Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Greatest Commandments

Children’s Chapel
October 29, 2017

Bible Reference: Matthew 22: 34-40

·             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 almost at the end of the season that we call Ordinary Time.  We have three more weeks until the beginning of the church calendar year which is the season of Advent The color we use for Ordinary 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 twenty-first 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. (In grades 1-5, you may ask a child volunteer to read the prayers.)

·             Children’s Collect for October 29th:
Let Us Pray:
Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of
faith, hope, and love that we may be able to love you and others as you command us to do, through Jesus
Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
·             Introduction: Over the last several weeks we have read the Apostle Paul’s letters to different cities around the Roman empire. We have talked about how Paul wrote letters to people in neighboring cities to spread the good news that Jesus is the son of God who came to rescue all of us so that we can have everlasting life with him. In last week’s Bible reading, Paul wrote a letter to the Thessalonians encouraging them and reminding them of Jesus’ teachings on God’s greatest commandments. Today we will read aloud form the New Testament in the Gospel of Matthew. We find the book of Matthew in the second half of the Bible. In today’s reading we will hear Jesus tell us in his own words what are God’s greatest commandments. Let’s listen.

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

Matthew 22:34-46
34When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37He said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the greatest and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

·             Response:
Jesus tells those who ask him that God’s Greatest Commandments are to love him with our whole heart, mind, body and soul, and the second thing God asks us to do is to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is not easy for us to do by ourselves. The good news is that we don’t have to do this by ourselves. Jesus is always with us and through him we are strengthened and able to follow his example of love in the world. We can rejoice knowing that Jesus also came for each of us to teach us how to love one another and God. Through our faith and the strengthening power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to also go into the world to do God’s work that he calls each of us to do in the world.
Let us pray.

·             Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your son Jesus who taught us how to love you and to love each other. Strengthen us through your Holy Spirit so that we may do the work you have called each of us to do daily. In your holy name, Amen.

·             Response Activity will be provided.

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