Login / Signup

Free Access

Pointing Out the Christ

Children's sermon
Object: 
a football or other sport paraphernalia
First Thoughts: I want to focus a bit on John the Baptist -- who is such an interesting character we can bet the children will like him! Everyone was looking for the Christ but it was this wild man in the wilderness, dressed in animal skins and eating locusts (both of which put him squarely outside appropriate religious decorum), who spotted him. How quick are we to ignore or silence the people who are different from us in our congregation? Can you recall a time when you received wisdom or enlightenment from someone who surprised you? Not only can God use such folks, God seems to delight in it. (As 1 Samuel 16 reminds us, we look on the outward appearance but God looks at the heart!)

Props You Will Need: a football or other sport paraphernalia (optional)

Teaching As A Team:
Leader 1: Hey, (name), what do you have there?

Leader 2: I went to a (insert favorite local team) game last night. You know they're my favorite football team. It was an incredible game -- they scored in the last quarter for the win. But that wasn't even the best part.

Leader 1: What was?

Leader 2: After the game. I was able to get in the crowd right outside the locker rooms. We were all waiting to see (favorite player).

Leader 1: Did you see him?

Leader 2: Well, not at first. I guess we were all expecting him to be dressed in his football uniform. But he was just dressed in ordinary clothes. So we didn't recognize him.

Leader 1: Who saw him first?

Leader 2: It was this homeless person. He was sitting on the sidewalk where we were gathered. He seemed to be talking to himself, and he didn't smell or look very good. I actually thought he might be a little crazy. But then, out of the blue, he yelled, "Hey, it's (player's name)!" We all turned and sure enough there he stood: behind us, where we weren't looking.

Leader 1: I guess you were lucky that man was paying such good attention. You know, your description of the homeless man reminds me a little of someone in the Bible, John the Baptist. John lived in the wilderness and ate bugs and honey. A lot of people thought he was a little wacko too. But the Bible tells us that he spent most of his time telling people that Jesus was coming. When Jesus showed up one day, John recognized him immediately.

Leader 2: Like the homeless man saw (player's name)!

Leader 1: Right. See, God uses all kinds of people to get God's message across, even people who might not seem important to us. Everyone is important in God's eyes. Everyone has something special to do. Not only did John recognize Jesus, he actually baptized Jesus and helped start Jesus' public ministry.

Leader 2: Wow! That is important. Do you think God has something important for me to do too?

Leader 1: I'm convinced of it.

Teaching On Your Own: (holding up football helmet or any other piece of sports equipment) See what I have here? The (name of sports team) are my favorite football team, and I got to see them play last night. It was great! It was an incredible game -- they scored in the last quarter for the win. But that wasn't even the best part. After the game, I was able to get in the crowd right outside the locker rooms. We were all waiting to see (player's name). We didn't see him at first. I guess we were all expecting him to be dressed in his football uniform. But he was just dressed in ordinary clothes. So we didn't recognize him. You know who saw him first? It was a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk nearby. He seemed to be talking to himself, and he didn't smell or look very good. I actually thought he might be a little crazy. But then, out of the blue, he yelled, "Hey, it's (player's name)!" We all turned and sure enough there he stood: behind us, where we weren't looking. I guess we were lucky that man was paying such good attention.

The more I thought about that homeless man the more he reminded me of a character from the Bible, John the Baptist. John lived in the wilderness and ate bugs and honey. A lot of people thought he was different. But the Bible tells us that he spent most of his time telling people that Jesus was coming. When Jesus showed up one day, John recognized him immediately. Just like the homeless man saw (player's name)! You know, God uses all kinds of people to get God's message across, even people who might not seem important to us. Everyone is important in God's eyes. Everyone has something special to do. Not only did John recognize Jesus, he actually baptized Jesus and helped start Jesus' public ministry. So do you think God has something important for us to do too? Sure! I'm convinced of it.

Closing Prayer: Thank you, God, that you use ordinary people to do important work. Help us to remember to respect everyone we meet, knowing that everyone is your child. And help us to find and do the important work you have for us too. In Christ's name we pray, Amen.

Follow-Up Lesson: Start by having the children think of some important things God wants to do in the world: feed the poor, care for orphans, dig wells for water in poor countries, clean the environment, and so forth. Make a list on a dry erase board or a poster so the children can see it. Then give the children some magazines instructing them to cut out faces of people they see. (Or you can cut out some faces in advance, to save time.) Once you have a pile of faces, pull them out one by one and ask which important task God might give them. Based on the children's discussion, place each picture next to an important task. Then ask the children to think about which of these tasks God might give them. Do they think it's possible that they could do one of these things? Why or why not? Allow the children to draw their own picture, placing it on the list too.
UPCOMING WEEKS
In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)
Proper 8 | OT 13
27 – Sermons
100+ – Illustrations / Stories
33 – Children's Sermons / Resources
23 – Worship Resources
24 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Proper 9 | OT 14
26 – Sermons
100+ – Illustrations / Stories
31 – Children's Sermons / Resources
24 – Worship Resources
20 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Proper 10 | OT 15
25 – Sermons
100+ – Illustrations / Stories
31 – Children's Sermons / Resources
19 – Worship Resources
22 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Proper 11 | OT 16
24 – Sermons
100+ – Illustrations / Stories
33 – Children's Sermons / Resources
22 – Worship Resources
19 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)

New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Christopher Keating
Thomas Willadsen
Bethany Peerbolte
Ron Love
Mary Austin
George Reed
Dean Feldmeyer
For July 5, 2020:
  • Say You Love Me (But Stay Six Feet Away) by Chris Keating — The voice of the beloved calls to us this week. The lush poetry calls our attention to the pure gift of God, and will likely resonate with communities longing for interaction, mutuality, and the rich abundance of love’s delight.

StoryShare

David O. Bales
Contents
"Mumbling Hope" by David O. Bales
"If It Hadn’t Been Spring" by David O. Bales

Mumbling Hope
by David O. Bales
Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67

Phabi and Nahum rode obediently behind Eliezer, tossed rhythmically side to side on their camels. They glanced to one another with knowing looks. Eliezer was mumbling again. “I suppose I could’ve told them the whole story. They were certainly interested. A display of wealth will do that, especially to a fellow like Laban.”

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Kalas
When I was a boy, I heard a preacher remind his congregation about the true nature of the cross. He observed that we have turned the cross into both a lovely adornment in our sanctuaries and a piece of jewelry for our bodies. It is, for us, a smooth, attractive, gilded thing. But the original cross, he insisted, was nothing like that. The cross that Jesus bore -- and the cross, therefore, that we are invited to take up as his followers -- is harsh and heavy. It is rugged and bloody. It is heavy wood across the back, not silver or gold on a lapel or necklace.
Bonnie Bates
Frank Ramirez
Mark Ellingsen
Ron Love
Bill Thomas
M Adryael Tong
Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67 or Song of Solomon 2:8-13

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Here in England we're now well into the wedding season, in which many young couples will follow the age old tradition of plighting their troth. Some of them will do so here in Pulham St. Mary church, and several more here in our benefice in South Norfolk.

Although our country has the highest divorce rate in the whole of Europe and is second only to the United States in the world, and although many couples now live together outside marriage, nonetheless marriage is still a very popular institution.

SermonStudio

Schuyler Rhodes
I think one of the best lessons I have learned in ministry is the lesson of win-win. Have you ever heard of win-win? In a world where win-lose situations seem to dominate our interactions, the discovery of the possibility of building scenarios where everyone can benefit, where everyone can, in effect, win, has been an incredible answer to prayer. In church, community, and family life it has been a powerful way forward on numerous occasions. Recently, an experience in negotiations in a sensitive church situation resulted in a win-win, and it was unbelievable.

CSSPlus

Good morning, boys and girls. Does anyone live on a farm or near a farm? (let them answer) What do farmers use today to plow fields and harvest the grain? (let them answer) That's right, tractors. Before farmers used tractors what did they use? (let them answer) That's right, horses. Did you know that farmers also used to use animals called oxen? These animals are like bulls that have horns and are very strong. They can pull a plow easily as long as they worked in pairs. If the oxen didn't work together, it was hard.

Special Occasion