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Lectionary


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.



 

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!




 

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.

The Rich Man and Lazarus Luke 16:19-31

Money won’t get you to heaven    
 
Children’s Sermon idea: Bring in tools, instruments or other items and demonstrate their use. Highlight how they work very well for one use but not at all for another use. Show the children some money and explain how it can be used to purchase various item but that it doesn’t work at all as a means of getting into heaven.
(Note: Theologians are divided on the central meaning of the Rich Man and Lazarus. For this reason and because I’m speaking to a very young audience I’m avoiding a discussion about heaven and hell. Please forgive me for using more theological leeway than usual.)
 
Object lesson items: Suggestions: Guitar, toothbrush, money (bills and coins)
 
5 Minute Kids Sermon:
 
Good morning children. This morning I brought in some things to show you. I have a guitar, a toothbrush and some money. A guitar is very good a making a nice sound. (Play some chords.) But what if I wanted to use it to hammer a nail into the wall like this. (Pretend to hold the guitar and use it like a hammer.) That wouldn’t work at all! It’s good for playing music but it doesn’t work at all for hammering in nails. Look at this toothbrush. It works well for brushing my teeth. (Give a short demo.) However, what if I wanted to use it for a microphone? (Give a demon and pretend to speak into the toothbrush) Do you think it would work well? No! Of course it wouldn’t work. Now look what I have in this little bag. It’s money! Money is very useful because we can use it to buy things we need. We can use it to buy clothes, food, and gasoline for our cars. But what if I tried to use it to buy my way into heaven. Do you think it would work for that? No, of course not.
In our bible reading today Jesus told a story about a rich man who had so much money he could buy anything he wanted. The sad part about the story is that he seemed to think that his money would get him into heaven. He was very wrong and he ended up far away from God. Money can buy all kinds of good things but it won’t get you into heaven. It just doesn’t work for that.
 
Children’s Prayer: Thank you for the money that we have that can buy food, clothing and other important things, but help us always to remember that money can’t get us into heaven. Help us always to trust in your son Jesus for that.
 
Copyright Sundaychildrensfocus.com Andrew Hewlett   Feel free to use this story on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus and consider linking your church web site to this site. A.H.

Put God First!           You can’t serve God and money.      Luke 16:1-13
 
Children’s Sermon / Lesson idea: Show some familiar items (eg: socks and shoes / putting on toothpaste then brushing, batteries and a flashlight) to the children and ask them “what comes first?” Stress the importance of putting things in the right order. Discuss God and Money and explain how Jesus said it was important to put God first in life.
 
Object lesson items: Shoes and socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, flashlight and some batteries, etc. (Use your imagination) Finally bring in some money and something to represent God (Perhaps a cross, a bible, etc.) 
 
Short Children’s Sermon:
Good morning children! I brought some things in this morning that you may have seen before. Look at this. I’ve got a sock and a shoe. What would you say if I put the shoe on first and then tried to put the sock on after? That’s right. That’s a silly thing to do. It doesn’t work. You have to get the order right. You need to know what comes first. Here is something else I brought with me this morning. I’ve got a toothbrush and some toothpaste. Do you brush your teeth in the morning? Good. That’s important to do. What if you brushed your teeth and then put on the tooth paste? Would that be a good idea? Of course not. It’s important to put the toothpaste on before you brush you teeth. You have to know what comes first. I have two other things with me this morning. I’ve got a flashlight and some batteries. If it was dark and I was in a hurry to get some light would it work to take the flashlight and leave the batteries behind? No, of course not. You have to put the batteries in the flashlight or else it won’t shine the light. The batteries have to go inside first. You have to get things in the right order and know what comes first. Now, I brought in two other things this morning. I’ve have a Cross that reminds us of God / Jesus and I’ve got this pot of money (Give it a jingle so they hear the money). Jesus said that it was very important to get these in the right order if life is going to work right. If we put money first in life we end up in all kinds of trouble. Jesus said that it was important to put God first and not worry too much about money. He wanted us to make sure we put things in the right order!
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, help us to always put you ahead of money or anything else in life. Thank you that life will work when we put you first. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
 
Copyright Sundaychildrensfocus.com Andrew Hewlett 2010. Feel free to use this talk on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking to this site. Thanks. A.H




Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, Lost People      Luke 15: 1-10 
 
Kids Sermon idea: (for Sunday School or Children's Church)
Hide a coin such as a silver dollar and have the children help look for it. If time permits do the same with a toy sheep. Give a big cheer when you find it. Emphasize that when something is lost you always go and look for it. Explain how Jesus was always looking for people who were far away and who had lost God.
 
Object Lesson items: A silver dollar or other expensive looking coin. A small plush toy sheep.
 
Full Children’s Story: Good Morning Children! How many of you have ever lost something? Wow – most of you. What do you do when you loose something? Right! When something is lost you always go and look for it. Many years ago people wondered why Jesus was always heading off to look for people who were far away and had lost God. To explain why he was always looking for lost people he told a story about a person who had lost a very expensive coin and how that person looked very hard to find it because it was so valuable. Now this morning I lost a coin around the front of the church here. Would you please help me find it? (Have the children search for the lost coin and give them some hints if necessary.) When someone finds the lost coin give a big cheer and celebrate. (If you have the time, do the same with the toy sheep.) Jesus was saying that lost people were very valuable and that it was important to look for them when they were far away from God and lost. A person who had lost a valuable coin would look for it and be very happy when they found it. A shepherd who had lost a sheep would look for it and rejoice when it was found. And Jesus would always look for people who were lost a far away from God. He also said that when the person was found and came back to God there was great cheering and rejoicing in heaven.
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, thank you that Jesus was always looking for lost people. We need Jesus and lost people need him just as much. – In Jesus’ name – Amen!

Copyright 2010 Sundaychildrensfocus.com  Andrew Hewlett   Feel free to use this story on Sunday Morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus and consider linking this web page to you church web site. Blessings, A.H.

 
Simple Kids drama: -Take the lower place -  
 
Everyone who exalts himself with be humbled.” Luke 14:1, 7-14 – spontaneous drama
 
Children’s sermon / drama idea: Act out this teaching of Jesus. Have several chairs up front including one that is very big and fancy. Before the service ask 3 or 4 teens / adults to help you out by squabbling over who should to be in the best chair. (Alternately, use one adult “plant” and have the children fill the rest of the chairs) Note: The idea of “humbling” and “exalting” is probably a difficult concept for children to grasp. I’ll give it my best shot by staying with the drama / parable that Jesus actually used.
 
Object lesson / drama props: a number of regular chair and one that is bigger and fancier than the rest.
 
Children’s Church skit: Good morning children! Our bible lesson today is from the Gospel of Luke. In this bible passage we hear about how Jesus was invited to eat at the house of an important religious person. We are going to do a little drama to show you what happened. Now, I’ve ask Judith, Jonathan, Carol and Mr. Jones to help me out this morning. Will you come up front here please and take a seat.
(Then stand back and watch with the children; it will be fun for your chosen actors to argue why they should have the most important place.) “Jonathan, I think you should let me take the best place. I’ve been at this church longer than you and besides those smaller chairs don’t match my colour coordinated suit… No Mr. Jones, I think you should let me be in this place because my great grandmother donated a stained glass window this church… ” (They’ll get idea. When they are seated in the chairs explain to the children how this is a little like what happened that day at the Pharisee’s house) that was a bit of a silly argument wasn’t it children. But that is what happened that day when Jesus visited the house of the religious leader. They people were so concerned to pick the most important places at the dinner table. Jesus then told them a little story called a parable. I’ll show you what Jesus said to them. (Go over to the person who managed get the most important chair). Mr. Jones, I just realized that there is someone else that should have this chair. Would you please go and sit there on the floor. (Escort them out of the big chair and sit them down on the floor. Approach one of the children sitting on the floor.) Betty, you are new to this church I think you should come and sit up here in the place of honour!
On that day at the Pharisee’s house Jesus taught the people not to worry about being in the most important place. If we always try to take the best place we will probably end up being embarrassed because we might be sent to a lower place. However, if we don’t worry about trying to look important we may be honoured by being asked to move up higher. Jesus said that if we tried to make ourselves look important we will end up being in the least important place. If we try to honour others and don’t worry about looking better than others we will some day end up in the better place.
 
Children’s prayer: Dear God, help us not to worry about looking like the most important person. Thank you that all of us are important to you. Help us to do what pleases you and not worry about trying to impress others. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
 
Copyright 2010 Sundaychildrensfocus.com   Andrew Hewlett - Feel free to use this drama on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider placing a link on your church web site. Blessings, A.H.

 

Helping children get back to school with a mission perspective
 
(Interactive Sermon for Children’s church or as a Back to School - Sunday School lesson starter)  

-- Text suggestion: John 20:21 -23 "As the Father sent me, so I am sending you."
 
Children’s message idea: Bring up individuals serving as missionaries (or have served as missionaries) up in front with the children. Discuss the country in which they served and explain the missionaries help bring the good news of the Jesus Christ to those who don’t him. Pray for them. Then explain that the kids are like missionaries to their schools and school friends that don’t know about Jesus. Pray for and commission the children to be sent out as missionaries as they prepare to go back to school.
 
Object lesson items: Some individuals that are serving or have served as missionaries.
Alternate: Bring up a mission info board that has pictures of missionaries. (If you do this you could take the children’s picture and add it to the mission board under “missionaries to schools.”
 
Full Children’s Sermon: Good morning children! Today I want to introduce to you some very special people. This is Lori and Joke’ who serve as missionaries in the Philippines and Uganda with Precious Jewels Ministry. Missionaries are people who are sent out to bring the love of Jesus Christ to people in far away places. These two people serve as missionaries to very poor children who don’t have anyone to care for them. (|Consider interacting with the missionaries and let the children ask some questions. Have the children pray for them and the people with whom they serve.)
Now kids, you may not be going off to a far away country like these missionaries but did you know you are like a missionary too? Most of us here are getting ready to go back to school. We may discover that many of the kids there don’t know about Jesus and his love. I want you to think of yourselves as missionaries to your school. Your school is not in a far away land like the Philippines but the people in your class need to learn about Jesus and his love. Think of yourselves as being sent by God to help others know about the good news of Jesus and God’s wonderful love. Even if we are home schooled or go to a Christian school God will still send us to people who don’t know about God’s love made known in Jesus. A few minutes ago we prayed for these missionaries here. Now it’s time for us to pray for you young missionaries as you get ready to go back to school. (Have your missionaries and some other members of the congregation come forward to pray with you.)
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, thank you for missionaries that take the love of Jesus to far away places. As these children get ready to go back to school, send them out in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring the love of Jesus to all those who don’t know him. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
 
Copyright 2010 sundaychildrensfocus.com Andrew Hewlett   Feel free to use this on Sunday Morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking your church web page to this site. Thank you. A.H.

A Crippled Woman is healed on the Sabbath   Luke 13:10-17 
 
Children’s Sermon / Sunday school lesson idea: Bring in a wall calendar and discuss with the children the various chores you do on each day of the week. Include a day of rest. Explain that even though you like to keep to your schedule, any day (even the Sabbath) would be a good day for helping someone who was really in need. Tell the children how Jesus upset some people because he healed a crippled woman on the day of rest.
 
Object lesson items: A wall calendar or day timer.
 
Full Kids Sermon:
Good morning Children. Do you know what I have here this morning? Yes. It’s a calendar. See, it has the days of the week written across the top here. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday…Each day of the week has a little square. You might be able to see some of my writing inside some of these little boxes. On the various days of the week I’ve written in the special chores that I need to do for that day. On Monday, I’ve written in the words, “do the laundry today.” On Tuesday it says “take the dog for a walk.” (Continue to discuss the various days of the week.) Now this day here is Sunday – that’s today! It says “Go to church” and it also say “Rest and relax today.”
You might think that there should be a special day for helping people in need. What days of the week should be set aside for helping a person in need or in trouble? (Interact with the children.) Hmmm. The problem with setting aside special days for helping someone in trouble is that we don’t know when that might happen. What if someone needed to be taken to the hospital and we said, “Sorry, this is not my helping day?” That wouldn’t be very kind. Even if someone needed help on my day of rest I think it would be good to help the person.
 
In our bible reading today from the gospel of Luke there is a story about how Jesus healed a crippled woman on a special day of rest called the Sabbath. Some people were upset at Jesus doing this on the day of rest. But Jesus knew that everyday was a good day for helping people in trouble. Like us, Jesus needed to take time to rest, but he was always ready to help people in need or trouble.
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, help us to be ready to support people in trouble no matter what day of the week it is. Thank you that you are always there for us. In Jesus name – Amen!

Copyright - 2010 Sundaychildrensfocus.com - Andrew Hewlett   Feel free to use this on Sunday morning but please give credit to sundaychildrensfocus and consider linking your web page to this site. Thank you!  A.H.

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