Becoming An Apostle

How many of you have ever seen someone draw a name out of a hat to choose one person for something special? What are some reasons we might put names in a hat? Allow children to answer. Back in the time of Jesus they would sometimes draw names too. During that time, they believed that the God would help them choose the best name. We might draw names to pick someone to win a prize, or to choose someone to go first. In Jesus time they drew names to help them with really important decisions, like choosing a new apostle!

After Jesus died one of his special friends, Judas decided he didn’t want to be an apostle anymore. So the rest of Jesus’s friends had to choose a new apostle Let’s read to find out how they might have done that. Read Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible Year B. I find it very interesting to think about how Jesus’s friends might have chosen a new apostle. First they thought about what was important in a new apostle. What were some of the characteristics they felt an apostle needed to have? Allow children to answer that they wanted someone who was with Jesus from the time of his baptism and who saw Jesus alive again. Once they decided on what was important the thought of two people who both had the characteristics they were looking for and who were good and kind and tried hard to live in God’s way. But they still had to choose. So they drew a name.

In Jesus’s time they believed that there should be only 12 apostles. Do you remember what an apostle is? Allow children to answer if they can.That’s right, an apostle is a leader that help us live in God’s way. Do you think that if we counted up ALL the leaders in all the 

churches that help us live in God’s way there would still be only 12? Pull out a hat with slips of paper in it. On each slip of paper should be written the word YOU. I’ve got a hat here, let’s see who God thinks should help people live in God’s way. Have several children draw slips of paper. God wants you, and you, and you, and you…God wants all of us to be an example of how to live. We don’t need to wait for someone to draw our name from a hat! We are all called to be a witness to living in God’s way!

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God Loves Everyone

Note to parents and leaders: I like Ralph Milton’s adaption of today’s scripture for children. Because small children will have a hard time understanding castration, the reasons for it as well as it’s implications, Milton’s version of the story is changed to that of a person who is small.

Have you ever been teased or heard someone being teased? How do you think it feels to be teased by others? Allow children to answer. Sometimes people get teased because of how they look, or things they do. People were even teased in the time of Jesus.

Our scripture story today comes from the book of Acts. In this story, Taharka was often teased about being small. Let’s read to find out what he learns. Read Acts 8:26-38 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible Year B. Taharka knew what it felt like to suffer for something that wasn’t his fault. He couldn’t help that he was small, but people teased him anyway. He worked really hard to be the best person he could be, but sometimes he still found it hard to love himself. He almost couldn’t believe that God loved him no matter what. Do you ever worry that something about you isn’t good enough? Allow children to answer. God loves all people! It doesn’t matter what we look like, if you are smart, or play an instrument, or are good at sports. It doesn’t matter if you are tall or short. GOD LOVES YOU! And Jesus taught us that we should love all people too, especially when they are different from us. 

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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.
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