Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Give Your Worries to God

Children’s Chapel
February 26, 2017
Epiphany VIII
Bible Reference: Matthew 6:24-34

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: (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. On our altar table today, we have a green cloth. 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 eighth green square which is the same color as the cloth that we have on our altar. We are in the eighth and final week of Epiphany in our church calendar year. You will notice in big church that the altar frontal is green and the clergy are also wearing green stoles. 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. 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: Raise your hand if you have ever worried about something. I have definitely worried about things in my life from the time I was a little girl. What are things that you have worried about (allow answers.) There are all kinds of things that may cause us to feel anxious and that make us worry. We may worry about taking a test, or we may worry that we will have to get a shot or a finger prick at the doctor, or we may worry during a thunder storm.  Worrying is something that humans do, but Jesus says, we do not have to worry at all. In our Bible story today, Jesus tells us why there is really no need to worry. Let’s listen to Jesus’ words from the Gospel of Matthew.

V.        Bible Story: Read Aloud pages 228-235 of the “Jesus Storybook Bible”

(Bible Reference for Teachers: Matthew 6:24-34)
24“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

VI.      Response: When Jesus spoke to the crowds of people he lovingly told them that they do not need to worry. He understood their concerns but wanted to give them hope. So Jesus gave examples of God’s creation such as the birds and the flowers that God lovingly cares for. The birds don’t worry about what they will eat, nor do they go to grocery store and stock up on lots of food just in case. Rather the birds find the food that is provided for them every day by God. The flowers do not worry either about what they will wear. They simply grow from the ground and are dressed by God in the most beautiful petals and leaves.  Jesus tells the crowds and us that we are more important than even the birds and the flowers. If God takes care of the birds and the flowers, how much more will he take care of each of us. So why do we still worry? It is natural that we do worry because we are human and we are not perfect. But who is perfect? Yes, God is perfect and perfectly loves us all. Jesus was the only perfect human to live on earth. Jesus came to give us hope and to show us how much God loves each of us. Even though we may still worry, we will be filled with hope and strength as we give over our worries in trust to God.
Let us pray:

VII.    Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, you lovingly made the earth, the trees, the birds, the flowers and us. You care for and bless each of the things in your creation each day. The birds and the trees and the flowers do not worry that their needs will be met, but we as humans do worry. Father, you sent us your Son Jesus to show us how to turn over our worry so that we may be free to live abundantly in your love. Strengthen us daily as we trust in you and turn over our worries to you. Amen.

VIII.  Response Activity (Crafts, Singing, or another activity will be provided.)

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