Sing Your Praises

There are lots of stories in the Bible. Stories about God, stories about Jesus, stories about people that loved God with all their hearts. Did you know there are even songs in the Bible? What kinds of songs do we sing at church? What do we sing about? Allow children to name some songs/topics we sing. Guide them to the idea that we sing about our love for God and God’s love for us. People have been singing about God for a long time. Some of those songs ended up in the Bible in a book called Psalms. Even now people create songs about the Psalms.

Today I want to share Psalm 19 with you. Read a version of the Psalm that is appropriate for the age of children you will be working with. Some examples can be found here, here, and here. There are two main parts to this Psalm, the beginning talks about how even the sun and the night sky sing God’s praises. The second part talks about trying to live the way God wants us to live. To be the best people we can be, and that our words and thoughts might bring praise to God. For me, one way I praise God is through song. And when I read this psalm it reminded me of a song. Let’s listen and sing it together! Play “God of Wonders.” Many versions exist both in audio and video. I like this one best.

Did you notice the similarities between Psalm 19 and the song God of Wonders? What did you hear that was the same? Help children compare the song with the Psalm. This season of Lent is all about growing closer to God. One way I connect with God and Jesus is through song. Especially when I find ways to sing scripture. Let’s sing our praises this week!

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Every Wednesday I share a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home.

I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions.

All of this can be yours for less than a dollar!! Just click the Add to Cart button to download your copy today! Payments can be made with Paypal, Google Checkout, or you can enter your credit card as a Paypal guest (no account required). Once you have made your purchase an email will be sent to you with download directions.
Add to Cart
Cost: $0.99

Please note: all images and PDF files are my creation. You may use them in your home and with your church family. Please give credit to ChildhoodSpirituality.com. You may not sell these items in part or in full, or in any way claim them as your own. Thank you!

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What’s in a Name

Tell me your full name. Allow a child to answer. Do you have any other names that people call you like a nickname? Allow child to answer. Continue on with several children (all if possible). Your name is important! It’s a part of who you are! When I hear the name ________ (name a person in the congregation…perhaps the pastor) I automatically think of someone who is _________ (name some attributes of that person).

Your parents thought carefully about what they would name you. Did you know that some names mean something? If your name has a meaning, use that as an example or choose the name of someone else in your congregation that is well known to the children. Nowadays not everyone’s name means something, but in the time of the Bible parents thought very carefully about what a name meant before giving their child that name. Today we are going to listen to a story about a baby named laughter! That’s a funny name, isn’t it! Let’s read to find out more about this story. Read Genesis 17:1-8, 15-19 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible Year B.

People connect your name to who you are. Just like my example earlier, when I hear the name _______ I think of someone who is _________. In this story God changed Abram and Sarai’s names to something different. God gave their lives a new meaning by giving them new names. God even gave them an idea of what to name their baby! Isaac, which means laughter. That name reminded Abraham and Sarah to always keep laughter in their lives.

You don’t have to change your name to do something special in your life. It’s how you choose to act and what you do that give your name meaning. People connect your name to who you are. When people hear the name ___________ (name a child in the group) they think of someone who is…? have the child answer what people think of when they hear his/her name. Go around and ask several more children to answer (all children if time allows).

Your name is important! It’s a special part of who you are! Your actions give your name meaning!

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Every Wednesday I share a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home.

I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions.

All of this can be yours for less than a dollar!! Just click the Add to Cart button to download your copy today! Payments can be made with Paypal, Google Checkout, or you can enter your credit card as a Paypal guest (no account required). Once you have made your purchase an email will be sent to you with download directions.
Add to Cart
Cost: $0.99

Please note: all images and PDF files are my creation. You may use them in your home and with your church family. Please give credit to ChildhoodSpirituality.com. You may not sell these items in part or in full, or in any way claim them as your own. Thank you!

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A Rainbow Reminder

As you walk to the front (if you are doing a children’s moment at church) or begin this lesson (if you are using it at home) call the children to you by singing the song “I Can Sing a Rainbow.” If you prefer not to sing you could also use this video, although I like to sing it a bit more upbeat. Once everyone is gathered together begin the lesson. I don’t know about you, but I just love seeing a rainbow! It always feels like such a special moment because they don’t happen all the time. Have you ever seen a rainbow?

Rainbows are pretty special. Usually we have to wait for the weather to be just right to create a rainbow in the sky. But sometimes, if you hold things just right…you can see a rainbow anytime. Fill a shallow bowl about half full with water. Place a mirror inside the bowl at an angle. Shine a flashlight at the part of the mirror that is underwater. Hold a white piece of paper or poster board above the bowl. Adjust the angle of the mirror or poster board until you see a rainbow. Be sure you practice this experiment ahead of time, before doing it with the children! Did you know that there is a story about rainbows in the Bible? I bet you’ve heard part of this story before, but you may not know how it ends. Our story begins with Noah and his ark. Read Genesis 9:8-17 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible Year B. Prior to reading the scripture begin by reading the intro included with the story. Do you remember what the word covenant means? Allow children to answer. A convenient is like a promise. Whenever we see a rainbow it is a reminder that God is always with us, forever, and loves us more than anything!

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Every Wednesday I share a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home.

I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions.

All of this can be yours for less than a dollar!! Just click the Add to Cart button to download your copy today! Payments can be made with Paypal, Google Checkout, or you can enter your credit card as a Paypal guest (no account required). Once you have made your purchase an email will be sent to you with download directions.
Add to Cart
Cost: $0.99

Please note: all images and PDF files are my creation. You may use them in your home and with your church family. Please give credit to ChildhoodSpirituality.com. You may not sell these items in part or in full, or in any way claim them as your own. Thank you!

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Loving Community

We’ve all been sick before. What happens when you are sick? Can you be with other people when you are sick? Allow children to answer. Help children realize that you may have to stay home from school/church/activities when you are sick, but that they still aren’t totally alone. In our community, when we get sick there are people to help us. Like our parents, or grandparents, doctors and nurses. You usually have to stay home from school/church/activities when you are sick so that you don’t spread germs, but your family is still there to take care of you. But in Jesus time if you were sick you weren’t allowed to be around anyone. You couldn’t be a part of the community anymore.

This week’s bible story is about a man who was sick and wasn’t allowed to be around anyone in his community. He was by himself all the time. I bet he felt really lonely. Let’s read about what Jesus did. Read Mark 1:40-45 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Bible Year B. It was a big deal that Jesus stopped and talked to Rufus. It was an even bigger deal that he touched him. Can you imagine being sick and having no one look at you, or talk to you, or touch you at all? No hugs? No smiles? All alone. That would make me very sad. But Jesus stopped and helped Rufus feel better.

Why do you think Jesus asked Rufus not to tell anyone that Jesus had made him feel better? Allow children to answer. This is a tricky question to answer…even for grown-ups, but I’ll tell you what I think. I think that Jesus felt his most important job was to tell people about God’s love. And when people like Rufus started talking about how Jesus made them feel better when they were sick, that was all people could think about. They wanted Jesus to make them feel better too. The story tells us that there were so many people coming to Jesus that he could hardly move sometimes. All those people asking Jesus to make them better made it hard for Jesus to teach about God’s love.

Which makes me think…perhaps the most important part of this story isn’t about how much better Rufus got. I think the really special part is that Rufus was finally able to join his community again. Because he was better he could be around people. Having a community of people in our life is really important. Because he had been sick, Rufus knew what it felt like to be all alone. Now that he is better, I bet he will be more able to help others in his community that feel alone. 

That is what Jesus teaches us. To love others in our community. Especially those that feel all alone

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Here I Am Lord

Don’t forget to check out the additional resources at the end of the post for less than $1! You get  a PDF with the lesson plan, 2 additional activities, and a handout. A preview of the resources and the purchase button are at the bottom of this post!

Tell me if this sounds familiar… “(in a parent voice) Jim…Jim…JIM…I have been calling and calling your name, why didn’t you answer me? (in another voice) I didn’t hear you Mom/Dad” Has that ever happened at your house? Someone calls your name and you don’t answer? In my house it’s usually because my boys are choosing not to answer me, not because they actually didn’t hear me.

Today we are going to read a story in the bible about a boy named Samuel. Read 1 Samuel 3:1-10. I would use My First Bible by Pat Alexander. Read pages 176-179. What would you think if you heard someone calling your name while you were sleeping? I’m not surprised that Samuel thought it was Eli calling his name! Eventually Eli realized that it must be God speaking to Samuel and told Samuel what to say the next time he hear God calling.

Share the chorus to “Here I Am Lord.” If you can, sing it to the children without setting it up first. “Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.” 

When God speaks to us it’s usually not in a loud voice calling our name. For me, it’s more like feeling a nudge, or a little push, inside to do one thing or another. When I listen carefully I can hear God leading me to do the right thing. Leading me to be kind and helpful to others.

Sing again. Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.

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Every Wednesday I share a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home.

I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions.

All of this can be yours for less than a dollar!! Just click the Add to Cart button to download your copy today! Payments can be made with Paypal, Google Checkout, or you can enter your credit card as a Paypal guest (no account required). Once you have made your purchase an email will be sent to you with download directions.

Add to Cart
Cost: $0.99

Please note: all images and PDF files are my creation. You may use them in your home and with your church family. Please give credit to ChildhoodSpirituality.com. You may not sell these items in part or in full, or in any way claim them as your own. Thank you!

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Don’t Worry Be Happy

Each Wednesday I release additional resources for less than $1! You get  a PDF with the lesson plan, 2 additional activities, a handout, and an image to use as a worship background. A preview of the resources and the purchase button are at the bottom of this post!

Has anyone ever asked you to do something that was hard? Allow a few children to share difficult tasks they’ve had to do. Sometimes we have to do something because we know it’s the right thing to do even if we don’t want to or if it seems hard. Share a time that you did something because it was the right thing even though it was hard to do.

Today I want to read you a story about Mary. Read Luke 1:26-38 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible – Year B. Mary was a little bit scared and worried about what God asked her to do. But she knew that with God amazing things are possible. I bet the idea of being Jesus’s mom was frightening and exciting at the same time!

The angel told Mary to be happy. I don’t know about you, but when I’m asked to do something that makes me a bit scared and I’m not sure I really want to do it, I usually don’t feel happy. In fact, I can get a little bit grumpy about it. Have you ever felt that way? Allow children to respond. But the angel said to be happy, that God was with Mary and chosen her for something special. I think that God wants us to be happy even when we are going to do something difficult. I think that God wants us to respond like Mary did. She said that if that’s what God wanted then that was what she would do. Mary was strong and brave. And we can be too!

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Every Wednesday I share a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home.

I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions. In addition to the 3 page PDF download I have created a worship background image that could be projected on the screen during the children’s moment of your worship service.

All of this can be yours for less than a dollar!! Just click the Add to Cart button to download your copy today! Payments can be made with Paypal, Google Checkout, or you can enter your credit card as a Paypal guest (no account required). Once you have made your purchase an email will be sent to you with download directions.
Add to Cart
Cost: $0.99

Please note: all images and PDF files are my creation. You may use them in your home and with your church family. Please give credit to ChildhoodSpirituality.com. You may not sell these items in part or in full, or in any way claim them as your own. Thank you!

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Look for the Good

Have you noticed that each Wednesday I release additional resources for less than $1?!? You get  a PDF with the lesson plan, 2 additional activities, a handout, and an image to use as a worship background. A preview of the resources and the purchase button are at the bottom of this post!

Have you ever felt so happy about something that you wanted to laugh and sing? Allow children to share a time they felt that happy. When we feel especially happy we often give praise to God. Listen to this scripture from the book of Psalms. Read Psalm 126. For this Psalm I think The Message Bible version is the easiest for children to understand. The people in this Psalm were so happy that they were laughing and singing. They were praising God. But there was one part that seemed a little confusing. Does anyone know what a drought is? Allow children to respond. So what do you think it means when the Psalm says “bring rains to our drought stricken lives”? Discuss with children the comparison of drought to a time in life that is sad.

It’s easy to think that the good times and the bad times are two separate times in life. I believe that there are good things and bad things always happening. Share an example of a time in your life when something good and something bad happened at the same time. Have you ever had something good and something bad happen in the same day? Allow a few children to share examples from their own lives. I think that we have the power to decide if we are going to focus on the happy things or the sad things. When we choose to look for happy things we will find them. When we choose to look for sad things, we will find those too. Which would you rather find? That doesn’t mean that you will never be sad, but you can choose to look for moments of happiness even in sad times. And when we focus on God, in our lives, God helps us find those moments of happiness.

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Every Wednesday I share a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home. But for this lectionary year I wanted to offer you something more.

I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions. In addition to the 3 page PDF download I have created a worship background image that could be projected on the screen during the children’s moment of your worship service.

All of this can be yours for less than a dollar!! Just click the Add to Cart button to download your copy today!
Add to Cart
Cost: $0.99

Please note: all images and PDF files are my creation. You may use them in your home and with your church family. Please give credit to ChildhoodSpirituality.com. You may not sell these items in part or in full, or in any way claim them as your own. Thank you!

————————————————————————————————-

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Comfort Me

Have you ever felt really sad about something? What kinds of things make you feel better when you are sad? Allow children to name something that makes them feel better (hugs, having someone listen to them, singing a song, etc).

Remember last week when we read in the Bible about Isaiah? This week I have another story to share with you from Isaiah. Read Isaiah 40:1-11 from the Lectionary Story Bible – Year B. When Isaiah was feeling sad he would sing. Let me share his song with you again. “Comfort them. Comfort my people, says our God. Speak so tenderly to all of them, and tell them for me, that I love every one of them and that I am coming to help them.” What does the word comfort mean? Allow children to define comfort. Remind them of the forms of comfort they discussed at the beginning. How do you think God comforts us? Allow children to share ideas. Remind them that God comforts us through the actions of others.

The story of Isaiah happens long before the time of Jesus. I want you to listen to what else Isaiah had to say, “I know God’s chosen one will come. And God will feed us all, like a shepherd. And hold us warm and tight, and keep us safe from harm, and show us how to live.” Doesn’t that sound comforting? Someone to feed us, hold us warm and tight, keep us safe from harm, and show us how to live. Who do you think Isaiah was talking about? Children will likely answer, Jesus! Can you think of anyone else that does that for you? Someone who feeds you, holds you warm and tight, keeps you safe, and shows you how to live? Help children to understand that there are people in their lives that do these things for them as well (parents, grandparents, sunday school teachers, etc). Jesus is our best example, but there are many people in your life that comfort you with the love of God. And do you want to know the best part? YOU can be a comfort too!


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Every Wednesday I share with you a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home. But for this lectionary year I wanted to offer you something more.

I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions. In addition to the 3 page PDF download I have created a worship background image that could be projected on the screen during the children’s moment of your worship service.

All of this can be yours for less than a dollar!! Just click the Add to Cart button to download your copy today!
Add to Cart
Cost: $0.99

Please note: all images and PDF files are my creation. You may use them in your home and with your church family. Please give credit to ChildhoodSpirituality.com. You may not sell these items in part or in full, or in any way claim them as your own. Thank you!

————————————————————————————————-

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God’s Strong, Gentle Hands

This week begins a new Lectionary year and the beginning of the Advent season. We now enter Year B in the Revised Common Lectionary. We begin Year B in the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 64:1-9 as it reads in the NRSV may be difficult for children to understand. This lesson will be based off Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible – Year B
(as will many of my lessons throughout this year).

Ask the children if they know what holiday is coming up. It won’t take long for them to answer “Christmas!” probably loudly and in unison. Ask if they know why people call this the busiest time of the year. Help the children realize that this time of year is filled with lots of holiday programs, gatherings with friends and family, cooking, baking, and lots of shopping! Tell the children that you are going to read them a story about a man named Isaiah. Read Isaiah 64:1-9 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible – Year B.

Ask the children what Isaiah was sad about. Help them remember that Isaiah was frustrated because people in the market were so busy buying and selling things and making plans that they forgot about God. They forgot to say thank you to God for all the blessings in their lives. Do you think that ever happens now? During the busiest time of the year? Have you ever gotten so excited about the programs, and gatherings, and food, and presents that you forgot about God? Tell the children that we ALL have times like that. But Isaiah’s story reminds us how important it is to say thank you to God for our blessings.

Isaiah was so upset that people were forgetting God that he wanted God to get angry with the people and punish them. But Rebekah helped him remember that God is kind and gentle. Isaiah thought about that until he calmed down and then he said that God is like a potter who makes pots out of clay. God holds us and shapes us with strong kind hands. Tell the children that clay is kind of like play-dough. Ask the children if they have ever made something out of play-dough? Pull out some play-dough to demonstrate with and begin to make a bowl. What if my hands are rough with this play-dough? Begin mashing the bowl you created. What happens? Allow children to answer. But Isaiah taught us that God holds us and shapes us with strong gentle hands. Use gentle hands to remake the bowl. God is always holding you and shaping you into a better person.

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Every Wednesday I share with you a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home. But for this lectionary year I wanted to offer you something more.

I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions. In addition to the 3 page PDF download I have created a worship background image that could be projected on the screen during the children’s moment of your worship service.

All of this can be yours for less than a dollar!! Just click the Add to Cart button to download your copy today!
Add to Cart
Cost: $0.99

Please note: all images and PDF files are my creation. You may use them in your home and with your church family. Please give credit to ChildhoodSpirituality.com. You may not sell these items in part or in full, or in any way claim them as your own. Thank you!

————————————————————————————————-

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Being Kind to God

The lectionary scripture for this week, Matthew 25:31-40, follows a series of parables about what heaven will be like. This scripture serves as the final statement prior to the passion and the resurrection in the book of Matthew.

Ask the children if they have ever given God some food? What about a drink? Have you given God clothes? Or taken care of God when God was sick? Tell the children that you want them to listen to what Jesus has to say about this. Read the children Matthew 25:31-40. Explain that Jesus is saying that all people are part of God’ family. And when you help anyone in God’s family you are helping God.

Ask the children again. Tell me about a time you gave God food. Tell me about when you gave God something to drink. Tell me about a time you gave God clothes. Tell me about a time you took care of God when God was sick. Allow children to share stories after each question. Help them connect to the things they can do to help the people of God’s family.

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