Children’s Sunday Sermon
July 5, 2009
Good morning boys and girls. Last week I turned on my television to watch a baseball game between my two favorite teams. I was looking forward to it all week, and I made sure that I had taken care of all my chores around the house so I would have some free time to enjoy watching. I checked with my family to make sure they wouldn’t need me for anything else during game time. I invited a good friend who is also a big fan to join me. I even picked up some snacks to eat while we watched. And guess what happened? The game was rained out! I was really disappointed after looking forward to the game for so long. The other fans were disappointed. The players were disappointed. The visiting team that had travelled so far to the game was disappointed. But of course there is always another game. And we realize that disappointment is a part of life. But the bad news last Saturday was that my favorite team’s game was cancelled!
But I have some good news for you today! There is something that you can count on and understand. There is something that you have every right to expect. What do you suppose that is boys and girls?
If you will live in a way that follows the example that Jesus has given us, then you can expect to receive all that you need to live a happy life! That’s good news boys and girls, and not only can you expect it, you can absolutely count on it!
Boys and girls that doesn’t mean that if we have faith and live according to the Word of God that we will always get to watch the game that we want – or that people will never disappoint us. No, we are talking about expecting something much more important than avoiding disappointment. If we live according to the things that Jesus has told us in the Bible we can expect:
Our Faith to help us through the hard times;
Our trust in God to help us not be afraid;
The Love of God to make us truly happy, rain or shine.
Boys and girls, now that school is out and summer has arrived I’m sure many of you have expectations about all of the fun things you will be doing during your vacation. That’s great, and that’s part of life too. God wants us to look forward to experiencing the fun things in life and all of His beautiful creations — like the ocean, and the mountains and the forests, and yes, even baseball games. But as we are enjoying all of these wonderful gifts this summer, let’s not forget who makes it all possible. Let’s not forget that in every season, we can expect God to help us to be loyal followers of Jesus — because God wants us to be truly happy!
Children’s Sunday Sermon
July 12, 2009
Good morning boys and girls! How many of you have ever taken a trip on an airplane? That’s great! Jet airplanes really can be fun to fly in. When you went to the airport you may remember having your luggage checked in by an airline employee. And when you checked your luggage they probably put it on a scale to make sure it wasn’t too heavy. And if your bag was too heavy, you either had to pay extra for it or take some things out it to make it lighter. You see boys and girls in order for the airplane to have a safe journey, the airline must make sure that it is not loaded down with too much baggage. So the next time you are packing your suitcase for a long trip, think about what you really need so you don’t take things with you that will weigh you down.
How many of you boys and girls use a backpack for carrying your schoolbooks and supplies? That’s most everyone here. A knapsack sure is a handy way to carry your things. But just like your suitcase, if you pack it with too much stuff it starts to weigh you down! People who travel a lot say that there is an “art” to knowing how to pack correctly. Most of us tend to load our suitcase with clothes and things we think we need but never use. The same is true of your backpack. If you don’t take time each day to look through it to see what you really need it will become overloaded and weigh you down. Whether it’s our suitcase or our backpack, we need to learn to travel “light.” We need to learn to carry just those things we really need.
Did you know boys and girls that Jesus has instructed us to travel “light?” In the Bible we learn that He said to the disciples: “Take nothing for the journey except for a staff (that’s like a big cane).” He told them to take no food or money, no extra clothes — not even a knapsack! You see boys and girls, Jesus was sending His disciples out on a journey to tell others the Good News that God loves them very much, and He didn’t want them to carry things with them that might distract them from their work.
Boys and girls, the same is true of each one of us here today. As we go about our daily lives, we too can get weighed down with things that might distract us from the work Jesus would like us to do. I’m not talking about just material things. Sometimes bad feelings about others and grudges and jealousies and selfishness can weigh us down. Think of those feelings as things that Jesus would like us to take out of our knapsacks and replace with the good things and feelings that He has taught us.
Things like love, and kindness and caring and sharing will help us to “travel light.” Things like forgiveness for others will help us to “travel light.”
Boys and girls, I’m sure that there have been times when you felt angry at one of your friends for doing something you didn’t like. And every time you saw that friend the feelings of anger and hurt would fill your mind. That’s a heavy burden to carry around. Now think about traveling “light.” Think about lifting that burden by replacing those feelings of anger and hurt and replacing them with feelings of forgiveness. When you do that, boys and girls, you’ll be traveling light. And most importantly you’ll be doing what Jesus has asked of you.
Children’s Sunday Sermon
July 19, 2009
Good morning boys and girls! When a new baby is born the doctor or nurses will often say, “He looks just like his father, or she looks just like her mother.” The baby’s eyes, or nose, or mouth, or facial expressions may look just like one of the parent’s. And maybe when the baby is newborn, it does look just like his or her mother. But ten years later the child may look just like his or her father. In fact, we all continue to change in our looks as we grow and mature and then grow into old age. But always remember, God, whose image is our model will never change.
Boys and girls, did you know the Bible says that each one of us here today was created in “God’s Image.” That’s right! Imagine that! But does that mean that we physically look like God? Does it mean that God looks like all of the people here on earth? What do you think?
Yes you’re right. Being made in the Image of God doesn’t mean we look like God, or can do the things that God can do. After all, we are all just human beings and God is the Creator of everything! No — being made in the Image of God means that we can be like a reflection of God. Like a mirror that’s held outside on a sunny day and shines a powerful bright light. We know the mirror isn’t the sun itself but it is a reflection of the sun. And in order to shine a bright light, the mirror must have the sun. Without the sun it is nothing more than a dark piece of glass.
Each one of you can reflect God’s goodness by being good to others. Each of you can reflect God’s compassion by treating others with compassion. All of us can reflect God’s Love by loving one another as Jesus has loved us.
Boys and girls I want you to do something. The next time you look in the mirror or see your reflection in a store window or a pool of water — wherever you see it — don’t ask yourself, “How does my hair look?” No, instead ask yourself, “Am I being the kind of reflection of God that I have been asked to be? Have I reflected God’s goodness today in the way I have treated my brothers and sisters? And if the answer is YES, you will be a shining example of the goodness of God in your home, at school and wherever you go. And, as in a mirror, soon others will see the image of God in you.
Now let’s go out this week boys and girls and reflect the goodness of God and the kindness of God in all you say and do.
Children’s Sunday Sermon
July 26, 2009
Good morning boys and girls. In most cities, there are local government offices like the water department and the sewer department and the building department. These offices may all be part of what is called the “Department of Public Works.” These are all things set up for the benefit of the city, and to help and protect its residents. You could even call the things that they do for the people, “good deeds” – like building roads, and sewers, and water systems, all for the benefit of the people.
In the same way, when we read about the first Disciples in our Gospels, we can see that God has appointed His loyal followers as members of His “Department of Public Works.” But this “Department” has nothing to do with building roads or water systems. No, instead it is about building the Kingdom of God’s Love, where everyone does good works for the benefit of everyone else. And this public includes all of God’s children.
Boys and girls, throughout history there have been countless examples of men and women who have dedicated their entire lives to doing good works. You may have heard the names of some of these people like Ghandi, or Martin Luther King or Mother Teresa. These are people who you will be learning more about in school, but they are important examples of those who have done good works here on earth.
And of course you already know the greatest example ever of Someone who did good works here on earth. Someone whose entire life was dedicated to helping others. That’s right! Jesus is the best example of all!
What were some of the good works that Jesus did? He . . .
. . . gave food to the hungry
. . . gave clothing to the poor
. . . healed those who were sick
. . . gave comfort to the lonely
Those are just a few of the good things that Jesus did here on earth.
Boys and girls, we must always be thinking about our responsibilities as members of the Christian community —
. . . to be kind to our family and friends and neighbors
. . . to listen to others with our heart
. . . to spend time with those who are lonely and need us
. . . to share with those who are less fortunate
Boys and girls, these are just a few of the things on our list of good deeds, not just for today, but everyday!