Memory Verse: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”
Items for Preparation:
- Have ready some things that indicate two opposite categories of choice into which people can claim to belong. Examples: pink for girls and blue for boys; opposing teams of your hometown choice; the two major brand soft drink choices; some chocolate candy with nuts and some without; photos of pizza with pepperoni and without; peanut butter sandwiches with white bread and wheat bread; mascots from two different elementary schools in your area if available. I’d skip the whole Republican/Democrat thing right now if I were you. It is your car out there in the parking lot, after all, for anyone to toilet-paper during the sermon. I’m just sayin’.
Background: Read the adult lesson in Nurturing Faith and additional material online. There is no better time than right now for us to hear this message of the gospel, that we all are equal, we all are one, we all are valuable importantly, through Jesus. We get to teach leaders of tomorrow this vital truth. Ah. The glory of children’s sermons.
[Display a couple of your opposite category things.]
Say: Sometimes it can feel that we are on opposite sides. It can feel as if we can’t ever agree. Have you felt that way before? [Allow for answers.]
Say: For instance, raise your hands: [now hold up one choice] how many of you prefer this one? [Now hold up its opposite] And how many of you prefer this instead?
Say: It can be VERY HARD to understand how a person can prefer the opposite of what we prefer! It can feel IMPOSSIBLE! For instance, [now select another couple choices] how many for this one? And how many prefer the other?
Say: Yes! Who in the world can understand how we can be different like this! Oh my goodness. What about these? [Now offer another set of choices. Keep going like this until your organist and associate minister are staring off into space, begin drooling, and then softly slide from their chairs, onto the floor, unconscious.]
Say: Ohhhhh!!!! No way can somebody like that other thing! Yuk! Eeeewww! I don’t get it! I’m going to need a minute to collect myself. Goodness. [Shake yourself all over. Take a deep breath.]
Say: The apostle Paul wrote about this very thing in his letter to Galatia. He wrote something wonderful: These choices don’t matter. We can forget about them. He wrote that it isn’t important if a person is a fan of [name your two teams] or if a person is a man or a woman, or if a person is from the USA or from France or from Morocco or Syria or Greece or Israel or Australia, or if a person likes [name a pair of food choices here] or if they are rich or poor, or if they have a job or don’t have a job, or if they are making A’s in school or making F’s. Oh my goodness! Paul wrote a very important thing! It can make people mad, because it means that every person, no matter who they are or what choices they like to make, every person in the world is loved by God when they are Jesus-followers. Every single person. Wow.
Say: The differences between us are not important to God. It is the Jesus inside each one of us that God likes, no matter what. Ah.
Prayer: Say these words after I say them.
O God of All People,
We thank you that we are all different
Yet you make us one.
We start on opposite sides
But you bring us into your presence
And all of us find we belong to you,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.