The Greatest

Can someone tell me, in the eyes of God, who of all these people is the greatest? Is the king the greatest? Is one of the dukes the greatest? (Wait for answers.) In the eyes of the Lord, the servant is greatest of all. I’d like for our servant to come up here to the top step to stand above everyone. (Have the servant come to the top step at the front of the church or provide a stool draped with a rich-looking cloth for the servant to step onto.) In God’s kingdom, the lowliest servant is the greatest.

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World Community Communion

You will notice that you can no longer feed yourself. In a community, if people are only concerned with feeding or helping themselves, the community will not be healthy. Some will be hungry or lonely or left out. But if you concentrate on feeding or helping the other first, then it works. (Encourage the volunteers to feed a cracker to each other.) When we help each other, everyone in the community will be fed.

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Nothing Is Impossible

Now I know that you are never supposed to bring dangerous weapons to church, but in my bag, I have a model of an extremely powerful and dangerous weapon. What do you think it could be? (Let children guess.) This weapon has already been used here on earth. It was used to save all of us. And it broke down the gates of hell and destroyed the devil’s power. (Retrieve baby Jesus doll and show everyone.)

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Showoffs

For the 20th Sunday after Pentecost or Proper 26 (Lectionary 31) From “Saving the Ants”

Matt. 23:1-12 ” …The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Preparation: Bring a phylactery and a prayer shawl, or pictures of each to help illustrate.

We know that God is love and that God sent Jesus into the world to save us because of his great love for us. But is God always

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God with Us

All of these names tell us about Jesus. But during Advent and Christmas, the name of Jesus that we think about the most is the name “Immanuel.” During Advent, we sing the hymn “Oh Come, Oh Come, Immanuel.” Jesus is God with us. The baby born at Christmas was God himself coming to live with us here on earth. “Immanuel” may sound like a strange name; it’s not a very common name, but it reminds us of something very important. When we invite Jesus in our hearts, God is right here with 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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Choose Your Train

Let’s pretend we’re all standing on the platform at a train station. We’re getting ready to take a trip and there are two trains waiting at the station. One train is brand new and very fancy. It is painted with gold and silver paint and the seats are red velvet. The dining car is full of delicious food from the fanciest restaurants. The sleeping car has feather beds with satin sheets. This train has a big sign on it that reads, “MONEY.” In order to ride this train, you don’t have to have lots of money; you just have to agree that money is more important than anything in the world.

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Humble and Great

Pentecost Proper 20 From “Sitting on the Rainbow” Scripture Reference: Mark 9:33-37

Preparation (optional): You may wish to bring a photograph of Olympic medalists standing on the awards platform.

How many of you have watched the Olympics? When they give out the medals—gold, silver, and bronze—which medal-winner gets to stand on the highest platform? (Let the children answer.) The highest platforms are for the top prizewinners, the athletes who won the gold medals. (You may show your photo here.) Gold-medal winners also get to

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