Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Finishing the Race

Children’s Chapel
October 15, 2017

Bible Reference: 2 Timothy: 4: 6-8, 16-18

·             Welcome: Welcome all and ask if we have any new friends. Introduce new friends.

·             Church Traditions and Liturgical Calendar:
Who can tell me what liturgical season we are in right now. If you take a look at our liturgical calendar you will see that we are right in the middle of Ordinary Time. The color we use for this time is green so you will see that the cloth on our Children’s Chapel altar is green. You will also notice that in big church the altar frontal, church dressings, and clergy stoles are green.  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 nineteenth green square.

·             Lighting of candles
(As one adult lights the altar candles, say.) We light these candles to remind us that Christ is the light of the world. We also 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 the Collect or prayer of the week.

·             Children’s Collect for October 15th:
Let Us Pray:
Heavenly Father, please go before us and after us always, and strengthen us in your love that we may do your work and love others as you love each of us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
for ever. Amen.

·             Introduction: Today I want to ask you all to raise your hand if you have ever run in a race or played any kind of game. I think all of us  have either ran in some sort of a race or played a game be it a sports game or a board game or any other type of game. Let me ask you another question. How many of you have ever won a race or a game? (Allow answers.) Wow! Lots of you have won a game! Winning a game or race feels really awesome doesn’t it? But what happens when you lose a game? It may feel a little bad. You may be disappointed or you may feel like quitting the race or game all together. If you really enjoy playing that game or running in a race, though, it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. It only matters that you participated in the race or game. Today in our Bible reading we are going to listen to another letter from Jesus’ follower, Paul. When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy he had been but in prison by the Roman government for spreading the good news of Jesus. Can you imagine how Paul may have felt? He may have felt sad and discouraged and maybe he felt like he wanted to give up. Let’s listen to Paul’s letter to Timothy and see what he says.

·             Bible Story: (Read Aloud)
With Children in grades 1-5, have several children volunteers read aloud to the others.

2 Timothy: 4: 6-8, 16-18
6As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
16At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! 17But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

·             Response: In Paul’s letter to Timothy, Paul says “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Even though Paul has been abandoned by many of his friends and has been placed in prison for following Jesus, Paul does not give up because he believes in the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. He says, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom.” Paul did not lose his faith in God even though he went through very difficult times and even went to prison for following Jesus. Paul continued to pray to God and continued to trust in God to answer his prayers. Just as Paul experienced the good news and promise of new life in Jesus, we too are also given new life through Jesus. There may be times in our lives where we face things that are very hard or sad or difficult, but just as Paul continued to keep the faith, we too can have faith that God is always with us, loving us, listening to our prayers, and preparing the way for our lives to be in his heavenly kingdom.

·             Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your son Jesus who died on the cross and rose again to new life so that we too may have life with you through him. Strengthen us through your Holy Spirit as we continue to trust and follow you in everything that we do in our lives. Amen

·             Response Activity will be provided.

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