Open book

Focus Passage: John 13: 31-35

Memory Verse: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.”

Items for Preparation

-In your public library, find a copy of a law book that you can check out. If it reads “blah blah blah LAW blah blah” on the front, that’s good. Alternatively, you can get a copy of the RULES for something, such as the by-laws of your congregation, although this will be pushing your point pretty far. The by-laws of the community club would be better.

-Print out the 10 Commandments, preferably with the Roman numerals in front of each one.


Read the adult lesson in the print edition of Nurturing Faith and additional material online. Our focus today is love, which triumphs over all other rules of human behavior, and indeed can replace them if we will follow its law carefully.

Children’s Sermon

[Display your 10 Commandments, and your LAW book or RULES.]

Say: Can you remember all 10 of the Ten Commandments? [Allow for answers.] We try every day to keep these commandments; and we have to know what they are, don’t we? Do you think it’s easy to break one if you forget about it? [Allow for answers.]

Say: There are lots more rules we must keep besides those 10 commandments given in the Old Testament. [Point to your LAW book or your RULES.] In every place we gather, there are rules we must keep. At school, in the scouts, on your team, in your music group, and in our church, we have rules or laws that we do not want to break. Can you name one? [Allow for answers.]

Say: But Jesus’ saying in our memory verse today is just about the most important thing he ever said. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.”

Say: Imagine if we got rid of all of our rules. What if we decided to throw away our LAW books? What if we even forgot all 10 of the commandments? What if the only rule we ever followed was this one: I will love you as much as I love me. What do you think would happen if every person followed that saying of Jesus? [Allow for answers.]

Say: Jesus thought that everything we needed to do was in that one rule: love one another. If we do that, then we will not do anything that hurts others, will we? We won’t be unfair. We won’t be selfish. We won’t forget about people who need our help. We won’t act uppity like we’re the only important ones. We won’t lie or cheat or steal from another person. We certainly won’t hurt another person!

Say: Do you think Jesus was right? Do you think that one rule, “love one another,” is the only rule we need? See what happens this week if you let that be the rule you follow.

Prayer: Say these words after I say them.

O God of Easter,
Thank you for Jesus,
For his life and his resurrection.
Let us follow Jesus’ law of love
And his new commandment,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.