The Pharisee and the Tax Collector: Who went away justified? 

Sunday School lesson: Luke 18:9-14  
 
Short Children’s Sermon – Drama / Skit idea: This parable lends itself well for doing a very simple drama.
Have two volunteers act out the part. Minimal preparation is needed. Have one individual knell down and pray, “God, have mercy on me a sinner.” Have the “Pharisee” brag on how wonderful and righteous he is. Ask the children to guess who went away right before God. Explain to the children the importance of confession and humility.
 
Object lesson items needed: None. Have a very short pre service instruction for your two actors.
 
Short Children’s skit / Drama
Good morning Children! Our Bible reading this morning is from Luke 18:9-14. In the passage Jesus tells a story / parable to teach us the danger looking down on others and boasting about how good we are. This morning I have some helpers that are going to act out this story for us. (Invite your actors to come and stand up front.) Jesus told a story about two people going up to the temple (that’s like their church) to pray. The first person was a very religious man. Jesus said that when he prayed he really prayed about himself. (Gesture to the first actor to pray his boastful prayer outlining all his religious credits.) Then the tax collector (or the person who was known to be very bad) stood at a distance and did not even look up to heaven to pray. (Gesture to the “tax collector” to pray his short and humble prayer: “God have mercy on me a sinner.”) Now children, I have a question for you. Which of these two people pleased God? (Or perhaps, “went away closer to God.”) Well, I think most of you are correct. The religious person really wanted to make himself look good. The bad tax collector knew that he needed God’s love and forgiveness and really wanted to change.
Children, we can’t fool God by trying to make ourselves look better than we are. It’s always best to be honest, say we are sorry to God, and ask for his forgiveness and help.
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, we know that we always need your love and forgiveness. Thank you that we don’t need to pretend we are better than everyone else. In Jesus’ name – Amen
 
Copyright 2010 Sundaychildrensfocus.com Feel free to use this children’s talk but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking to this site. Thank you. A.H.







 

Pray and don’t give up!              Luke 18:1-8   

 
 

Children’s sermon idea: Bring in an object related to an activity that involves waiting: Fishing, bird watching, etc. Explain the importance of waiting and not giving up. Discuss how Jesus told us to always pray and not give up.

(Note: Although I would normally talk about the elements of the text, the concept of the unjust judge is rather complex. My understanding is that it is a rabbinic “from the lesser to the greater” form of argument that westerners find hard to grasp.)
 

Object lesson items: A pair of binoculars (for bird watching), a fishing rod (for fishing) or some other appropriate object.

 
Full Children’s talk: Good morning children. Look what I have here. (Hold up the binoculars.) Does anyone know what these are? That’s right, they are binoculars and they are used for looking at things far away. It makes far away things look bigger. I like to use these for bird watching. Perhaps I want to find a beautiful bird like an eagle. I take up my binoculars (demonstrate to the kids) and slowly look around in the sky and through the tree tops. Sometimes I find one right away but most of the time I have to wait a while. I have to be patient and not give up. Often I make a cup of tea and sit in chair and then I wait and watch. Usually after a while I find what I was looking for. Sometimes though, I don’t find my eagle but I do see some other beautiful bird I didn’t expect! The most important thing with bird watching is that you have to wait and not give up. If you just picked up the binoculars, looked for five seconds and then gave up you would probably be disappointed. I’m telling you this because in our bible reading for today Jesus tells the disciples that they should always pray and not give up. That’s important to learn because answers to prayer don’t always happen right away. We don’t want to give up. God wants us to keep talking to him even if our prayers are not answered right away or are not answered in the way we expect.
 
Children’s prayer: Dear God, we know that you can hear us when we pray. When there is something we are asking for help us not to give up but to keep on praying. We know that you love us and will answer our prayers in your time and in the way that is best for us. In Jesus’ name – Amen!

Copyright 2010 Sundaychildrensfocus.com  Andrew Hewlett    Feel free to use this lesson on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus and consider linking to this site. Thank you.   A.H.



 

 

Mustard Seed Faith -

You can do wonderful things even with a small amount of faith in God.   ((Please note: For the Mark 4: 26-34 text the emphasis is on the amazing Kingdom of God that starts from very small humble beginnings. As a visual aid you could show a very small seed and then show a large bush or plant that comes from the small seed. Then perhaps explain how the wordwide family of God started from the simple preaching of God's Word or message. ))
 
Lectionary – Luke 17: 5-10 A tiny mustard seed is held between the index finger and the thumb. A perfect illustration of Jesus' teaching in the Bible.
 
Idea for the Children’s Sermon / Sunday school lesson introduction: Here’s my angle on this text: Even little children with “small sized” faith in God can still do big and wonderful things. To illustrate this have a big and strong person go over to your church lighting switch and show how they can turn all the big lights on and off. Then bring a very young child over and show how they can do the same thing. Even “little sized” strength can turn the big lights on and off. It is the same with our faith / trust in God. Even if we are a young child with “little sized faith” God hears our small prayers and will help us to do great things for Him.
 
Object Lesson props:  Some small seed to be “mustard seed.” Light switches that turn on and off your church lighting system. (Alternatively, any switch where a small action with have a big effect: Hitting a note on the piano, speaking into a microphone, etc.) -- Another alternative would be to use a small (mustard seed size) door key and demonstrate how it can unlock doors.
 
Full Children’s Talk / Sermon: Good morning children! (Hold up your “mustard seed.”) Do you see this? You’ll have to look very hard. It’s mustard seed. In our bible reading from Luke 17:5-10 Jesus told his disciples that even if they had faith in God the size of this little mustard seed they would be able to do big and wonderful things with God’s help. I’ll try to show you how this might work. I want you all to follow me over to this spot in the wall where we have the light switches to our church. Did you know that these little switches / buttons can turn on and off all those big lights up there? I’ll get someone to help me out. There are a lot of big lights up there so I’d better get someone big and strong. Mr. Jones, you are very big and strong so I would like you to come and help me turn these big lights on. (Just for fun you could suggest he do some isometrics to pump up his muscles for the big job of turning on the lights. Then have Mr. Jones demonstrate how he can turn the lights on and off.) That’s pretty amazing that you can do that! However, I want to show you something that is even more amazing. I need someone who is very small to help me out. Yes, thank you Judith. Now, I’m going to hold you up in the air and I want you to see if you can turn these big lights on and off. You did it! That’s great. That’s pretty amazing. Even though you are very young and not strong like Mr. Jones, you can still turn all these big lights on and off. Let’s give Judith a cheer. Let’s go back to the front of the church. What Judith just did reminds me of what Jesus taught about faith and prayer. Jesus said that even if our faith was a very “small child faith” like this mustard seed (hold it up) we could still do big and wonderful things. God wants to do big and wonderful things through “little faith” people like you and me. We don’t have to wait until we have a big strong faith.
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God. We know that you have all the power in the world and in the universe.
Thank you that even though we are small people, you hear our prayers, and together we can do amazing things. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
 
Copyright 2010 SundayChildrensFocus.com   Andrew Hewlett   Feel free to use this on Sunday morning by please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus and consider bookmarking and / or linking your web page to this site. Blessings, A.H.

Thanksgiving: The story of the Ten Lepers


– Luke 17:11-19    
 
Children’s Story idea: Discuss with the children the importance of saying thank you. With a helper demonstrate various ways we do that; giving pat on the back, shaking a hand, giving a hug, and giving a thank you card. Explain that it is important to give thanks to God. (Give a short paraphrased account of the ten lepers mentioned in Luke’s gospel.) Suggest that the easiest way to give thanks to God is to simple say “Thank you” in prayer.
 
Object lesson items : Have another person help you so you can demonstration the ways of saying “thank you.” Bring a thank you card.
 
Full Children’s Story / Sunday School lesson starter:
Good morning children! Do you know what special time of year it is? That’s right. It’s thanksgiving. Although we always want to give thanks to God this is a special time of remembering all the wonderful things God has provided for us. (You could ask the children to suggest things they are thankful for.) There are many ways we give thanks to other people. Jonathan, please come up front with me. If I was very thankful to Jonathan I could give him a slap or pat on the back. (Give a demonstration as you say thank you.) You could say thank you and give a big hug (Demonstrate). You could shake their hand and say thank you (Demonstrate). Or, you could give then a card or a little gift as a way of saying thank you. (Demonstrate).  But how do we give thanks to God? (Let the children suggest some creative ways of giving thanks.) Those are some wonderful ideas. I’ll tell you what I think is the easiest say to give thanks to God. I think the easiest way is simply to say “Thank you God.” We can’t actually shake God’s hand or send him a card. However, we know God hears our prayers so we can always say “thank you” in prayer. In the Bible the gospel of Luke tells us that one day Jesus healed 10 lepers (people who were very sick). He did a wonderful miracle and healed them all. But do you know how many came back and said thank you to Jesus? (Let them guess.) That’s right, there was only one!
You would have thought the other nine would have at least said “thank you” to Jesus.
Boy and girls, God has provided so many things for us in life. We have friends, family, food to eat, houses to live and a wonderful country to live in. We have so much to be thankful for. Let’s take the time right now to thank God for all that we have.
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, we have so many good things in our life. Thank you for food, friends, our families, sunshine, flowers, and good things like chocolate cookies. But most of all, thank you for your Son Jesus. He loves us so much and has done so much for us. In Jesus’ name – Amen!




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