Giving Up the Grudge

Children’s sermon from August 2015 at Lake Nojiri:

Fair Wages

Would anyone like to earn some money this morning? I need four volunteers. I’ll give each of you a job and pay you when you’re done. (Choose four kids and have them line up.) Now, I’ll ask my first volunteer; if I pay you one nickel, will you carry these three books to the back of the church and up here to the front again, three times? (If they agree, let them start right away, while you continue to speak.) Now, to the second volunteer; will you carry two books down the aisle and back, two times? (Let second volunteer begin their job.) Now, the next; will you carry one book down the aisle and back just one time?(They may begin.) And for the last one; your job is to walk to the first pew and back. You don’t have to carry any books.

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Seventy Times Seven

For the 14th Sunday after Pentecost or Proper 19 (Lectionary 24) From “Saving the Ants”

Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud

Matt. 18:21-22 “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No!” Jesus replied to Peter, “Seventy times seven!” (NLT)

Preparation: Bring a large pad of paper and a fat marker.

Have you ever hurt another person? If you’ve either accidentally or purposefully stepped on someone’s foot, or pushed someone, or called your sister or brother a mean name, or made someone

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Meanie in the Quicksand

We’re all sinners. We all do things that we shouldn’t do. In a way, we’re all like that meanie, stuck in the quicksand. But even before we say, “Please, help me,” God has already thrown us the rope and pulled us out. (As you speak, you can throw one end of the rope out, or do the action of throwing a rope.) God loves all of us and he sent Jesus to save us.

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All Puffed Up

(Show balloons.) This balloon will play the part of the proud Pharisee, and this balloon will be the humble tax collector. I need two volunteers, one to hold each balloon. (Hand “Pharisee” balloon to a child old enough to blow it up.) Now as I read the story, whenever I look at the person holding the Pharisee balloon, I want you to blow some air into the balloon and then hold it shut. The person holding the tax collector balloon can just let it rest on your hand.

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Erasing the Mark

None of us has leprosy, but when we do bad things, it’s like having leprosy inside. We know we’ve done wrong, and we feel ugly inside. We feel bad, and we feel like everyone is staring at us, like nobody loves us or wants to be around us. Have you ever felt that way after you did something wrong? (Let children respond.) Now even though no one would be able to tell from the outside that we’ve done something wrong, Jesus knows. And when we’ve sinned, and we ask Jesus for help, what does he do for us? He forgives us and washes away our sins completely. He heals us and makes us clean inside.

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The Weight of Sin

The woman who washed Jesus’ feet was carrying a heavy weight of sin. She knew she had sinned a lot; she knew what other people thought about her. But she also knew that Jesus loved her and forgave her and took that weight of sin away. And the woman wanted to show Jesus how happy she was. The important man didn’t think he had many sins. He thought he was much better than the woman. But he was wrong. All of us have sinned, and none of us is better than anybody else. Jesus forgives us all. And we should all be as thankful as that woman who washed Jesus’ feet.

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Scolding the Snakes

Third Sunday of Advent From “Scolding the Snakes” Scripture Reference: Luke 3:7-18

Photo by Kamalnv/Creative Commons via Wikimedia

Preparation: If possible, bring a rubber snake or a picture of a snake to illustrate the sermon.

Can you count the lighted candles on the Advent wreath? (That’s right: three. This is the third week of Advent.) You remember that we said Advent is a time of getting ready. Who remembers what we are getting ready for? (Let children answer.) We want to be ready

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