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The Reminder

string on finger6th Sunday of Easter

From “Scolding the Snakes”

Scripture Reference: John 14:26
Preparation: Tie colored yarn around three of your fingers as visual reminders. You may cut extra lengths of yarn and bring these to hand out to children at the end of the sermon.

Why do you suppose I have these colored strings tied around my fingers? (Hold your hand up and let children guess.) Sometimes people tie strings around their fingers to remind them of something. Let’s say you have to bring your turtle to school for show-and-tell. You want to be sure you don’t forget, so you tie a string around your finger before you go to bed. In the morning, you see the string and remember to bring the turtle.

I don’t have to remember anything for show-and-tell, but I do have to remember some important things every day. Would you like to know what my strings remind me of? (Point to each string as you explain the following.) This one reminds me that Jesus said, “You should love each other just as much as I love you.” Another string reminds me that Jesus said, “Whenever you feed the hungry in my name, it’s as if you are feeding me.” Another string helps me remember that Jesus said, “Love your enemies and do good to those who hurt you.” All of these strings remind me of important things Jesus said—things that I want to be sure to do.

The Gospel lesson from the book of John tells us about another way God reminds us of Jesus’ words. Jesus told his disciples, “When the Father sends the Counselor . . . I mean the Holy Spirit . . . he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you” (NLT). So we don’t really need strings, do we? We have God’s Holy Spirit to help us remember Jesus’ words.

I’ll take these strings off now because I know the Holy Spirit will remind me of the things Jesus said. (Remove strings as you give the following examples.) If someone pushes you on the playground, the Holy Spirit might remind you that Jesus said we shouldn’t be mean to those who are mean to us. Instead, we should treat them with love, and love can help change mean persons of this world. And if you see somebody who’s poor and hungry, of what might the Holy Spirit remind you? (Let children answer.) Or, what if you see a classmate or friend who is lonely or sad? (Let children answer.) 

The Holy Spirit will remind us of Jesus’ words about loving one another, but we also have to remember to be good listeners and to listen for the Holy Spirit. So maybe I’ll keep just one string to remind me to listen to the Holy Spirit. And maybe you might want a little reminder to listen, too. (You may hand out strings to all the kids as reminders to listen.)

Prayer:  Lord, help us to listen to your reminders, and help us to love as Jesus loves us.

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