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September 2008

St. Michael’s Day or “Mikaelmaas” Children’s Sermon (September)

    St. Michael’s Sunday (near Sept. 29); “The Dragon and God’s Children” 

    Daniel 6:16-22 & Revelation 12:7-12

    Preparation: Bring a visual such as a dragon puppet, stuffed animal or picture to help the children see what a dragon is like.

    Can anyone describe a dragon to me? What does a dragon look like and how does it behave? (Let the children tell about their ideas and images of dragons.) Can you find flying, fire-breathing dragons in any part of our world? (Children may respond.) They are a made-up creature, aren’t they? We have found dinosaur bones, but we have never found dragon bones. This doesn’t mean that dragons are not important, because dragons can teach us something.

    (Show the children your visual of a dragon.) This is what somebody thought a dragon might look like. And even though a dragon is an animal that doesn’t exist in our world as we know it, the dragon represents something that is very real and that does exist in our world today. The dragon often represents something that is bad or evil or frightening. Are there bad things in the world today? Yes, we see bad things happen in the news and even in our own lives. Evil is a real thing and Satan is real, but that does not mean that we need to be afraid. We do not need to fear dragons.

    On this first Sunday of October, we celebrate St. Michael’s Day. St. Michael is one of God’s angels named in the Bible. In the last book of the Bible, Revelation, Jesus’ disciple, John has a very realistic dream, a vision; and he sees St. Michael fight the dragon, the Devil, and throw him out of heaven. So even though the Devil is powerful, like a dragon, St. Michael and the angels of God are more powerful. You are all God’s children, and God sends his angels to protect you.

    Who remembers the true story of Daniel who was thrown into the lion’s den? How did God protect Daniel? (Let children answer.) God sent an angel to close the lion’s mouths so they did not bite Daniel. Angels are not just storybook characters. Angels are real. They helped God’s children long ago and they help protect God’s children today.

    (You may share with the children a modern story or your own story of an angel’s protection. My example follows.) One summer, I was rock climbing with some friends on the tall cliffs of Lake Superior’s northern shore, at a place called Palisade Head. The cliffs were very high and steep and one could see on the shore far below a few skeletons of animals that had wandered off the edge of the cliff in the fog. My climbing buddies and I had begun picking blueberries on top of the cliffs when the thick fog coming off of Lake Superior rolled in. Even though I couldn’t see farther than one step ahead of myself, I kept walking and picking berries until I heard the faraway sound of a large choir singing beautifully. I sat down to listen, straining to hear the melodies and words. After a while, the fog lifted and the singing faded with the fog. As soon as the fog had cleared, I was shocked to see that I was only a few steps from the edge of the cliff. A couple more steps and I would have fallen to my death. I wanted to thank the church choir that had caused me to sit and listen but after asking around, realized that there wasn’t a church or choir around anywhere near the place. To this day, I don’t know what I heard, but it could have been angels.

    If you feel like you are in danger, or afraid, or even if you feel like you are being tempted to do something that you shouldn’t do, you can always ask Jesus to help you. God might send an angel to help you, protect you, or guide you. God and the angels are always watching over you to protect you from every danger, imagined or real. You are protected from dragons and most of all, you are protected from the Devil. You are surrounded by the love of God and by the servants of God, the angels.

    Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for surrounding us with your love and for sending your angels throughout all of these years and even now to protect your beloved children. Amen.

    Note: Thank you to Ann-Charlotte Fang Norman of Uppsala Cathedral, Sweden, for requesting this sermon.

    By Ruth Gilmore © 2003 All Rights Reserved 


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