Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

Kids’ Worship Service
August 14, 2011
Proper 15 Year A

I.            Welcome!
a.    Gathering – Children find a letter to sit on the gathering carpet. Recognize and welcome visitors.
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: Jesus and the Canaanite Woman
 (Proper 15, Year A)

a.    Introduction:  How many of you have a dog? What do you feed your dog? Canned dog food? Dry dog food? Do you ever feed him scraps from the table? Most veterinarians say that you should not feed your dog table scraps. Why? They say that table scraps are not intended for dogs and may not provide what a dog needs. That may be true, but just try to convince your dog of that as he sits by the table watching you enjoy a juicy steak. Maybe the meal was not intended for him, but that doesn't keep him from sitting by the table, begging for a little scrap, hoping that just one small bite might fall on the floor for him. I want you to keep that picture of the dog wanting table scraps in your mind as you listen to our Bible lesson today.

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 or Bible found on the children’s alter in Kids’ Worship room. You will also find the Gospel reading below.)
Matthew 15:21-28: Jesus left Gennesaret and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon." But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, "Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us." So Jesus answered her saying, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." He replied, "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed instantly.

c.    Lesson: When Jesus came to earth, he came to preach and teach to the Jews, but that does not mean that He didn't love the other people of the world. When other people saw Jesus healing the sick and lame, they followed him wherever he went. The Canaanite woman was not a Jew, but because she showed that she had great faith, Jesus healed her daughter. Who can tell me what faith is? Yes, faith is having complete trust in God. When the Canaanite woman’s request was not immediately granted by Jesus, she still showed that she had faith that Jesus would heal her child by remaining by his side just as a dog sits at the table waiting for scraps.  Jesus tested the woman with a test he knew she would pass. Jesus treated the people he healed as individuals, and dealt with each person differently based on their level of faith. Some people's requests were granted when they asked; some were healed without asking for it; some were asked if they believed Jesus could heal them before they were healed. Jesus may have done this to teach the woman and the disciples: the woman learned that she could always trust in God's love and mercy, even when her requests were not immediately answered, something Jesus taught the disciples, and the disciples learned that God's love and mercy were given to all people in the world even if they were not Jewish.

d.    Prayer: Let us pray. Heavenly Father, we thank you for the lesson of Jesus and the Canaanite Woman. Help us to have a strong faith in you just as the Canaanite woman had in Jesus. Amen.
III.       Response Activity:  Today you will all decorate a cross with the word faith and other decorations as a reminder of God’s love for you and as a reminder that you can always come to God in faith and prayer. (Children will decorate a pre-made cross with glitter stickers).
IV.         Closing Prayer and Benediction
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.”
a.    Return to Church services: Children line up behind the acolyte and follow silently to return to church.

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