Focus Passage: Psalm 63

Memory Verse: “O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you…”

Items for Preparation

-A large glass of cool water, with ice cubes if possible, on a tray. You will drink this during your sermon.

Background

Read the adult lesson in Nurturing Faith and additional material online. Most kids haven’t been through a desert as our psalmist alludes, but they’ve been on a long walk, or on the beach, or out in a ballfield, and felt thirsty enough to understand what we’ll discuss today.

Children’s Sermon

Say: The Old Testament book of 150 songs, which his called…what? Yes! Psalms. And how do we spell Psalms? Yes! P-s-a-l-m-s. Remember, the “p” is silent. In Psalm number 63, which is not even halfway through the whole book of 150, the writer says that his soul “thirsts” for God.

[Now take a good long look at your glass of water on the tray. Sigh really big, and lick your lips. Ham it up. But don’t drink anything.]

Say: What was I saying? Oh, yes, the writer of Psalm 63 is also called a psalmist. The psalmist wrote that he was looking for God, and wanted to find God very much. Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever just sat and wondered where God is? Come to think of it, where is God? [Look around the room, up and down, behind you, behind children. Look again, longingly, at that glass of water. Rub your forehead as if to remove sweat. Lick your lips. But don’t drink. Re-focus your attention on kids, and ask again.]

Say: Where is God? [Allow for answers.]

Say: We know that God is here with us, especially here in this room, our sanctuary, our holy place, because we have come here on purpose to worship God right now. We know that God comes here and meets us. We can’t see God, though, can we? How do we know that God has come to us?

[Allow for answers. Some of them will probably be great answers! Highlight those. Offer some if needed.]

Say: We know God is here, because we can feel in our hearts that God loves us. We can feel in our minds that God gives us understanding. We can feel that God gives us forgiveness, and we feel relief. We can feel that we are not alone, because God’s spirit is beside us and inside us. We can feel that we belong, because our friends and church family are here with us as we worship God together. We can feel that we are strong, because God gives us encouragement and hope. We can feel joy, because God shows us how to follow God during these next days, and how to be good Jesus-followers. That is how we know God is here with us: because of what we feel together.

[Now look at that water again, and let yourself be pulled toward it, look it up and down, lick your lips, rub your forehead and your throat, sigh a lot. Pick up the glass, and smile as you speak.]

Say: The psalmist who wrote Psalm 63 wrote that he looked for the Lord, and that his soul was thirsty, thirsty to feel that God was present. When we come to our sanctuary to worship, do we want to find God so much that we feel thirsty for God? Hmm… [Now take a big, long drink. Swallow and make a loud gulping sound with your throat if you can do that without choking. After a few swallows, stop and smile again.]

Say: The psalmist wrote that he was thirsty for God, and that when he found God, God gave him refreshment. Aaaaaaaaah. As we worship God today, we hope each of us can feel the relief and refreshment in knowing God is here, present, with us now. See if you can feel refreshment today.

Prayer: Say these words after I say them.

O Holy God,

We come to worship you

And we feel thirsty.

Let us find that you are near,

For you are as close to us

As the water we drink.

Let us be refreshed by you

In Jesus’ name, Amen.