November 6, 2005
Good morning girls and boys. How many of you have an alarm clock next to your bed at home? Thatís what I thought. It seems most of us canít get out of bed in the morning without someone or something waking us up! But now that we are all here and on time I want to remind you of one very important thing. Getting out of bed is only part of it. Now you have to stay awake! But Iím sure none of you boys and girls would fall asleep during your Bible Lessons ó would you?
Today we read in our Bibles that Jesus told His followers to ìstay awake.î Do you think Jesus was asking His followers not to fall asleep? You know from our past lessons that sometimes we have to put on our thinking caps before we really understand what Jesus is saying. You see boys and girls, Jesus is asking us not to fall asleep on the job. Jesus is telling us that there is important work to be done and now is the time to do it. Jesus is telling us that we should be alertó just like you are after a good nightís sleep and you are ready to learn your school lessons. Yes, the Bible tells us that we need to stay awake. In other words we should always be alert and ready to practice our faith. We must always be alert and ready to do the good works that are expected of us as loyal followers of Jesus. And you know that those good works include helping others, being kind to others, sharing with others and all of the other good things we have learned that we must do as loyal followers of Jesus.
November 13, 2005
Good morning girls and boys. Have you ever heard of car sickness or air sickness? Thatís right. Thatís what some people get when they ride in a car or in an airplane and their stomach gets upset. Hereís a new one: have you ever heard of ìmoney sickness.î What do you suppose money sickness is, boys and girls? Is it the upset stomach you might get from swallowing a penny? No, of course not! We could describe money sickness as an illness that affects people who put too much importance on money and possessions.
Boys and girls itís okay to have nice things. But Jesus wants us to understand that we should never put money and possessions ahead of our relationship with God. He wants us to understand that we should never put money and things at the center of our lives. He wants us to understand they are not the most important part of our lives. Because if we do, we could come down with a bad case of money sickness.
Jesus talks a lot about money in our Bibles, boys and girls, because He knew that so many people were money sick. He didnít say that money all by itself was bad. Of course it isnít. We all need money to buy the things that we need in order to live. But what Jesus did say was if we love money too much thatís bad. Suppose you treasured money and things more than anything else, would that be a good way to live? No, of course not. And Jesus has said that ìwhere your treasure is, there your heart will be also.î He is telling us is that if we put money ahead of everything else then that is not a good way to live.
Now suppose you treasured something else. Suppose you put your love of God and your belief in our Bible ahead of everything else? Suppose youíve been really practicing all of your lessons because you treasure them above all else? Would that be a good way to live? Of course it would! It would be the best way to live. To treasure God is to tell Him that He lives in our hearts!
November 20, 2005
Good morning girls and boys. Today we read in our Bibles that Jesus said, ìwhat you did to one of the weakest of my brothers you did to Me.î How can something we do to someone else be the same as doing it to Jesus? Well Jesus is telling us that we should see God in all of the members of our human family. Every single person on this earth is a unique creation of God. And that includes everyone. That includes people who are poor and donít have enough to eat. That includes people who are sick and who need someone to help them. That includes people who are lonely and need someone to care.
Boys and girls, as members of our Christian family you have a job to do. And that job is being the kind of reflection of God that you have been asked to be. Have you reflected Godís goodness today in the way you have treated your brothers and sisters? If the answer is YES, you will be a shining example of the goodness of God. If the answer is yes, then soon others will see the image of God in you. Now letís go out this week boys and girls and reflect the goodness of God and the kindness of God in all you say and do especially, to those who need it most.
November 27, 2005
Good morning boys and girls. Christmas is less than a month away and Iím sure some of you have already started to prepare. A few of you may have begun your Christmas shopping. Others may be working on a special Christmas play to be performed later next month. Or maybe youíve already begun to help your mom or dad with decorating your house. Those are all very nice things that you can do as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Baby Jesus on Christmas day. To really be prepared, we canít get started with all of these projects on Christmas Eve, can we boys and girls? No, this is a work that requires us to plan in advance and to get ready for the coming of Christmas!
We have already learned in our Bible Lessons that Jesus has promised that we will live forever. Boys and girls, because we are human, the idea that we will live forever is hard for us to imagine in our lives here on earth. But the promise that Jesus has given us, of eternal life, of living forever starts exactly here ó on earth. And thatís where we must make sure that we are always prepared.
For all of us who are loyal followers of Jesus we have already begun our preparation for eternal life here on earth. And being prepared means doing the good work that is expected of us here on earth as we grow closer to God. And Jesus tells us that eternal life means being close to God.
December 4, 2005
Good morning boys and girls. Have you ever played the game, ìwho can be quiet the longest?î The game is pretty simple: You sit in your house with your brothers and sisters or some friends and you try to keep perfectly quiet. But it isnít that easy, is it? Before long someone starts to laugh or point or make faces and oops . . . someone blurts something out and loses the game! And itís not just hard for kids to stay quiet ó itís hard for most adults too.
Did you know that silence has been an important part of the life of many religious followers down through the ages? Maybe you have seen pictures of Trappist Monks, who wear long robes with a hood. In the old days the Monks took a vow of silence which meant that they were quiet all day long except to sing hymns and recite prayers.
Today, many people take time out of their day to sit in silence. But why would people choose to be silent when it can be so hard? The answer is many people feel closer to God when they can just sit in silent prayer. When you clear your head of all of the noise and clutter that is always around, you can sit quietly to say your prayers. When you clear your head of all of the noise and clutter that is always around you can sit quietly and listen to the voice of God who is always right there beside you.
December 11, 2005
Good morning boys and girls. Have you ever been camping or taken a vacation in the mountains? Do you remember thinking, ìWow, I canít believe how dark it gets out here at night!î And maybe you looked up at the sky and saw the stars shining more brightly than you had ever seen them before. You see boys and girls, the further you get away from the bright city lights the darker the sky seems at night. But the further you get away form the bright city lights the brighter the stars in the night sky shine!
Today we read in our Bibles that Jesus is the ìLight of the World.î Thatís right. We know that Jesus is here in our lives to shine His bright light of love into our hearts. We have read before in our Bibles that Jesus is like a bright light shining on His loyal followers. And His bright light is there for each one of us to help guide us on our way when things seem dark. In other words, boys and girls, when things are not going so well for us and the night seems dark and gloomy, Jesus is there to change all of that.
Now letís read further from our Bibles. We read that Jesus said that we are the light of the world! Thatís right, He says that we must shine our light on those who need us. You see Jesus wants us to reflect His bright light from our hearts into the hearts of others. And as loyal followers, you already know from our lessons when we need to shine our lights most. Thatís right when someone is lonely and needs a friend we should be ready to light up their day with a smile. Or when someone is sick we should be ready to light up their day with a special visit. Or when a little brother or sister or cousin wants to spend time playing with us, we should be ready to light up their day by sharing our things with them.
Boys and girls, each of us is expected to be like a shining star, reflecting Jesusí bright light of love into the lives of our friends and family and neighbors. And when you do that boys and girls you will be a shinning example of Godís love for us. The next time you stare up into the night sky at the brightly shining stars, I want you think about todayís lesson and how you can shine your light for someone who really needs you! And thatís what I call a bright idea!
December 18, 2005
Good morning boys and girls. Christmas will soon be here and I know all of you are very excited as you get ready for this very special day. But with all of the rushing and shopping and cooking, sometimes we forget about the real meaning of Christmas. So as a reminder to us all I want to share with you a little prayer that you can recite with your family on Christmas day.
A Christmas Prayer*
Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Next week boys and girls it might be hard to think of the deeper spiritual meaning of Christmas as you open your gifts with your family and relatives. But as you look at all of the sparkling lights that are all around you on Christmas day just remember the One who opens the door of love all over the world. Remember the reason we celebrate Christmas day, and then say thank you to God for the most precious gift of all: the birth of Jesus.
* Robert Louis Stevenson
December 25, 2005
Good morning girls and boys. I want to wish each of you a very Merry and a very blessed Christmas on this day as we gather together to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Today we celebrate the greatest Christmas present ever ó and it has been given to each one of us. God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to live here with us on earth. He sent us His only Son to show us the wonderful example of His Good works. He sent His only Son to us to shine his brilliant light into our lives.
Hereís a little Christmas riddle:Who delivers Christmas presents to pets? Why, Santa Paws of course! Boys and girls, Iím sure many of you received some nice gifts this morning. And maybe your pets did too! Did anyone make a gift for your Mom or Dad or brother or sister. Thatís great! Sometimes the nicest gifts we can give are those that we make ourselves — like a picture you drew, or something you made in your workshop at home, or a special Christmas project at school. Many times a gift like that tells the person who receives it just how much we care about them and how much we are thinking about them. And we can do even better than that boys and girls. We can give the gift of ourselves, not just on Christmas day but every day of the year. What does this mean to give the gift of ourselves girls and boys? Thatís right, when you give your gift of time by visiting someone who is sick or lonely you are giving them a beautiful gift of your self. If you share with a friend or family member you are giving them a beautiful gift of caring. If you listen to someone with your heart your are giving them the beautiful gift of really listening. These are among the greatest gifts that we can give to each other. Gifts to show how much we really care. Gifts that show how well we have been following the example of Jesus, the greatest gift ever!
Merry Christmas boys and girls!