For the Second Sunday of Advent
From “Sitting on the Rainbow”
Preparation: You may want to ask adult volunteers to help you with the big group hug at the end of the sermon.
It’s the second Sunday in Advent, isn’t it? During Advent, we wait for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. Sometimes it feels like we have to wait for a long time. If you have ever waited a long time for your mom or dad to get home and you’ve been missing them, you might feel sad and want to be comforted. What happens when you finally see each other again? How would your mom or dad give you comfort? (Let children respond.) Do they wrap their arms around you? It feels good when we can get a hug from someone. A hug is a real comfort to us when we’ve been waiting for someone.
There’s a verse in the Old Testament book of Isaiah that says, “Comfort, comfort my people . . . speak tenderly. . . . [The Lord] will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young” (Isa. 40:1–2, 11 nlt).
When Isaiah says, “He will gather the lambs in his arms,” who do you think those lambs are? (Wait for answer.) You are God’s lambs, and he is your shepherd. When you’re lonely or sad, God wants to take you in his arms and comfort you. But sometimes we can’t feel God’s hugs. So who can God use to give us hugs for him? (Children may respond.) Yes, we get hugs from our parents, our brothers and sisters, and friends—we get hugs from people who care about us.
Do you think God is big enough to hug the whole world? Yes, God is big enough to hold all of his lambs at one time. How many people can you hug at once? Can you get your arms around just one person at a time, or can you hug two people at once? If your arms were really long, you could maybe hug three or four people at once.
I know I can hug at least one person. I’ll show you, if someone would volunteer to be hugged. (Give one volunteer a hug.) And I’m pretty sure that I can hug two people at once. (Give two volunteers a hug.) But in order to hug all of you at once, the way our Father in heaven can, I will need some help. (Have your volunteer adults come forward to help out.) Now let’s see if we can give all of God’s lambs a hug at the same time, the way God can. (Give a group hug.)
That was a very big hug, wasn’t it? Remember that God is bigger than any sadness or loneliness, and he can comfort all of us, but he needs people to help him give hugs. Will you remember to give out plenty of hugs today? After our prayer, you can go back to your places and give someone a hug.
Prayer: We thank you, our Lord and Comforter, that you care about us and want to hold us close. Help us to show others your love.