Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Loving God

Children’s Chapel
February 12, 2017
Epiphany VI
Bible Reference: Deuteronomy 30: 16-20

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 sixth green square which is the same color as the cloth that we have on our altar. We are in the sixth 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: During the month of February we celebrate a very special thing. Can anyone tell me what that is? You are right we celebrate love. Who are people in our life that we love? (Allow answers.) Those are great answers! We love our moms and dads, our sisters and brothers, our friends and even our pets too! Is love an easy or a hard thing for us to do? (Allow answers.) Sometimes love is easy like when we feel really excited to see our mom or dad after school and we want to give them a big hug. But sometimes love is not so easy like when our brother or sister breaks our favorite toy on accident and we have to still love them anyway. In the Bible it says that “God is Love.” It also says that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son . . .” Who is God’s Son? Yes! You are right, Jesus is God’s Son. And Jesus loved us so much that he died on a cross so that we may have everlasting life with him in heaven. That kind of love is very, very difficult, to die for all of us.  Today in our Bible story, we will here the words of Moses who tells us how we may show God love. Let’s listen to the words of Moses.

V.        Bible Story: (Read highlighted portion aloud.)
Deuteronomy 30:16-20
16 And I command you today: Love God, your God. Walk in his ways. Keep his commandments, regulations, and rules so that you will live, really live, live exuberantly, blessed by God, your God, in the land you are about to enter and possess.
17-18 But I warn you: If you have a change of heart, refuse to listen obediently, and willfully go off to serve and worship other gods, you will most certainly die. You won’t last long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19-20 I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today: I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live. And love God, your God, listening obediently to him, firmly embracing him. Oh yes, he is life itself, a long life settled on the soil that God, your God, promised to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

VI.      Response: Moses instructed us to love God through keeping God’s commandments. We know that God gave Moses Ten Commandments for us to follow so that we could live an abundant life of blessings. As humans we are unable to follow all of God’s Commandments perfectly. God saw that we could not follow his laws and loved us so much that he sent his Son Jesus to become a human being to live among us. Jesus was the only person to ever perfectly follow God’s laws because he was God. Jesus showed us all how to love God and how to love one another even when it is difficult to love.  Jesus loved us all so much that he died on the cross so that we would not have to die because of our inability to follow God’s laws perfectly. So does that mean we that we shouldn’t follow God’s commandments? No, to love God means that we trust in God and try to live by his commandments instead of following our own ways. Living by God’s commandments is not always easy, but the good news is that God draws near to us in our weakness and strengthens us with his love as we trust in him instead of trusting in ourselves and the things of the world.
Let us pray:

VII.    Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of your love and the gift of your Son Jesus who came to show us how to love one another and to love you. Father we are weak and can never perfectly follow your commandments. Strengthen us as we trust in you that we may draw nearer to you and love one another. Amen.

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

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