Focus Passage: Luke 1: 68-79
Memory Verse: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for God has saved God’s people.”
Items for Preparation
- enough masking tape that you can put it across your mouth during your children’s sermon. Get the kind that won’t hurt you when you remove it in front of kids
Read the adult lesson in Baptists Today and additional material online at Nurturing Faith. We’ll focus our sermon on what it might have felt like to Zechariah suddenly to be able to speak after a long time mute, and also the importance of his first words.
[Begin with the tape across your mouth. Pretend to begin your Children’s Sermon, by moving your chin a bit and making muffled “Charlie Brown’s teacher” noise as if you think your words are coming our clearly. Gesture as if you’re telling your story. Give this just a few moments until kids are laughing. Then, roll your eyes, stare at the children, raise your eyebrows, and hold your hands up in a questioning posture. Then begin to feel the tape on your mouth with your hands, as if you are trying to figure out what’s wrong with your mouth and why it won’t work. Roll your eyes some more. Then, suddenly, get a bright idea, and slowly peel the tape from your mouth. Imagine Tom Hanks doing this, and you’ll do fine. When the tape is gone, continue.]
Say: Aha! Ah, now I can talk, and you can hear what I say! You CAN hear me, right? [Allow for answers.] And, you can understand the words I’m saying, right? [Allow for answers.]
Say: Well! It is a strange feeling not to be able to speak! That must be just how it felt to Zechariah, who was a pretty old man when the angel Gabriel told him that his wife, Elizabeth was going to have a baby. Gabriel told him to name the baby John, and that he would be a great prophet.
Say: But Zechariah and Elizabeth were older than your grandparents are; and people that old don’t have babies anymore. So Zechariah couldn’t believe Gabriel was possibly right! It was hard for him to imagine.
Say: So Gabriel said, “Well, if you don’t think I’m telling the truth, then you won’t be able to speak again until after the baby is born. Who knows what you might say!”
Say: And just like that, Zechariah’s mouth stopped working. He had to be absolutely quiet, and couldn’t say anything, until after John was born. Then, just like when I took the tape off of my mouth, suddenly, he could talk again.
Say: John grew up to become John the Baptist, the person who baptized Jesus. He was the cousin of Jesus, and he did all the things the angel Gabriel had told his Dad Zechariah about. It happened just as the angel said it would.
Prayer: Say these words after I say them.
O God of Good News,
Tell us the beautiful story
Of Jesus and his family,
And put good news in our mouths,
So we can share the story,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.