Loss or Gain

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

From “Barefoot in the Snow”

From weddingsoon.co.uk

From weddingsoon.co.uk

Scripture Reference: Mark 8:27-35
Preparation: (Optional) Bring in a large gemstone or glass cut to look like a gemstone. You could have smaller glass gemstones to hand out to the kids at the very end of the message to remind them that their lives belong to Jesus.

Have any of you ever lost something? (Let children share their stories.) If you lose something, is it gone for good? You may never find it again, but sometimes something that we’ve lost does come back to us, doesn’t it? It feels pretty good to find something we thought was lost forever.

Imagine that each of us has a beautiful, precious jewel. It is our most prized treasure. We polish it every day, we admire it, and we keep it with us all the time. (Invite children to pretend to hold a precious jewel in their hands.) This jewel is our life. The jewel is a treasure that we dearly love but each of us knows that it has been given to us by God. One day, Jesus asks us to give the jewel back to him. Would you give Jesus your precious, sparkling jewel? Would it be difficult to do?

When we give up something that we dearly love, it is called a sacrifice. It may be very hard to do, but let’s pretend that each of us is able to give up our jewel. We give it to Jesus, and we are happy to give him our very best. (Have children offer their “jewels” to Jesus by raising their hands up to heaven.) Do you know what Jesus has to give to each of us in exchange for that one precious jewel? A crown of jewels awaits each of you in heaven. (Reach up and make a circle with your hands, representing a crown, and place the ‘crown’ on your head. Invite children to do the same.) God loves each one of you so much and wants to give you more than you can imagine.

Jesus once said, “If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the good news, you will find true life” (Mark 8:35 nlt).

The jewel that you treasure and want to keep is your life and the plans that you have for your future. Your life is very special and unique. Each one of you shines like a jewel. Jesus asks each of us to live for him and to give up our lives for him. But when we lose our lives to Jesus, what do we find? We find that Jesus gives back to us a life full of joy and love and thankfulness. For a single jewel, we have been given a splendid crown of many jewels. When you give your life to Jesus, it is not losing, it is gaining.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, we return to you what you have first given us. Use our lives to help others and tell people about your love.

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