First Sunday in Lent
From “Saving the Ants” (Download book at left!)
Scripture Reference: Matt. 4:1-11
Preparation: Preparation: Bring wrapped candies to pass out.
This morning, I want to find out how strong all of you are. Do you think you are stronger than something about the size of an ant? Could you beat an ant in a wrestling match? (Let children respond.) I’m sure you could! How about a little beetle? Are you stronger than a beetle? Probably.
Well, I’ve got something in my sack here that’s about this big. (Indicate with thumb and forefinger about one-half to one inch.) Do you think you’re stronger than something that big? Okay, I’ll show you what I have. Candies! No, I don’t want you to have a wrestling match with candy. I don’t want to see how strong these muscles are. (Indicate biceps.) I want to see how strong you are inside. We’re reading a lot of verses this Sunday about temptation. Does anyone know what temptation is? (Let children answer.) It’s seeing something that you really want, but knowing that you should not take it, or wanting to do something that you know you shouldn’t do. Has this ever happened to any of you? (Listen to stories offered.) I know it’s happened to all of us grown-ups here.
Temptation can be really tough to deal with. It’s hard to resist. Sometimes we really need to pray to God and ask for help. “Please God help me from taking that candy!” or “Dear God, I’m really mad at my sister and I want to hit her. Please help me not to!” With God’s help you can resist temptation. Now I’m going to give everyone of you a little temptation; and I’m going to ask you to not unwrap it or eat it until after the service and not until your feet have stepped outside of this church building, then it’s okay to eat it as long as your folks agree. So while you’re here in church, try to resist the temptation to eat it, because you’re really not supposed to eat in church. You’ve got to wait. If you can wait, then you’ve won a small battle and you will be stronger! (Hand out wrapped candies.)
Prayer: Lord, give us the strength to resist doing those things that we should not do. Now if you don’t think you’re strong enough, you can give your temptation to your folks to hold for you… that is as long as they’re strong enough to resist it. Okay, the resistance army can march back to their pews now. Be strong in the Lord!