May 21, 2017
· 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.