Weeds in the Field

The disciples knew this wasn’t just a story about a field with weeds, and they wanted Jesus to tell them the meaning. So Jesus told them that the field represented the world and he was the owner of the field. Who do you think the good seeds are? I can see many good seeds from where I’m sitting. Those who love Jesus are the good seeds. Are there any bad seeds in our world? Yes, unfortunately there are people who do not love God and who do mean things to other people.

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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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Find the Sheep!

Hurrah! We found the lost sheep. I am so happy. Do you know that Jesus is like that shepherd who went looking for the one lost sheep? Jesus wants everyone in the world to be a part of his flock. He wants everyone to know God’s love. It’s wonderful that some of us grow up in God’s family and have always known that God loves us. But there are lots of lost sheep out there, a lot of people who don’t know Jesus. And Jesus is looking for those lost sheep. He wants to rescue those sheep.

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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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Burning the Chaff

First Sunday after the Epiphany Adapted from “Scolding the Snakes” Scripture Reference: Luke 3:15-17

Preparation: Bring a pan with clean popsicle sticks in the bottom covered by a fine layer of flour or other fine meal that can be blown away. You may print the following statements on the popsicle sticks: “Listen to God” and “Obey God.”

Today is the first Sunday after the special day we call Epiphany. The season of Christmas has come to an end. On Epiphany we remember how

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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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Washing the Heart

Pentecost Proper 17 From “Sitting on the Rainbow” Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud Scripture Reference: Mark 7:1-8

Preparation: Bring a bowl of water, some soap, and a towel.

Do any of you like to play in the dirt or make mud pies? (Let children respond.) Dirt can be lots of fun. And if there is water nearby, you can make mud pies and build towers and channels for the water.

But if you’ve been playing outside in the dirt and you’re called in for supper,

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A Nation of Rebels

Pentecost Proper 9 From “Sitting on the Rainbow” Scripture Reference: Ezek. 2:3-5

Image from 1916 pub. "A Textbook of Physics," Alexander William Duff et. al.

Preparation: Bring two large, strong magnets that can be turned to attract or repel each other. Large bar magnets with clearly marked north and south poles should work well.

I’d like to read to you from the Old Testament book of Ezekiel, chapter 2, verses 3-5. “‘Son of man,’ [God] said, ‘I am sending you to the nation of

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Hiding from God

For the Third Sunday after Epiphany From “Sitting on the Rainbow” Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud

Scripture Reference: Jonah 1:1-17

Preparation: Bring a large blanket or dark-colored sheet.

Have any of you heard about a man named Jonah? (Let children respond.) Jonah was a prophet of God; he would listen to God and tell the people what God said. One day, God told Jonah to go to a big city and tell the people who lived there that they were being very wicked and that they

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