October 8, 2017
Bible Reference: Philippians 3:7-14
Theme: Righteousness because of Jesus
· 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 eighteenth 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 8th:
Let Us Pray:
Heavenly Father, you are always more ready to hear our prayers than we are to pray, and to give us more than we either desire or deserve.
Forgive us and give us those good things for which we are not worthy
to ask but through Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
· Introduction: For the last couple of months we have been learning about the life of Moses in our Bible story readings from the book of Exodus. Last week we talked about the Ten Commandments or God’s Law that was given to Moses on top of Mount Sinai. There were ten rules that God gave to Moses and we remember that these rules are very important because God not only gave them to Moses and the Israelites, but also to all of us. We also remember that neither the Israelites nor us are able to follow God’s law perfectly. But the good news is that God sent his son Jesus, many years after Moses who was the only one who could ever perfectly follow all of God’s laws and who taught us how to love God and one another. Today we are going to read from a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the people who lived in the city of Philippi. Paul lived around the time of Jesus. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, Paul became a follower of Jesus and wrote many letters to the people in different cities around the city of Rome telling them of the good news of Jesus love for all. Let’s listen to Paul now.
· Bible Story: (Read Aloud)
With Children in grades 1-5, have several children volunteers read aloud to the others.
· Bible Reference: Philippians 3:7-14
7-9 The very rewards that I was waving around as something special, I’m now tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Jesus. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is not important. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could totally hold on to Jesus and be embraced by him. I don’t want some small, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I can get the greatest kind that comes from trusting Jesus Christ—God’s righteousness.
10-11 I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Jesus personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there is any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I want to do it.
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is calling us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
· Response: In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he tells them about his own earned accomplishments of having followed all of God’s laws, of having earned lots of money and prestige in his community, and of having served in the military. But Paul says that none of his own efforts and good standing in the world could ever earn him God’s favor and that really none of it even mattered. What Paul tells the Philippians and us too is that none of us can ever earn God’s love through our own efforts of trying to follow God’s law or through trying to be someone really important in the world. We are imperfect and our own efforts fall short each time. The good news is that God sent us his son Jesus who was both fully human and fully God, and was therefore the only one who could ever perfectly follow all of God’s laws. Through Jesus’ death upon the cross for all of us who are unable to follow God’s law perfectly we were made righteous so that we can always live with God forever. Let us pray.
· Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, we give thanks for your son Jesus who came into the world to show us how to love you and each other. We give thanks that you love each of us so much that Jesus was sacrificed upon the cross so that we who can not perfectly follow your commands may live with you forever. Strengthen us daily in your love, that we may be able to love one another as you love each of us. In your holy name, Amen.
· Response Activity will be provided.