Follow Me

For the Third Sunday after Epiphany

Gospel Reading

Scripture Reference: Mark 1:14 – 20

Preparation: (Optional) Bring outreach pamphlets or invitations to your church. Have them ready to pick up by your designated exit door.

Good morning everyone! Nice to see you all this morning. OK, we’ve got to get busy. Everyone, FOLLOW ME! (Get up and immediately start down the aisle or walk towards the nearest exit. When you get to the door, turn around to see how many of the children followed. At this point you may pick up the pamphlets and have the kids help carry them back to the front of the church.)

Come on back to the front of the church. I was checking to see how quickly you all were able or willing to follow me. Today’s Gospel lesson talks about how Jesus called his first disciples to come and follow him. It sounds like he did not have to call twice. He called two brothers who worked as fishermen, Simon and his brother Andrew, and they threw down their nets and followed him. Then he walked up to two other brothers, James and John and told them, “Follow me.” They also dropped their nets and followed Jesus.

I wonder how many of us would be so quick to drop what we were doing to follow Jesus? How many of you jump right out of bed as soon as your alarm clock rings or as soon as your mom or dad says that it’s time to get up? Raise your hand if you jump right out of bed in the morning. (Acknowledge any raised hands.) Okay, now I’m going to ask the parents in the congregation… How many of you have kids that immediately follow your instructions in the morning to get up?  (Note any discrepancies in the responses.) When we are called to do what we are supposed to do, we don’t always respond right away, do we?

I think Mark is pointing out something very important in these verses that describe Jesus calling his first disciples. It is a message to us. Jesus is calling each one of us. I hope that we can be like those fishermen and we can realize that the call of Jesus is more important than anything else we are doing with our lives. Following Jesus is the most important thing we will ever do. Of course, Jesus is in heaven now, not walking around on the earth, so we can’t follow him just like the disciples did, but we can follow Jesus with our hearts. We can follow Jesus by inviting him into our hearts and living the way God wants us to live. May God give us the strength and the wisdom to always put Jesus first in our lives. (Here you may send each child back to their places with several invitations to church to hand out to friends and neighbors. Remind them that those first disciples became “fishers of men.”)

Prayer:  Dear Father in heaven, help us to be eager followers of Jesus. Help us to keep Jesus as the first and most important thing in our lives always and forever.

2 comments to Follow Me

  • Max Coates

    Seems to me to be a big gap in your sermon to kids. The ‘follow me’ stories in the Bible have people literally following Jesus. You start your ‘follow me’ kids sermon by getting the kids to literally follow you. Your third para talks about ‘drop what we are doing and follow Jesus’, then hope we can be like the fishermen, who in the biblical record, literally followed Jesus.
    At this stage you have impressed on the children that they should literally follow Jesus… which just is not literally possible for them, which I imagine is very confusing. Could you re-write the end of your kids sermon with something like…. “Clearly we can’t follow Jesus like the fisherman did, because Jesus is no longer on the Earth – he is in heaven. However we can follow Jesus by ………”

    • ruth

      Dear Max,

      Thank you for your perceptive comments. I will take a look at that sermon again and see if I can rewrite it to make it more clear. I appreciate you taking the time to point that out. Blessings to you in your ministry!

      In Christ,

      Ruth

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