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Friday, October 20, 2017

Strengthened through the Holy Spirit

Children’s Chapel
October 22, 2017

Bible Reference: 1 Thessalonians 1-10

·             Welcome: Welcome all and ask if we have any new friends. Introduce new friends.

·             Church Traditions and Liturgical Calendar:
Who can tell me what liturgical season we are in right now? If you take a look at our liturgical calendar you will see that we are almost at the end of the season that we call Ordinary Time.  We have four more weeks until the beginning of the church calendar year which is the season of Advent The color we use for Ordinary Time is green so you will see that the cloth on our Children’s Chapel altar is green. You will also notice that in big church the altar frontal, church dressings, and clergy stoles are green.  Who would like to move the arrow on our liturgical calendar? (Allow one child to come up to the calendar to move the arrow forward one week.) The arrow is now pointing to the twentieth green square.

·             Lighting of candles
(As one adult lights the altar candles, say.) We light these candles to remind us that Christ is the light of the world. We also remember that God is always with us, that Jesus lives in our hearts and that we are inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit. Before we begin our Bible lesson today, let us pray the Collect or prayer of the week. (In grades 1-5, you may ask a child volunteer to read the prayers.)

·             Children’s Collect for October 22nd:
Let Us Pray:
Almighty and everlasting God, in Jesus you have shown us
your glory to all people of every nation. Strengthen us with your love and grace so that we may grow in faith to do your work in the world
    through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.
·             Introduction: Over the last several weeks we have read the Apostle Paul’s letters to different cities around the Roman empire. We have talked about how Paul wrote letters to people in neighboring cities to spread the good news that Jesus is the son of God who came to rescue all of us so that we can have everlasting life with him. Paul’s letters to the people are included in the Bible and we call his letters Epistles. Even though they were written many years ago, Paul’s letters were inspired by the Holy Spirit and offer us good news and encouragement in our everyday lives. Today we are reading another letter that Paul wrote to the people who lived in Thessalonica. Let’s listen.
·             Bible Story: (Read Aloud)
With Children in grades 1-5, have several children volunteers read aloud a couple of verses each to the others.

1 Thessalonians 1-10
I, Paul, together here with Silas and Timothy, send greetings to the church at Thessalonica, Christians assembled by God the Father and by the Teacher, Jesus Christ. God’s amazing grace be with you! God’s robust peace!
2-5 Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Teacher, Jesus Christ, before God our Father. It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.
5-6 You paid careful attention to the way we lived among you, and determined to live that way yourselves. In imitating us, you imitated Jesus. Although great trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit!
7-10 Do you know that all over the regions of both Macedonia and Achaia, believers look up to you? The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing Jesus’ Word, not only in your cities but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore—you’re the message! People come up and tell us how you received us with open arms, how you deserted the dead idols of your old life so you could embrace and serve God, the true God. They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom.

·             Response: In Paul’s letter, he encourages the Thessalonians and recognizes their faith in God saying that through the Holy Spirit their actions have inspired others in other cities to give up their old practices and idols in order to follow the life of Jesus and his teachings. Paul continues to encourage the Thessalonians by telling them that even though they have had difficult things to go through at times, their faith in God has strengthened them in order to do the work of God in their city and that word of their work has spread to others without them having to go from their own homes.

For all of us today, Paul’s letter is also encouraging. We can rejoice knowing that Jesus also came for each of us to teach us how to love one another and God. Through our faith and the strengthening power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to also go into the world to do God’s work that he calls each of us to do in the world. The first thing that God asks us to do is to love him with our whole heart, mind, body and soul, and the second thing he asks us to do is to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is not easy for us to do by ourselves. The good news is that we don’t have to do this by ourselves. Jesus is always with us and through him we are strengthened and able to follow his example of love in the world.
Let us now pray.
·             Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your son Jesus who died on the cross and rose again to new life so that we too may have life with you through him. Strengthen us through your Holy Spirit as we continue to trust and follow you in everything that we do in our lives. Amen


·             Response Activity will be provided.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Finishing the Race

Children’s Chapel
October 15, 2017

Bible Reference: 2 Timothy: 4: 6-8, 16-18


·             Welcome: Welcome all and ask if we have any new friends. Introduce new friends.

·             Church Traditions and Liturgical Calendar:
Who can tell me what liturgical season we are in right now. If you take a look at our liturgical calendar you will see that we are right in the middle of Ordinary Time. The color we use for this time is green so you will see that the cloth on our Children’s Chapel altar is green. You will also notice that in big church the altar frontal, church dressings, and clergy stoles are green.  Who would like to move the arrow on our liturgical calendar? (Allow one child to come up to the calendar to move the arrow forward one week.) The arrow is now pointing to the nineteenth green square.

·             Lighting of candles
(As one adult lights the altar candles, say.) We light these candles to remind us that Christ is the light of the world. We also remember that God is always with us, that Jesus lives in our hearts and that we are inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit. Before we begin our Bible lesson today, let us pray the Collect or prayer of the week.

·             Children’s Collect for October 15th:
Let Us Pray:
Heavenly Father, please go before us and after us always, and strengthen us in your love that we may do your work and love others as you love each of us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
for ever. Amen.

·             Introduction: Today I want to ask you all to raise your hand if you have ever run in a race or played any kind of game. I think all of us  have either ran in some sort of a race or played a game be it a sports game or a board game or any other type of game. Let me ask you another question. How many of you have ever won a race or a game? (Allow answers.) Wow! Lots of you have won a game! Winning a game or race feels really awesome doesn’t it? But what happens when you lose a game? It may feel a little bad. You may be disappointed or you may feel like quitting the race or game all together. If you really enjoy playing that game or running in a race, though, it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. It only matters that you participated in the race or game. Today in our Bible reading we are going to listen to another letter from Jesus’ follower, Paul. When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy he had been but in prison by the Roman government for spreading the good news of Jesus. Can you imagine how Paul may have felt? He may have felt sad and discouraged and maybe he felt like he wanted to give up. Let’s listen to Paul’s letter to Timothy and see what he says.

·             Bible Story: (Read Aloud)
With Children in grades 1-5, have several children volunteers read aloud to the others.

2 Timothy: 4: 6-8, 16-18
6As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
16At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! 17But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

·             Response: In Paul’s letter to Timothy, Paul says “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Even though Paul has been abandoned by many of his friends and has been placed in prison for following Jesus, Paul does not give up because he believes in the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. He says, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom.” Paul did not lose his faith in God even though he went through very difficult times and even went to prison for following Jesus. Paul continued to pray to God and continued to trust in God to answer his prayers. Just as Paul experienced the good news and promise of new life in Jesus, we too are also given new life through Jesus. There may be times in our lives where we face things that are very hard or sad or difficult, but just as Paul continued to keep the faith, we too can have faith that God is always with us, loving us, listening to our prayers, and preparing the way for our lives to be in his heavenly kingdom.

·             Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your son Jesus who died on the cross and rose again to new life so that we too may have life with you through him. Strengthen us through your Holy Spirit as we continue to trust and follow you in everything that we do in our lives. Amen


·             Response Activity will be provided.