Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lent IV

March 26, 2017
Lent IV
Bible Reference: Ephesians 5: 8-14  
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:
The cloth on our Children’s Chapel altar is purple because we are in the fourth week of the season of Lent. 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 fourth purple square which is the same color as the cloth that we have on our altar.  You will also notice that in big church we the altar frontal, church dressings, and clergy stoles are purple. (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. During this season of Lent 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: Today in our Bible story we are going to hear a letter from Paul to the Ephesians. The Ephesians were people who lived in the city of Ephesus near Rome. In those days, there were no cell phones or computers or televisions. In order to communicate with others, you either had to go to them in person or you had to write letters. Paul who was an educated man wanted to spread the good news about Jesus’ death and resurrection to as many people as he could as quickly as he could, so he wrote many letters and sent them to the people in all of the cities surrounding Rome. Paul wanted to encourage followers of Jesus as well as those who were just hearing of the good news of Jesus. Paul’s letters are still a source of encouragement and hope for all in the world today. Let’s listen to part of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians now.
V.         Bible Story: Ephesians 5:8-14
8For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— 9for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

VI.       Response: In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he says, “Live as children of light for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true.” In Children’s Chapel we have talked about someone who is the “Light of the World.” That someone is _________ (allow answers.) Yes, the “Light of the World” is Jesus. When Paul wrote to the Ephesians to “live as children of light. . .” he was encouraging them and us to live as children of Jesus or God. We know that we are not capable on our own to be light in the world, but when we trust in Jesus, his light shines through us and we are able to produce good fruit such as love and compassion for others. In the world, there are many people who need help, who need hope, who need love. We may look away from those who are in need and keep to ourselves, but Paul says, “Sleeper awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” What Paul means is, trust in God and he will be the strength in you so that Jesus’ light can shine through you and you will be able to love others through Jesus love in you. Let us pray:

VII.     Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of your son Jesus who lived among us and who died upon the cross so that we may be able to love others through him. Help us to turn our eyes towards you so that we may remember that you are always with us and that you strengthen us through the light of Jesus shining in each one of us. Amen.

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

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