April 2, 2017
Bible Reference: John 11:1-45
- 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 fifth 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 fifth purple 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 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: Raise your hand if you have a friend. Oh, I see that everyone here has a friend. Friends are very special people in our lives, aren’t they? Let’s think of some reasons why friends are special (allow answers.) Our friends may be special to us for all of the wonderful reasons that you all just told me. They share in fun activities with us, they are there for us when we may need someone to help us, they make us laugh . . . Our friends are a blessing or a gift to us in our lives and they make life more enjoyable and they also help us when life isn’t always easy. During Jesus’ life he had many friends too. Today in our Bible story we will hear about Jesus’ friend Lazarus and what happened when Lazarus became sick. Let’s listen to the story now.
- V. Bible Story: Read Aloud story from “The Miracles of Jesus” by Tomie dePaola
For Teacher Reference: John 11:1-45
11Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 11After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” 12The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” 13Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. 14Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
17When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” 28When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Jesus began to weep. 36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” 38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
- VI. Response: In the story of Lazarus, Jesus is told that his good friend is very sick and that he is close to death. When Jesus finally arrives at Lazarus’ home, he is told by Mary and Martha that their brother has died and has been in the tomb for four days. Mary says to Jesus in great faith, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus is very sad too because Lazarus has died and he is moved by Mary’s faith in him. Because Jesus loved Lazarus so much he asks to go to Lazarus’ tomb and he calls for him to come out. A miracle or an act of God occurred and Lazarus was alive again! This miracle could have only come form God and the people who saw Lazarus resurrected from the dead believed that Jesus was the Son of God.
In the same way, Jesus loves all of us as he loved Lazarus. He loved us all so much that he died on the cross so that we too would be raised from the dead and have everlasting life with him in heaven. We will soon be celebration Easter on the day that Jesus himself was raised form the dead by God after his death on the cross. Let us rejoice that we have such a good friend in Jesus who lived and died for us and was raised from death on the third day so that we all could have everlasting life through him.
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 have everlasting life with you through him. Amen.