August 14, 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 good listening skills (Sit on the floor with hands to yourself, eyes on speaker, ears open, mouths in closed position.)
Theme: Running God’s Race
Introduction: How many of you have ever been in a race? What kinds of races have you been in? (Allow answers.) There are all kinds of races that we can be a part of, running races, swimming races, bike races, skating races, races to earn money for a good cause . . .Did you know that we can also race for God? I wonder how we race for God? The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Hebrew people about the race we are running with God. Let’s listen to what he says
Bible Reference (Read Aloud)
Hebrews 12: 1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Response: In Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, Paul encourages the Hebrews to run with perseverance. Perseverance is a big word that means to keep going and trying no matter how many times we may fail. In a regular race there are usually winners who may win a special prize. The race that we are running with God is a little bit different than a race where there is only one winner. When we are running with God, all of us are winners. Paul says that Jesus was the first winner of the race and he is seated at the right had of the throne of God. Even though Jesus died upon the cross, Jesus was the first winner for all of us. When we are feeling discouraged or when we feel distracted by things of the world and we feel it’s too hard to go on, we know that God is always with us in running the race with him. No matter how many times we may fail, God is always there, strengthening us with his love and grace and helping us to be the people he created us to be. It is not always easy to run the race of life, but we don’t have to do it al by ourselves. It is because God loves us so much that we are all able to run the race with perseverance. We can have hope that we all are winners in God’s race.
Pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for always being with us in our life race with you. Strengthen us as we trust in you and help us to grow in perseverance. Thank you for loving each of us so much that we are all winners in our race with you. Amen
Response Activity: “God’s Race” Activity