Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Weeds Among the Wheat

Kids’ Worship Service
July 17, 2011
Proper 11 Year A

I.            Welcome!
a.    Gathering – Children find a letter to sit on the gathering carpet. Recognize and welcome visitors (3mins.)
b.    Opening Prayer: “Blessed Be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed be his kingdom now and forever. Amen”
Children’s Collect for the Day:
“Heavenly Father, we are here to worship and praise you. Open our hearts and minds so that we may hear your words spoken to us through the Bible story today. Give us strength that we may serve you through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
II.          Bible Lesson: The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Weeds)
 (Proper 11, Year A)
a.    Introduction (3mins.):  Last week we heard one of Jesus’ parables. Who remembers what a parable is? Yes, I parable is a story Jesus used to help us understand what God’s Kingdom is like and to teach us about how we should live our life here on earth. Today we’re going to look at another parable Jesus told.
b.    Bible Story: Let us light the candles as we do in church when we read God’s word. (Read aloud from the Children’s Lectionary found on the children’s alter in Kids’ Worship room. You will also find the Gospel reading below.) (Matthew 13: 24-30)
Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ He replied, ‘An enemy did this.’ The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ”

c.    Lesson:  Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed wheat in his field. Wheat is a good plant; it’s what flour is made of. We use flour to bake bread, cookies, cakes and all sorts of good-tasting things. But when this farmer’s wheat sprouted, there were bunches of weeds mixed in with it. I brought a good plant with me today. This is a [state name of plant]. But I also brought a weed. It’s not good for weeds to grow with the plants. They use up the water and nutrients in the soil so the plants can’t get as much. The weeds might even get taller than the plants and get more of the sunshine. And they make the space crowded, so the good plants don’t have enough room to grow. You may have seen your mom or your grandpa or someone else pulling weeds out of a garden or flowerbed to try to get rid of them. As soon as the man in the story saw the weeds, he said, “An enemy has done this!” And sure enough, that’s what Jesus said. An enemy had come creeping in during the night while everyone else was asleep and had planted the weeds in with the good wheat. The farmer’s servants asked, “Do you want us to pull up the weeds?” But he said, “No.” The word for weeds in this parable, “tares,” describes a particular kind of weed that looks a lot like wheat. Sometimes you really can’t tell the difference between weeds and good plants. Other times you can, but it’s still easy to pull the good plants up by mistake when pulling weeds. The weeds may have roots that have tangled themselves with the roots of the plants underground. So if you yank a weed out of the dirt, you may pull out a good plant by mistake. That’s what the man was afraid would happen if they tried to pull the weeds. He said, “Let them grow together until the harvest. Then we’ll separate them and burn up the weeds. ”Now remember, Jesus used this story to teach us about the kingdom of God. So what was he telling us?  One thing Jesus is telling us is that good & bad exist together in the world — even in the same people. We can’t look at people like we do plants, and say, “Oh, this is a good one and that’s a bad one.” Actually, we may do that sometimes, though we shouldn’t. But God sees both the good and the bad in all of us. Jesus also told us that God’s kingdom lives and grows even though there are bad things all around it. We remember, though, that God is always in control. And God promises He will deal with that bad that is all around someday. We don’t have to worry about it because at the end of time He will make everything right. We may not understand how He’s going to do this, but we can trust that He will.
d.    Let’s pray. Thank you God for the parable of the wheat and tares. Help us to hear your word so that we may be come strong like the wheat in the field. Help us to also remember that even though there may be bad in the world around us, that you are in control and will remove the weeds. Amen.
III.       Response Activity
Introduction of Craft or Activity: “Today boys and girls, we are going to celebrate the good in God’s Kingdom and God’s love for each of us. Remember that I told you that the good plant, wheat, is what we make all sorts of yummy things like bread and even cookies. Each of you will receive a cookie if you would like it to celebrate God’s goodness, the good in the world, and God’s love for us. (Call each child who is sitting quietly to choose a seat to have a cookie.)
IV.         Closing Prayer and Benediction (2mins.)
a.    “Our Father” Say the Our Father aloud and ask children to join in if they know the prayer.
b.    Benediction: “Let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord. (all together) Thanks be to God.”
V.            Return to Church services: Children line up behind the acolyte and follow silently to return to church.

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