Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud
Scriptures: Psalm 30:5 and Psalm 136
Preparation: Pick a gloomy, cloudy Sunday to give this children’s sermon, and bring a large, dark umbrella that you can hide under as you call the children forward to hear your message.
It seems like it’s been raining for such a long time, and I don’t know when it’s going to stop. It’s been raining so much, that I’m pretty sure it will even start raining indoors, so I am ready for it. I’ve opened my umbrella and I am going to stay under it, indoors and out.
In fact, I haven’t seen the sun for such a long time, I don’t think that the sun even exists anymore. When I look outside, all I see is clouds. There’s no sun at all. If I said that the sun no longer existed, what could you say to convince me that I was wrong? How do you know the sun is out there, even though we can’t see it? (Let children share their ideas. They may explain that it became lighter this morning, or that they have seen the sun come out after days of rain.)
Do you think I should stay hidden under this umbrella? Is the sun really gone for good? (Pause for response.) Of course not. I was being a bit silly in pretending that there was no sun, wasn’t I? If this was a magical umbrella, and just by holding onto it, I could fly up into the sky, through the clouds and above the clouds, what do you suppose I would see? If I could fly above the clouds, I would see the sun!
Airplanes sometimes do that… they fly right up through the clouds and there is the sun shining brightly. It was there all along, but we just couldn’t see it. Sometimes we lose faith that God is there. When we have very sad times in our lives, it is almost as if the sun has disappeared. We might feel that God has gone away and doesn’t care about us anymore. Does God really go away during the sad times in our lives? He loves us at all times, even when we don’t feel God’s presence…. even when life is very sad. Just like the sun is always there, above the clouds, God is always here with us.
Psalm 136 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever.” And Psalm 30 promises that even though weeping and crying may last all night, joy comes in the morning. There is always hope and God is always there for us.
I guess I really don’t need to hide under this umbrella. (Close your umbrella.) It may still be raining outside, but the clouds will eventually move aside and we will be able to see the sun again. The sad times will eventually be over, and the joy of God’s love will shine in us again.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, please help us through the sad times of our lives. Remind our hearts to always have hope and to know that your love never leaves us.