September 4, 2016
Welcome: Children will enter quietly and sit together on the floor. Welcome all children and ask if there are any new friends today. Remind children of listening skills.
Theme: Being a Disciple of Jesus.”
Introduction: Good morning boys and girls! How many of you went to school this week? All of you? Wow! That’s great! You know I think I know what everyone did while they were at school. You went swimming, right? No? Oh I know, you played outside on the playground all day long, didn’t you? No? Wait, a second, I’ve got it, you went to the movies and then to Duck Donuts for lunch and then you went on a field trip to the beach! No? You all didn’t do any of those things this week at school? I wonder why not? (Allow answers.) You mean to tell me that you don’t get to do the same things you did in the summer at school? That must be really hard! Since I am not really sure about what you did at school, why don’t some of you tell me what you did. (Allow answers.) It sounds like you did some really neat things that were different from what you did during the summer. Sometimes it’s not easy to leave behind the fun things we did during the summer in order to do other things that help us to grow and learn during the school year. Jesus talks about something similar in the Gospel of Luke. Let’s listen to what he says.
Bible Reference (Read Aloud)
25Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, 26“Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 27Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. 33So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.
Response: In the Bible reading from the Gospel of Luke, Jesus asks us to be his disciples. Another word for a disciple is a follower. I wonder what it means to be a follower of Jesus. (Allow answers.) If we are followers of Jesus it means we trust Jesus above anything else including our very own selves. In the Gospel Jesus says in order to truly be one of his disciples we have be willing to say that we will give up everything in order to follow him. He tells us to give up our possessions and all the things that we hold as really important to us. That sounds really, really difficult, doesn’t it? The good news is that Jesus knows just how difficult this is for all of us to do. Jesus gave up his own life by dying on the cross just for you and for me, so he knows that to follow him is very hard. The other good news is that Jesus is always with us, strengthening us as we trust in him. And that’s just it. When we give up control over what we think is most important in our lives and say, “I trust you Jesus, lead me to where you want me to go,” we ARE disciples of Jesus. Jesus shines his light and love through us into the world. When we go back to school after a summer vacation it’s hard to give up all those fun things we may still want to do that we did in the summer. Be we trust our teachers to lead us as we practice learning new things that help us to grow. In the same way, it may be hard to give up control over what we think is important to us to become disciples of Jesus. As we trust in Jesus though we are strengthened by his love to be able to grow into the people God created us to be.
Pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus who calls us all to be his disciples. As we trust in you oh, God along with your Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit may we be strengthened so that we are instruments of your light and love in the world. Amen
Together pray the Lord’s Prayer.