Fifth Sunday of Easter
From “Sitting on the Rainbow”
Scripture Reference: 1 John 4:16-19
Can you think of a time when you were really afraid? What was it that made you scared? (Let children share.) When did you stop being scared? What was it that comforted you or made you stop being afraid? (Children can tell about their experiences.) When we are scared, it can make all the difference in the world to have someone who loves us close by. Knowing that someone loves us and is there to protect and comfort us can make our fear disappear.
(You may discuss fearful times the children might have experienced, or you may share a time when you felt afraid and then comforted. My example follows.) When my mother was a little girl, she lived on a farm in northern Minnesota. She had to walk to and from school, which was about a mile away. One day, in the middle of winter, a blizzard blew in from the north. When school let out and they started home, it was snowing heavily and the wind was blowing very hard right in their faces. They knew they would have to walk all the way across a frozen lake to reach home. My mother was afraid they wouldn’t make it, that they might get lost in the snow and never reach home. Suddenly, all her fears disappeared. There, right in front of them, stood her father with a toboggan ready to pull them home. He tucked my mother, her brother, and her sister into the sled and covered them up with a big buffalo-skin robe. Then he pulled them all the way home.
There are many things in our world that might make us feel afraid. But do you ever feel afraid of God? (Talk about the responses to this question.) Do you think that God wants us to be afraid of him? The Bible tells us that God is love and that there is no fear in love. 1 John, chapter 4, says that if we really understand God’s love for us and let ourselves be wrapped up in that love, then we will have no fear.
God does not want us to be afraid of him. He wants us to know that he loves us so much that we need to have no fear at all. God is love, and when his love fills us, there is no room left for fear.
God does not want us to be afraid of other things in this world either. Of course, we should stay away from dangerous things so that we don’t get hurt. You shouldn’t ever touch a gun or take drugs that your parents or doctor haven’t given to you. But being careful is much different from being afraid. God wants us to live our lives without fear. God has promised to be with us always; nothing in the whole world can take God’s love away from us. The next time that you start to feel afraid, remember that God is there, God’s love is surrounding you, and there is no need to be afraid.
Prayer: Surround us with your perfect love, dear God, and help us to live our lives with no fear. Thank you for wrapping us up in your love.