Sunday, July 31, 2016

Treasure in Heaven

Children’s Chapel
July 31, 2016
Proper 13C

Welcome: Children will enter quietly and sit together on the floor. Welcome all children and ask if there are any new friends today.

Theme: Treasure in Heaven        

Introduction: Raise your hand if any of you know what a treasure is. (allow several children to answer.) You are right! A treasure can be anything we see that is valuable such as jewels, or money, or gold. Treasure may also be something that is very important to us such as our favorite blanket, or stuffed animal. A treasure may even be something that we are good at, like being able to play soccer really well or being able to paint or sing. Even people can be a treasure to us! In today’s Bible store, Jesus talks about our treasure. Let’s listen to what he says in the Gospel of Luke.

Bible Reference (Read Aloud)
Luke 12:13-21
13Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” 16Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ 18Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

Response: In the parable that Jesus told, Jesus tells the story of a farmer who had so many crops that he felt that should build a bigger barn in order to store the food. The food the farmer grew was his treasure and he wanted to protect it in order to keep it all for himself. God said that this farmer was very foolish. I wonder why? Before we answer that question let me read you another story called
“The Rainbow Fish” (Read “The Rainbow Fish” aloud to children. After the story ask the following.)
Wow! That Rainbow Fish sure was beautiful! He had a great treasure of beautiful shiny scales. Do you think the other fish thought he was beautiful? Yes! They thought he was so beautiful that they wanted to have one of his shiny scales too. What did the Rainbow Fish do? (allow responses.) No, he did not allow any of the fish to have any of his beautiful shiny scales. He kept them all to himself and he even got a little mad didn’t he? How did that make the other fish feel? (allow responses.) You are right! The other fish felt upset and rejected and decided to not talk to the Rainbow Fish. Just like the farmer in Jesus’ parable, the Rainbow Fish wanted to keep his treasure all to himself and he was very foolish. What happened after the Rainbow Fish talked to the Octopus? Yes, he started to share his beautiful shiny scales and then he realized after seeing his treasure on other fish just how happy he was because of the gift of joy in sharing with others.
You know it’s not easy to share our treasure whatever it may be. We may feel like it’s too special to share with others or that we want to keep it all to ourselves. It’s not easy to share our treasures, but when we trust God with it whether it is something we have made or earned or a special talent we have, God will help us to share our treasure with others. In our sharing, we experience God’s special gift of joy and happiness that he always gives us. Just as the Rainbow Fish felt joy when he shared his shiny scales, we will also feel God’s gift of joy when we trust God with our treasure.

Pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your love, the gift of your Son Jesus and all the many blessings you bestow upon us. Help us to share our treasure with others so that we may receive the full joy that you so richly give us when we trust in you. Amen.

Response Activity: Rainbow Fish craft

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Lord's Prayer

Children’s Chapel
July 24, 2016
Proper 12C

Welcome: Children will enter quietly and sit together on the floor. Welcome all children and ask if there are any new friends today.

Theme: The Lord’s Prayer         

Bible Story: “The Jesus Storybook Bible” pages 222-227 (read aloud)

Bible Reference: Luke 11:1-13
11He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. 3Give us each day our daily bread. 4And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.” 5And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. 9“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Response: Today we are going to talk about the prayer Jesus taught us to say.  There are some big words and hard things to understand in this prayer, so we are going to think about them out loud together. 
The prayer begins:

Our Father, who art in Heaven
(Pull out the collage of people and animals and hand to a child who will hold it while you speak.)
Some people find it helpful to think about God’s love for us like a father’s love for his children. You can also think about God’s love as being like the love of the person who knows you and loves you the best such as your Mom and/or Dad’s love for you, or the love of your sister or brother, or the way your grandparents love you. God’s love for us is bigger than any love, but our love that we feel in our families helps us to think about God’s love by remembering how we feel when we are with the person who knows us and loves us best.

Hallowed be thy NameGet ready with your “holy” poster.
“Hallowed” is a funny word, isn’t it?  Does anyone know what it means?  “Hallowed” is a word that means “holy” (Hand a child the poster with the word “HOLY” on it) or “special.”  And God’s name IS special and holy. 

Thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven
(Hold up the globe)
We ask God to help us do God’s will and to help us make the world the way God wants it to be – just like God sees the world in Heaven. 
In this part of the prayer, we are asking God to use us to help make the earth the way God imagines it can be. (Hand the globe to one of the children.)

Give us this day our daily bread
(Take out the loaf of bread and hand it to another child.)
I wonder what this could mean?  Back in the times when the Bible was written, bread was the basic necessity of life.  In the prayer, bread is a symbol for asking God to make sure we have what we need.  What do you think are the things we need? 

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against usHold up the “No trespassing” sign and pass it off to another child
“Trespasses” is another of those big words that we need to think about.  Have you ever seen a sign like this one?  What do you think it means?  When we “trespass” against someone, we do something wrong, something that is hurtful to or disrespectful of another person. We ask God to forgive us and to help us forgive others.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evilPull out the Monopoly money or the gem
“Temptation” is another big word. “Temptation” can be lots of things.  What tempts you?  It can be something as big wanting to steal from other people or as small as sneaking a cookie from the cookie jar when Mom or Dad has said, “Not until after dinner!”  We ask God to help us stay away from the things that we know are wrong for us to do.  And that is how “deliver us from evil” gets into the prayer.  In the “trespasses” line just before this one, we prayed about forgiving others from the wrong they have done to us and we ask for forgiveness for the wrongs we have done to others. 

For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever and everPull out the crown and hang on to it
This last part of the prayer reminds us that everything in the world, even our very selves, belongs to God.  Even the things we think we own, really belong to God.  In telling God that we know all the blessings and good things we have come from him, we tell God that we trust him to lead us in our lives and to help us take good care of the gifts God has given us. 

Now, let’s say the whole prayer together.  I will say a line and you repeat it back to me. 
Pray: The Lord’s Prayer

Response Activity: “The Lord’s Prayer” craft

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Mary and Martha

Children’s Chapel
July 17, 2016
Proper 11C

Welcome: Children will enter quietly and sit together on the floor. Welcome all children and ask if there are any new friends today.

Theme: Mary and Martha

Bible Reference: Luke 10:38-42

38Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 40But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” 41But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

The Bible Story: (Read Aloud)
“Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!” Mary probably shouted as she came running into the house where Martha was working. Mary and Martha were sisters who lived in the town of Bethany with their brother Lazarus. They had many friends, but Jesus was a very special friend.
Mary and Martha loved each other and shared the work of keeping their home clean. But now Mary was so happy she could hardly wait. It had been a long time since she had seen Jesus. He had been teaching and preaching in many places. Mary knew she would sit up late listening to Jesus talk about God.
Finally, Jesus and His disciples arrived, and Mary and Martha went to the door to welcome Him. Mary was so interested that she stopped her work when Jesus came. She sat close and listened to Jesus so she wouldn’t miss a single word He said. Jesus told many wonderful stories.
While Mary was listening to Jesus, Martha was worrying about getting dinner ready. She wanted everything to be “just right” for the meal they would serve Jesus and the other guests. She wanted everything to look and taste good!
Martha got tired of doing all the work by herself, so she complained to Jesus, “Lord, it isn’t fair that I am doing all the work while Martha just sits there! Tell her to come and help me.”
Jesus answered, “Martha, Martha, you worry about too many things. What Mary is hearing is more important to her than serving or eating. She has chosen the right thing and it will not be taken away from her.”
Response: Wow! Jesus spoke up for Mary, even though Martha thought she was being lazy. But Mary knew what was really important—spending time with Jesus and listening to His teaching. She knew it was a special opportunity to be near Jesus, and she didn’t want to miss anything!
Martha probably meant well, but she got distracted by the “busy-ness” of being a hostess and forgot that the Son of God deserved her full attention!
What about us? Do we give God our full attention? God knows that how we spend our time is important. We can work and play all day, but the most important thing we need to do is spend time with Jesus. We do that by praying, reading the Bible, and worshipping God at church. We have to stay connected to Jesus so we will know what He wants us to do.           
Pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your presence who is with us always. Help us to seek you each day so that we may know you more and more each day. In your holy name.

Response Activity: Mary and Martha craft