Children’s Sermon: Better Know A Liturgy – Gathering hymn and all singing

Bring a bag of puppets.

I’m so happy you’re here today!

So this is week five of our time talking about worship – about liturgy – about what we do on Sunday mornings. We’ve talked about the prelude and the lighting of candles. We’ve talked about making announcements and being a welcoming space for all kinds of people who gather here to talk about God. Last week, we talked about Confession & Forgiveness – where we start our worship by being honest about the ways we make mistakes and how God, through forgiveness, helps us be more like Jesus. Last week we talked about shaking hands and sharing peace with each other cuz that’s what Jesus today.

And today we’re gonna talk about singing! And we’re gonna use puppets to do it.

Pass out puppets. So which puppet do you have? What noises does that animal make? What noises would that animal make if it sang? Some of these animals would probably have beautiful voices. But some of them….might sound bad. Some might be loud or scratchy or hissy or just hurt our ears. A moose and a snake sing differently and not always good to our ears.

Now, this week, I got to sing the song Happy Birthday to someone. And that’s a song most of us know. But I want to tell you something: I didn’t always like singing happy birthday. I didn’t always like singing. I didn’t like my voice. I never took lessons. I still get nervous singing because I still sometimes struggle with my voice. Learning to sing takes time, and effort, and work. And sometimes we don’t sing as well as we want to.

But we sing in church – loudly, no matter how we think our voice sounds. We might sing beautifully, or we might think we sound like a moose. We might sing a song that we’ve never seen before or one we’ve seen a million times. But whatever we see, we sing. We sing because music moves us; songs inspire us; and when we want to share how much God loves us and how big a difference jesus makes in our lives – sometimes only a song will do.

Thank you for being here! And I hope to see you next week (except I’ll be on vacation).

Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on the 6th Sunday After Pentecost, 7/16/2017.

Children’s Sermon: Trinity as Family

Bring a family photo

Hello! I’m so glad you’re all here today!

So today is a special day in the church where we celebrate God. Now, we always celebrate God, but today we celebrate who God is and that’s by focusing on the word Trinity. Now Trinity is a fun word. Have you heard that word before? Accept answers. Now Trinity means 3 – and you can hear that in the word. Trinity starts with tri – like tricycle which has words. So God has something to do with 3.

So how can we think about the Trinity? Well, I have something in my hand: what is it? A picture frame. And what’s in it? A picture of my family. Right! This is me and my immediate family. Now if you look at the picture, you see my kids and who do you think they look like: me or Kate? Accept answers. I think O has my hair – or when I use to have hair. They both have my eyes but I think O has my nose. They have the same face structure like Kate has, etc. When we look at the picture, we can tell they’re related to each other. They have parts and personalities that look like each other.

So imagine if we were looking at God’s family picture. We’d see the Father, the Creator. And then we’d see Jesus. And then we’d have the Holy Spirit. They are all related because they are God – they do God things – but they are during as well. Jesus lived like us, the Holy Spirit is God being with us, walking around and helping us all the time, and the Father/the creator is busy creating new things all the time. The Trinity, that word, is a way to describe God’s family.

But besides those three, there’s some more people in God’s family photo. Who else would be in there? Accept answers but we are! We are! Through Jesus, we are part of god’s family. So I’m in the picture, and so are you, and you, and you, and you, and everyone out there. How big of a picture would we have if we showed everyone who is part of God’s family? Giant! It would be huge. So remember that when we talk about God’s family, you are in that picture too.

Thank you for coming up here and I’ll see you next week!

Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on Trinity Sunday, 5/22/2016.

Children’s Sermon: Pray

Bring the prayer requests from Trash And Treasure Sale.

Hello! I’m so glad you’re all here today! And a very happy May to each of you.

So yesterday we had our big Trash & Treasure rummage sale here at the church. And it was great. Lots of people came to help out as we welcomed hundreds of people into our building. They came to buy all sorts of things and, with that money, we’re able to help people all over the world. And one thing that we do, as people wait in line, is we offer them some coffee, a bottle of water, and we offer to pray for them too.

And here are the prayers we collected yesterday. We asked people to write on these cards what they wanted to pray about – and we’ll later hear all those prayer requests in today’s worship service. But one thing jumped out at me. Linda O. told me that, as she talked to people, some of them asked what a prayer is. They wanted to participate – but they weren’t sure what to say.

Now prayer is, simply, talking to God. God loves you and God wants to hear from you. God wants to know about your day, the people that you met, that cool things that happened to you, and the things that didn’t work out so well. So prayer is talking. It’s a conversation. And even though it might feel like you’re talking to yourself, God is listening.

So let’s try to create a prayer right now – all of us – okay? And I want us to create something we can do at home – so it’s pretty simple. First, we’ll say hello to God. How do you start your prayer? Dear God. Hi God. ETc. (Write it down). Second, we’ll say something we’re thankful for – something we’re glad for. What’s something you’re glad for? Health. The sky. Something colorful. Something we got. Third, we’re going to pray for something we need or something someone else needs, like if someone is sick, or if someone lost something, or if someone is suffering. What’s something or someone we could pray for? Polluting earth. A friend who is unhappy. Etc. And then we end the prayer by talking about Jesus – we say “In Jesus’s name” or “through Jesus,” Amen. Great! So we crafted our prayer, together. So let’s pray and I’m going to read our prayer together.

Pray the prayer.

So remember that prayer is just talking to God – and we do that because God loves us, cares for us, and – through prayer – we connect with God and we learn a little bit more just what God has in mind for us.

Thank you for coming up here and I’ll see you next week!

Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on Sixth Sunday of Easter, 5/01/2016.

Children’s Sermon: Know Us – John 13:31-35

From DSKidsermons – Know Us By Our Love. Bring costumes!

Hello! I’m so glad you’re all here today!

So I wanted to talk today about something Jesus says in our reading from the gospels, those books that talk about Jesus’ life. But first, I’m going to put on something – and I want you to tell me who I am. Put on costume one. Put on costume two. Put on costume three. So how did you know who I was? The mask. The costume. What you looked like. You knew I was < > and < > and < > because of what I wore. You saw me – saw what I looked like – and you knew who, and what, I was.

Now Jesus, in our story about him today, gives his disciples – his friends – and his students – an important word. He wants people to look at them and know that they follow Jesus because of the love they show. Jesus says, when people look at us, and they see all the loving things we do – then they’ll know that we follow Jesus. Now what are some ways we can love? Accept answers. And by doing these kinds of things, when people look at us, they can know that we love and follow Jesus. And that’s because it’s hard to tell who is a Christian. Christians come in all shapes and sizes, they come in all ages, races, and speak every language. And someone who doesn’t know you – who just sees you from across the room – won’t know you’re a Christian. But if they see how you love each other, how you take care of your family, your friends, how you share what you have with those in need, how kind you are, and how you share with others even when it’s hard too – that’s how people will know that we’re a Christian – and also see that the love we share is just a tiny amount compared for the love Jesus has for the world, for everyone, and even for the person that doesn’t know Jesus yet.

Thank you for coming up here and I’ll see you next week!

Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on Fifth Sunday of Easter, 4/24/2016.

Children’s Sermon: Preparation

Bring Paint supplies – bucket, brushes, stirring sticks, sandpaper, maybe primer, etc.

Hello! It’s good to see you today.

So I have a ton of stuff with me today. Spread it out. What do you see? Brushes, paint, buckets, etc. Right! Now, what do you think I would use this stuff to do? Paint a house. Right! And I took all of this stuff from my new home where folks from church are busy helping me paint it. Now, I actually like painting because it’s something that you can do, and see that you’re doing it. You can see the wall change color. You can see where you fix holes and dings in the wall. It’s very satisfying to paint – but it takes a lot of work.

First, you’ve got to make sure you’re wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting paint on. And then you have to spread a big cloth – like a sheet or a drop cloth – onto the floor just in case you spill any paint. And then you’ve gotta go around the wall and make sure all the holes are filled in. You’ve also got to clean the wall too, just in case there are any cobwebs or dirt on it. And then you need to sometimes sand parts of it down, to make it smooth. You also have to make sure you have the right kind of paint, the right color, and the right brush. And so – before you even take this brush, put paint on it, and are about to use it – you’ve got to do all this preparation to actually paint – and to paint well.

And just like we have to do all these things to prepare to paint our home or our room – God does similar things to prepare us, to help us, live in this world. In our baptism, in our coming to church, in our listening to different stories about God and Jesus – God prepares us to be kind to others, to care about people who maybe don’t look like us, and helps us make the right choices when hard decisions come up. Because the thing about life is that sometimes we’re going to face hard choices, and we’re going to be confused or we’re not going to know what to do. But God has been with us, since the beginning, helping us through church, through our parents and friends who tell us about God, and through the songs we sing and the scripture we hear, to do the best and most loving thing we can. So, as we now light two more candles on our Advent wreath, marking the number of Sundays as we get closer to Christmas, let’s remember that God is with us, God is preparing us to love the world, and that God is going to never let us go.

Thank you! I’ll see you next week.

Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on the 2nd Sunday of Advent, 12/06/2015.

Children’s Sermon: Souper Soup

Bust out a few cans of soup and box tops. Bring a bunch of soup cans up from the back.

Hi everyone!

I’m very glad to see you today.

So what’s today? (February 1, Souper Bowl, Souper Bowl of Caring)

Right! Today’s the Super Bowl. Who is rooting for who?

Who doesn’t know who is playing?

So it’s not only the Superbowl. It’s also the SOUPER BOWL. The Care Committee has been spending all of January organizing a can-soup drive. And we do it because Soup sounds like Super. And congregations all over the United States are raising money and food just like we are.

Now, this is only a few of the cans that we’ve raised. Can you count them for me? (Let them count the cans)

That’s a lot of cans! Now, I have another question for y’all. Why do you think we raised all these cans?

We’re not raising these cans just because we’re nice or wonderful or kind – though I think we are. And we’re not giving these cans to the Center of Food Action because we’re trying to show off how kind and considerate and wonderful we are.

There’s a verse in the bible that I think explains why we do things like this. Why we not only try to help those who need more food, but also why we fight injustice, and do all we can so that everyone has what they need to not only live a good life, but to thrive and succeed, as well.

It’s not a text we’ll hear today – but it underpins all that we do. And it’s from a letter, called the First Letter of John, and it’s in the 4th chapter, the 19th verse.

And it says “We love because he first loved us.”

We do the things we do to help others because God loved us so much, God sent Jesus to take care of us. So all the stories we hear about Jesus are about that love. Jesus walks with us when things are hard and when things are going well. Jesus keeps helping us – Jesus keeps loving us. And because God sent Jesus to love us – and to love us before we even knew his name – even when we were a baby and didn’t know how to speak – we love other people. We love because Jesus loves us.

So that’s why we raise food. That’s why we do all we can so that everyone can live a great life – and live the way that God wants them to live.

Thank you for being here! And I hope you have a blessed week.

Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on the 4th Sunday after Pentecost, 2/1/2015.

Children’s Sermon: Better Know A Liturgy – “Lift Up Your Hearts”

A Repeat of 1/18 CS because we didn’t do a CS on 1/18. Ask the kids to bring up their bulletins.

So today we’re gonna look at something in our bulletin – and talk about it.

Right before we do communion – before I start talking about the Last Supper – and the words Jesus gave us to say – there’s this little bit of conversation between me, as the pastor, and everyone out there in the congregation – including you. And there’s a bit that I say – it goes “The Lord be with you” and then everyone says “And also with you.”

What’s the next part that I say after that? (Help them find it in the bulletin – Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord).

Now this part of the worship is important and it is very old – and it’s called the Sursum Corda (Latin for Lift Up Your Hearts). The ancient church developed this over 1700 years ago. If you go back into the writing we have from that early time, all ancient worship dealing with communion include this back and forth. And it sets the stage for communion – its where we greet each other (the Lord be with you), and there’s an invitation for us to life our hearts to God, and then a reminder that we should give thanks to God for all that we have – and this t leads into communion – into the Lord’s Supper – where we either receive the bread and the drink – or receive a blessing here at the rail.

Now, I want to focus on the word heart today. When you hear “heart,” what do you think of? (Wait for answers. Help them with answers if they need it.)

Now, when the ancient church was first around, they didn’t know as much about the human body as we did. They didn’t know what the heart was and how it worked. They thought the heart was the center of us. Our thoughts, experiences, even our soul lived there. Our heart was everything that made us who we are – and so, when we say that we should lift up our hearts – we’re saying that we’re suppose to lift up everything we are and we have to God.

Now, if we’re suppose to lift everything to God – to show them to God – what things can we bring to God? (our selves, what we own, our money, what we have, our thoughts, etc).

Now, we usually think we can only bring the things we own – and good things to God too. And that’s right. All that we have that we find as blessings – they are gifts from God. And we should bring them to God and say thank you.

But there’s more, I think, than just the good things. I think we’re also allowed to bring our bad stuff too. You know, when we were angry or hurt someone or we weren’t nice. Maybe we yelled at our sister or said something we shouldn’t. We usually don’t bring those to God – we usually want to keep them away from God – but I think we should bring them to God. We should bring all of us to God because, in Holy Communion, we are invited to God’s table – and it doesn’t matter if we’re not perfect. We’re invited to be with Jesus – because you, and me, and everyone out there – we’re all worth being known and loved by God.

Thank you! I’ll seeya next week.

Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on the 3rd Sunday After Epiphany, 1/25/2015.

Children’s Sermon: Waters of Baptism

Bust out the baptismal font and a tree branch.

So, what’s this (point to the font)? Font.
Right! And what’s this (point to a branch)? A tree branch.

So what do you think we’re going to do with these two things today? Wait and affirm answers.

Today is a special day because we’re going to remember and celebrate the amazing story of Jesus being baptized.

And one thing that happens when we hear about baptism is that we also remember our baptism too. Or, if we were just babies, we end up remembering baptisms we’ve seen – and we’ve seen a lot of them here at Christ Lutheran over the past few months.

Now what are some parts of baptisms that you remember seeing or feeling? Wait and affirm answers.

Now, one way we can also remember our baptism besides hearing stories of baptism is also to touch the water in the font. You might has seen some people do this – where they dip their waters in the font and cross themselves – that’s one way to remember our baptism. Can anyone think of another way? Affirm answers.

Another way is through the use of this evergreen branch. It’s an old church tradition where you get evergreens or another leafy tree branch – I got this one from my yard this morning – and you dip it in the waters, and throw it at others. It’s kinda like a baptism water fight. As the water drops fall on us, we remember the water that was sprinkled on us in our baptism and that God loves us, God is with us, and that God isn’t separate from us. So this week, I invite you to use water in different ways to remember your baptism.

Thank you and I’ll see you next week!

Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on the Baptism of Jesus, 1/11/2015.