April 26, 2015
John 10:11-18
1 John 3:16-24

Be like Jesus

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Object: a tennis ball and racket

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Hi, boys and girls! (show your tennis equipment) What do I have today? Tennis stuff! Who can tell me how to play the game? (let the children tell you) People stand on opposite sides of a net and hit a tennis ball back and forth with rackets like this. If somebody hits the ball to you, you are supposed to hit it right back, right? That's the game. You try to hit the ball back and forth to each other.

How does it feel when somebody does something mean to you? (get their responses) Does it make you mad? Do you ever think about doing something mean back? That would be an easy thing to do. When someone is mean to me, there's a part of me that wants to hurt that person right back.

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Well, let's think about what would happen if I did. Let's say that my friend Sally hurts my feelings, so I hurt her back. Now Sally's feelings are hurt, so she decides to hurt me again. Now my feelings are hurt again. It's kind of like a mean game of tennis. Sally and I just keep hitting hurts back and forth to each other. No one ever gets better, because each of us is spending too much time trying to make the other person feel bad.

Our lesson today tells us that Jesus didn't act like that, even though people hurt him really badly. People were so mean to him that they killed him, but yet as he was dying, he forgave them. He refused to hit the "hurt-ball" back. Instead of hurting them back, Jesus loved them. He prayed for the people who were mean to him.

I wonder if we can learn to be like Jesus. Do you think we could forgive others and not hurt them when they hurt us? Let's pray about it and ask God to help us.

Prayer: God, please help us be patient when others are mean to us. Help us learn to be like Jesus in all we do. Amen.