Memory Verse: “Bear one another’s burdens, for in this way you fulfill the law of Christ.”
Items for Preparation:
- Prepare a couple of grocery bags with a few cans of food inside, so they are heavy.
- If you can find some, have some stickers with bears on them. Be prepared to give one sticker to each child.
Background: Read the adult lesson in the print edition of Nurturing Faith and additional material online. Paul’s rich passages are too deep for us to cover fully, so we select one part of the wisdom he presents, that we are to bear one another’s burdens. This is readily understandable for children, and we’ll demonstrate why Pauls’ advice is a great idea.
[As you begin, encourage your children to remain standing for this children’s sermon. Make sure they stand and don’t sit. Put your two heavy bags on the floor between you and your group of kids.]
Say: Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Galatia that Jesus-followers can do a very important thing that will help all of us fulfill the law of Christ. Now, Paul wrote a great many things, but this one thing is something we can each do. We can do it today. We can do it this week.
Say: I have been to the grocery store, and I have these two really heavy bags of food. My back is hurting today. Is there somebody who is willing to hold a bag for me so it won’t be on the floor? [Allow for answers and volunteers. If you don’t get volunteers, you must not be in Tennessee. You need to conscript somebody. You might pick the smallest one in the bunch.]
Say: Oh, thank you! Here you go! [And hand the bag to that kid. Take a second and let the kid get used to lugging that load. You can goad him just a little.]
Say: Is it too heavy to hold? I appreciate your holding it for me. I don’t want the food on the floor. That’s just yucky. You are a good friend to help me out! But…I have this other bag of food, too. Can you hold it for me as well? [If this first kid is willing, go ahead and give him Bag #2. If not, get another volunteer or conscript a second kid.]
Say: Thanks a lot! I am very grateful you are willing to carry that heavy load for me. It’s not too much for you, is it? I’m sorry we can’t sit down today – but we need to do a quick children’s time.
Say: Paul wrote about this in his letter – that Jesus-followers can bear one another’s burdens. What does that mean? [Allow for answers.]
Say: Yes, it’s a lot like carrying a heavy load for somebody else. That’s not your grocery bag. You will probably not get to eat any of that food. It’s my heavy bag to carry. So when you carry it for me you are doing hard work, and it might make you very tired. It might keep you from carrying something you need to carry yourself. But you are saving me from having to do the hard work. You are also helping me keep my back from hurting. Now I’m going to take back my heavy bags. Thank you for being my friends, and being good Jesus-followers, and helping me carry my burdensome bags. You made a difference for me, and you helped me today. That feels very good to me.
[And if you have stickers:]
Say: I think you deserve a “bear” sticker so you will remember you were good Jesus-followers today by bearing my burden!
Prayer: Say these words after I say them.
O Mighty God,
Thank you for the friends around us
Who are good Jesus-followers
Who bear our burdens with us
And make our living easier and happier.
Let us become good burden-bearers
For one another
In Jesus’ name, Amen.