning children! (Show them a coin.) Do you know what this is? That’s right. It is a quarter. When I was young, I played soccer. We would flip a coin in the air like this (demonstrate) to decide what team would start with the ball. This side of the coin (show them) would be “heads.” You can see the head of George Washington (or the Queen if you are in Canada). This other side we would call “tails.” One player would chose “heads” or “tails,” and then we would flip the coin to see which side landed face up. The winner of the coin toss would get to start the game and pick which side of the field to start begin. (Ask one of the children to make a choice and then flip the coin.) Your right! When I was young, we would often flip a coin if we needed to make a decision. Sometimes we would play a little trick on each other. Perhaps there were two of us and we had only one candy. We needed to flip a coin to see who was going to get the candy. However, the person would say, (listen carefully) “Heads I win – tails you loose.” Can you see that this would mean that the other person would always loose. It was a way of tricking the person.
 
In our bible reading today some religious leaders tried to trick Jesus with a coin. They asked him if money should go to Caesar the ruler, or to God. Some of the people there felt money should go to Caesar and some felt it should not. They really wanted to trick Jesus and get him in trouble. However, Jesus was too smart for them. He said to them, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God.” Jesus was letting them know that they could not trick him. He was the one in control. I think he was also reminding them that they had not been very faithful in offering their lives to God.
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, help us always to use our money and everything we have to please you. We know that no one can trick you so help us to always be honest with you and your son Jesus. In Jesus’ name – Amen!


Copyright 2011 Sundaychildrensfocus.com Andrew Hewlett  - Feel free to use this on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking to this site. Thank you! A.H.
The Authority of Jesus questioned
 
Children’s Sermon idea:
After welcoming the children / youth arrange to be interrupted by “Jesus.” (Someone who might look like Jesus and wear a long robe. In order to make it clear they could wear a sign, “JESUS.”) After Jesus asks to speak to the children explain that this is YOUR time for teaching and that he will have to find something else to do. Have fun with the interaction. Then debrief with the children and explain how crazy it would be to tell Jesus that he is not allowed to teach. It’s His Church and he is God the Son! Give a short explanation of the Matt 21:23-28 and remind that children that he is the most important person in the church and in our lives.
 
Object lesson items / props: This involves some dramatic preparation. Pick someone to be Jesus. They could wear a bathrobe with a sign that says “Jesus.”
 
Full (Free!) Kids Sermon:
Good morning children! This morning I would like to talk to you about our bible reading from Matthew chapter 21…(Make this the cue for JESUS to come up front and interrupt you by asking to speak to the children. ) “Excuse me, I’m Jesus and I would like to speak to the children this morning.” (Look startled and perplexed.) Wow. It’s great to have you hear Jesus but it is actually my job to speak to the children on Sunday mornings. “But I have something important to say to the children…” Well, you need to understand that I was hired to be the pastor (or youth group teacher) of this church so I don’t think you should be doing my job. “But I just want to tell my children about my love…” Hey! I think you should go now before you put me out of a job…(User Jesus off to the side.)
 
(Let’s give Mr____ a big hand for helping me out with this little drama.)
 
Children, that was just a fun little drama to remind us of how foolish it would be to tell Jesus that he couldn’t speak in our church. Of course we would want Jesus to speak to us. This is His church, He is our Saviour and we would always want to let him speak to us. Since He is the “Boss” it would be terrible if I didn’t let him speak in His church. However, that is what seemed to happen in our bible lesson today for Matthew chapter 21. The religious leaders got angry that Jesus was teaching the people. They said it was their job and not his. But we know that Jesus had been put in charge by God the Father. However, even though Jesus the most important person of all the leaders didn’t like him teaching the people.
 
Our little drama and the reading from the Bible should remind us that Jesus is the most important person the whole world. He is our boss or leader and the most important teacher of all. We should always read our Bible and learn more about Jesus the wonderful teacher. The good news is that he is still alive and guides us, leads us, and teaches us through the Holy Spirit.
 
Children’s Prayer: Thank you God for sending Jesus. Help us to learn from Him and follow him each day of our life. In Jesus’ name – Amen.

Copyright sundaychildrensfocus.com  2011 Andrew Hewlett   Feel free to use this on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus  

Jesus the Cornerstone: The stone the builders rejected

Lectionary: Matt 21:33-46       - For Jr. Youth, Sunday School or Children's church
 
Children’s Bible message – idea: Make a small tower out of building blocks or books. Explain the importance of the foundational “cornerstones” at the base of your structure. Discuss what might happen if blocks are removed. Ask them what would happen if one of your most important “cornerstones” were removed. Pull out one of these blocks making the structure fall. Explain how the bible says Jesus is like a “cornerstone.” Some people felt he was not needed but we know that he is the most important of all.
 
(Comment: Scholars are unsure whether this stone is a capstone at the top of an arch, a traditional cornerstone or the locking capstone at the top of intersecting walls. Whatever is the right interpretation the basic message is the same.)
 
Object lesson items: Building blocks, boxes or Hymns books. Place 3 or 4 key “stones” at the bottom of the structure so that your building will fall if one is removed.
 
Complete Children’s Sermon: Good morning children! Look what I have in this box this morning. Do you know what these are? Right! They are building blocks. When I was young, I used to love building things with blocks like these. Let’s make a building this morning. (Start by making the appropriate foundation and then ask the children to help you build the structure.) Please give me a hand. Thank you for helping. It’s looking like a nice building. Let’s make it nice and tall. Now, what would happen if I took one of these blocks of the very top? That’s right. I don’t think it would matter that much. Do you see these “stones” at the bottom? These are “cornerstones.” They are very important. What do you think will happen if I removed one of these cornerstones? Hmmm. Let’s find out. I’m going to take out this one and throw it away. (Let the building crash to the ground.) Wow! That was not a very good idea. It really came crashing to the ground. The cornerstone(s) is the most important stone of the whole building. Our bible reading today says that Jesus is like a cornerstone that the builders decided to throw away. However, that wasn’t very smart because Jesus was the most important “stone” of all. If we try, build our lives or a church without Jesus it will probably end up like this building here. So always remember to make Jesus the most important part of your life.
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God. Thank you for sending Jesus to be like a strong cornerstone on which we can build our lives. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
 
Copyright 2011 SundayChildrensFocus.com Andrew Hewlett - Feel free to use this lesson at your Sunday service but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking your web page to this site. Thank you. A.H.

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