Focus Passage: Mark 10: 1-16
Memory Verse: “Let little children come beside me, because they are like the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Items for Preparation
-A hand mirror large enough for you to hold in front of children and have them be able to see themselves a bit.
Read the adult lessons in Baptists Today and additional material at Nurturing Faith online. Kids are their own lesson today — a self-serve children’s sermon! They are important in and of themselves, and additionally because Jesus uses children as a metaphor for the attitude and mentality that any person can have, which enables inhabitation in the Kingdom. This is your chance to act like a kid. It’s okay. It’s alriiiiight. Be goofy. Show kids how it’s done.
Say: It’s a greeeeaaaaaaat morning this morning! If you think it’s a good day to be alive, stand up, do a little happy dance, and say “This is the day the Lord has made! We’ll be happy in it all day long!” [Now allow for that to occur, in just as many different and silly ways as your wonderful group of children present to you. Go wild.]
Say: Okay, that’s good, simmer down now. It’s also good to be able to sit just quietly, like Ferdinand the Bull, without making any noise or moving. Take a deep breath. Relax. Smell the flowers. Ah.
[Now hold up your mirror, and move it around so kids can see themselves.]
Say: Jesus liked dancing his happy dance, and also liked sitting just quietly, especially when his friends, the Disciples, were with him. But in our story today, Jesus got a little angry with his Disciples. Do you know why? [Allow for answers.]
Say: There were some little kids, who were a lot like you all. If you want to know what they looked like, look in the mirror. The bunch of kids were playing around near Jesus. Their Dads and Moms were bringing them over to Jesus so he could meet them, and be friends. But the Disciples tried to stop the Dads and Moms from bringing their kids to say hello. The Disciples said, “Hey, Jesus doesn’t have time for kids! He’s busy with a lot of important churchy stuff. He’s got serious grown up stuff to do. Get out of the way, please. We don’t have time for kids. Move along.”
Say: Well, what do you think Jesus said when he heard them doing that? [Allow for answers.] Yes! He got mad. Because, if there’s anything we need to know about Jesus, it is that he liked to have fun just as much as we do. Jesus did important things, and said important things to grownups. But Jesus also thought that little kids, just like you, [and hold up your mirror again] were JUST AS IMPORTANT as grownups. So he told his disciples a thing or two.
Say: Jesus said, “Hey! What are you trying to do to me, keeping my little friends away from me! Cut that out! I want ALL the people, not just the grownups, but all the people, the teenagers, the school children, the toddlers, even the newborn babies, to be here with me.
Say: Then Jesus got up and did a little happy dance with those kids who came to see him. He laughed out loud, “Hahahahahah!” And then he said, “Life would be terrible if we didn’t have little kids around. We would all be sad and boring without them. Having little kids around, getting silly and playing and having fun, why, that’s the best way I can think of to know what Heaven feels like. Now, let’s do our happy dance some more, y’all! Hahahahahah!” [Now command that kids, and maybe adults in the pews as well, get up and do some dancing again, and let chaos ensue. But just for a minute.]
Say: So remember – Jesus loves all children, Jesus thinks children are just as important as grownups, and most of all, Jesus knew that being a kid was the best way to know how Heaven feels. So, all of us in this church are glad that YOU are HERE with US.
Prayer: Say these words after I say them.
O God of happiness,
Let us feel your love
For all little kids and grownups,
And let the feeling of Heaven
Bubble up inside us,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.