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April 2012

Show Your Love

Fourth Sunday of Easter

From “Sitting on the Rainbow”

Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud

Scripture Reference: 1 John 3:16-24

Preparation: Bring a large, brightly colored valentine and a warm jacket to help illustrate your talk.

If you wanted someone to know you loved him or her, what would you say? (Let children respond.) You could simply say, “I love you.” Then they would know. Or you could write “I love you” on a piece of paper. Even though Valentine’s Day is past, I brought a valentine with me, because sending a valentine is another way to tell someone, “I love you.”

What if you couldn’t speak and you couldn’t write? Would you still be able to let people know that you loved them? (Let children respond.) There are lots of other ways to tell people you love them. You could give them a hug or a kiss. You could smile at them or maybe even hold their hand.

It’s easy for most of us to show love to members of our family or to friends; but God wants us to love all his children, even those who aren’t family or close friends. This doesn’t mean that you need to hug everyone you meet—although I’m sure that would make the world a happier place. But it does mean that God wants us to be ready to help others that might be in real need.

1 John 3, verses 17 and 18 read, “But if anyone who has money enough to live well, and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions” (nlt). When John says, “Dear children,” he’s talking to grownups, too, because we are, all of us, children of God.

So if you saw a man shivering in the cold outside, and you wanted to show that person you loved him, which of these two things would you give him? (Hold up both the valentine and the jacket.) Would you give that cold man a valentine with “I love you” written on it, or would you give him a warm jacket? (Let the children answer.) The gift of a warm jacket would be a better way to show your love to that man, wouldn’t it?

Of course, you don’t have to wait until you see someone shivering in the street to show your love. You can give offering money to help feed people who don’t have enough to eat or to help buy Bibles for those who wouldn’t get one otherwise. You can show your love for your parents by helping them and doing chores without complaining. When you get home, you and your parents can talk about ways to show love to others by helping them.

Little children, let us show our love by our actions.

Prayer:  Dear God of love, help us tell others that we love them by using both our words and our actions. Thank you for showing your love for us by sending your Son, Jesus.

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