Monday, August 13, 2012

Forgiveness (Proper 14B)

The Episcopal Church of the Ascension

Kids’ Worship Service

August 12, 2012

I.         Welcome!

a.   Processional/Gathering: Children quietly enter the Kids’ Worship room following the cross from church and find a letter to sit on the gathering carpet. Recognize and welcome visitors.

b.  Opening Prayer: The Lord be with you.”

Response: “And also with you. (Light the Candles)  

We light these candles to remind us that Christ is the light of the world, and we are Christ’s light in the world. On our alter table today, we have a green cloth. The green cloth is the color we use for Ordinary Time.

c.   Children’s Collect for the Day:

Let us Pray, “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 (Proper 14B)

a.   Introduction: How many of you have ever watched the TV Program, Sesame Street? There are many characters on Sesame Street like Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo and more. There is even a character named Oscar the Grouch who lives in a Garbage Can.  He has green fur and a furrowed brow and his face always looks like this (Make a grouchy face.) If Oscar has a grouchy face, how do you think he is feeling most of the time? Yes, he is feeling mad or angry or grouchy. How many of you have ever felt angry or mad or grouchy? I know I have felt angry many times in my life. What did you do when you got angry? We all might get angry sometimes, and that is OK. What is not OK is to stay angry.  Anger makes you feel bad inside, doesn’t it. So I wonder, how do you get rid of anger when you feel that way? Last week we heard a letter from one of Jesus’ followers named Paul. Paul wrote many letters to the early Christians who lived in many different cities and towns all around him. In one letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote to them about anger and how to get rid of it. Let’s listen to what Paul said,

b.  Bible Story Ephesians 4:25 - 5:2

25So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.26Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,27and do not make room for the devil.28Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy.29Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.31Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice,32and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

5 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,2and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

c.   Response:  In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he said, “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” I wonder what Paul meant by those words.  If someone breaks your favorite toy are you going to feel angry? Of course you are. Anger is a natural feeling, but you do not have to act on your anger. If someone breaks your toy, you may get angry and you may want to go and break something to get back at the person who broke your toy. But should you break someone else’s toy just because they broke your toy and you are angry at them? No. Paul tells us we should put away our anger and that we should forgive others for hurting us. It’s not easy to put away our anger, but what will happen if we let that anger stay locked up inside us? We may become grouchy like Oscar the Grouch and have a frown on our face all the time. So how do we put away our angry feelings and forgive others for hurting us? Paul also tells us that God is there to help us. When we feel angry we can ask God to help us to let go of those feelings and to turn those feelings into forgiveness and love as God forgives and loves us. Let us pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for giving us the example of forgiveness when someone hurts us and makes us angry. Help us to not let go of feelings of anger that we may have so that we may be loving and forgive others who hurt us.

d.  Activity: We say a prayer here in Kids’ Worship that is called the “Lord’s Prayer.”  In the prayer we ask God to forgive us as we forgive others who hurt us. The Lord’s Prayer is a very special prayer that we say at church each Sunday and maybe at home too. Let’s say it together now. (After prayer say.) Today you will color the “Lord’s Prayer.” You can take it home to keep and say with your family.

III.     Closing Prayer and Benediction

a.   Closing Prayer: Say the Lord’s Prayer 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.”

c.   Recessional: Return to Church services: Children line up behind the acolyte and follow silently to return to church.