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April 2013

Feed My Lambs

3rd Sunday of Easter

From “Scolding the Snakes”

Scripture Reference: John 21:15-19

Do koalas count as “lambs” sometimes?

Preparation: Bring a plastic bottle filled with water, and set it in plain view a short distance (but out of reach), from where you will sit with the children.

Can one of you tell me the name of someone you love? (Call on several volunteers.) What sorts of things do you do to show these people that you really love them? (Let volunteers share.) There are lots of things we can do to show people we love them. Your parents love you very much. What kinds of things do they do for you that show their love? (Let children describe.) When we care about someone, we can’t help but do nice things for them. When we love people, we help them, don’t we? And that’s especially important when our loved ones can’t do something by themselves and need our help.

Let’s pretend right now, that my legs don’t work and I am really thirsty. I can’t get up and get my water bottle over there. (Indicate water bottle.) How do you suppose I could get that water? (Let children offer suggestions until one gets the hint and goes to get the water for you.) I can’t reach the water, though some of you can. And now someone has gone to get the water for me. Thank you. (Take a drink of water and then continue.)

We could have talked for a long time about how you all would be able to help me, but if nobody had gotten up to get the water, I’d still be thirsty, right? After Jesus had risen from the dead, he appeared to his disciples several times. One of the last times he was with them, he asked Simon Peter a question. “Simon, son of John,” Jesus said, “do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. Jesus repeated his question three times, so it must have been very important. (John 21:15-17 NLT).

Do you know what Jesus was really telling Peter? Peter knew. Jesus was really talking about people. “Feed my lambs” means “help my people.” The world is full of people who are hungry to hear the good news that Jesus came to save them from the bad things in their hearts. But if people who know about Jesus—people like Peter and like us—never share that good news, it is like a water bottle that is out of reach. The news won’t do them any good. Somebody has to be willing to talk about Jesus to these hungry people. We feed Jesus’ lambs when we tell people about God.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, help us to feed your lambs. Help us to tell people about your love. In your name we pray. Amen

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