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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Advocate


Children’s Chapel
May 21, 2017
Easter VI

·             Welcome: Good Morning girls and boys! I am so happy to see you all this morning! Do we have any new friends with us? (Welcome new friends.)

·             Church Practice:
Today is the sixth Sunday of Easter. Alleluia! We remember that the season of Easter continues for 50 days past Easter Sunday ending on Pentecost where we see the red square on our liturgical calendar. The cloth on our Children’s Chapel altar is white today because we are now in the season of Easter. 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 sixth white square which is the same color as the cloth that we have on our altar.  You will also notice that in big church the altar frontal, church dressings, and clergy stoles are white. (Light altar candles.) We light these candles to remind us that Christ is the light of the world. We 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.

·             Opening Prayer: 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. Draw us near to you and 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
·             Introduction: There are many rules and laws that we are expected to follow in our homes, at school, in our cities, in our country. These rules are meant to help help us, to keep us safe, to help us get along with one another. In the cities we live in, we may have laws about how fast you drive, about where you dump your trash, and even about how we treat one another. In our schools, we may have rules about raising our hands when we want to speak, or walking quietly in line, and also about how we treat one another. In our homes, we have rules about picking up our toys, putting our dishes in the sink, and how we treat and care for one another. In God’s kingdom there are a set of rules too given to Moses called the Ten Commandments. After Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, he spoke to his apostles about following God’s commandments. Let’s listen to Jesus’ words from the Gospel of John.

·             Bible Reference: John 14:15-21
15”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
18”I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

·             Response: When Jesus talked to his disciples he said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” If this was all that Jesus said to his disciples, this command would have been really difficult to do. Following the rules is sometimes easy, but not always. The good news is that Jesus knew that we could not perfectly keep all of the commandments. He loved his disciples so much that he told them that he would send an “Advocate” or a helper that would be with the disciples and strengthen them as they trusted in God to help them love one another and keep his commandments. That Advocate is the Holy Spirit. Jesus also loves each of us and sends the Holy Spirit to each one of us too. We can rejoice in knowing that God is always with us and that through his love and the power of the Holy Spirit we are strengthened so that we may live as God calls us to live each day.
·             Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of your love and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Strengthen us through the power of the Holy Spirit so that through you we may love one another as you love each of us.  In your holy name we pray, Amen.
Response Activity: An activity will be provided.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Road to Emmaus

Children’s Chapel
April 30, 2017
Easter III
Bible Reference: Luke 24:13-49


I.         Welcome: Good Morning girls and boys! I am so happy to see you all this morning! Do we have any new friends with us? (Welcome new friends.)

II.       Church Practice:
Today is the third Sunday of Easter. Alleluia! Easter continues for 50 days past Easter Sunday ending on Pentecost where we see the red square on our liturgical calendar. The cloth on our Children’s Chapel altar is white today because we are now in the season of Easter. 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 third white square which is the same color as the cloth that we have on our altar.  You will also notice that in big church the altar frontal, church dressings, and clergy stoles are white. (Light altar candles.) We light these candles to remind us that Christ is the light of the world. We 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.

III.     Opening Prayer: 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. Draw us near to you and 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

IV.      Introduction: How many of you have ever missed your mom and dad or perhaps felt homesick?  A lot of you have felt this way. How did it make you feel? (Allow answers) It is natural to be homesick or to miss our family when they are not with us. We may be sad or feel like crying when we don’t have those that we love near us. After Jesus’ death on the cross, his disciples were feeling really sad too. They missed their friend and teacher so much and their hearts ached. But Jesus had risen from the dead on the third day, yet some of his disciples did not know this news yet. In today’s Bible story we will hear about what happened when two of Jesus’ disciples were walking one day to a town called Emmaus. Let’s listen to the Bible story now.

V.        Bible Story: Luke 24:13-49
Read Aloud:
13Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. 18Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” 25Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. 28As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” 33That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” 35Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
36While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence. 44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

VI.      Response: As Jesus’ followers were walking to Emmaus, they talked of what happened to Jesus and they were overcome with great sadness. When Jesus joined them on the road, the disciples did not recognize him at first. Their deep sadness and preoccupation kept them from seeing that indeed Jesus was with them all along. In the same way, we may be very sad when we are not with our families and loved ones. We may be so sad that we forget that our loved ones are always with us even when they are not in the same place. They are with us because of our love for them and we carry that love inside our hearts. There may be times in our lives when we are sad our worried or angry and we may think that Jesus is not with us. Just as Jesus’ friends did not at first recognize him as they walked on the road to Emmaus due to their deep sadness, we may not be able to recognize Jesus in the love of a stranger or the beauty of a sunrise because of our own sadness or worry or anything else that distracts us. The good news is that it is not up to us to bring Jesus to us, Jesus is always with us no matter what. Just as the disciples were given immediate peace in their hearts when they finally recognized Jesus as they were sitting down to dinner, we too receive peace as we trust Jesus with our feelings and are filled with his love which strengthens us in our weakness.
Let us pray:

VII.    Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of your son Jesus who came and dwelled among us and who died upon the cross and was raised on the third day so that we may have everlasting life with you. Strengthen us in our weakness and give us the peace you so freely give to all of us as we trust in you and know that you are always with us. In your holy name we pray, Amen.
Amen


VIII.  Response Activity: An activity will be provided for the children.