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Planning For The Surprise

Children's sermon
There are probably two kinds of kids listening to these verses. There are those who hear this and get excited about seeing Jesus. Then there are those who will feel the weight of that meeting and get anxious. Some will understand that being face to face with Jesus means our spiritual room needs to be clean and ready for guests. Others will be thrilled by the idea that the anticipation of Christmas extends beyond December 25. That every day has the potential for celebration and new gifts. This message starts out with an activity for you to get a feel of who is sitting with you and help you pastor them in the years to come.  

The opening activity is this: Ask the kids to stand in front of you and have them choose sides based on a category. For example: “If you prefer to swim in a pool stand on my right, if you prefer to swim in the ocean stand on my left.” After you reveal the categories allow them time to pick a side by physically moving to your left or right. It will help for you to count down (5-4-3-2-1). Don’t be too picky with the middle kids. There will be some who have a hard time choosing. Here are some other category options: Flip-flops vs sneakers, movies vs. TV shows, landing vs. take-off, dancing vs. singing.

In your message say something like:

(End the activity with this category, making plans vs. surprises. Then have them all sit where they ended up.)

I love how we all have different things that we like. It makes our church a much more interesting place to be when there are different people and people who are similar to us. I asked about plans and surprises because our Bible lesson today says we need to plan carefully because there is a big surprise coming.

That sounds kind of silly. How can we plan for a surprise? If it’s a surprise, then we can’t plan for it…hmmm. Sometimes it takes time to think about what the Bible is saying.

Here is what I think the Bible is trying to help us understand. We know what this surprise is going to be. The surprise is that Jesus is coming back! How many of you would love for Jesus to join us in church today? Yeah that would be very exciting. We would all love Jesus to come back especially because Jesus said when he comes back the world will become God’s kingdom. That means no more bullies, death, or evil. Those are all things I would love to see happen today.

For our friends who like to plan (identify those who sat on the “plan” side), you may feel a little worried about Jesus coming back. When Jesus comes back we want to be on our best behavior. What if Jesus came back right when you were yelling at your friend? Or when your room was at its messiest? That wouldn’t be the best time to welcome Jesus. Some of us might want a little warning so we can get cleaned up and be on our best behavior.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to know when Jesus is coming back. The Bible says we should be ready any day. I don’t know about you but that sounds difficult. To be ready to meet Jesus any day!

Here is what I suggest. If we like to plan we should start each day by planning to do something that would make Jesus smile.

If we woke up every day and thought “what can I do today that would make Jesus happy” then any day Jesus comes back we will have at least one thing to show Jesus and be confident about. Our rooms may be messy, we may have lost our temper with a friend, but if we did one thing right, like helping with chores, or reading a Bible story, then we can meet Jesus with our heads held high.

Prayer: God, thank you for forgiving our mistakes. Help us plan to do something every day that will make you smile. When Jesus returns, we will be ready for the surprise. Amen.
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