(This children’s talk is based on Luke 13: 10-17, where Jesus heals a crippled woman on the Sabbath.)
Jesus gives life.
1. To demonstrate an act of giving life.
2. To teach that Jesus gives life
Key Phrase: Jesus gives life.
1. A carry bag
2. An old hard cover book. (It will be used as a ‘book of rules’ of the church.)
3. A whistle
4. Enough hats to give away, one for each child present. (Sun hats would be ideal, but party hats will do.)
5. A large sun hat for yourself.
6. A high visibility vest. (Like the ones the road workers use)
7. A sheriff’s star to be fixed onto the vest.
8. A bright sunny day.
To make the sheriff’s star, first copy a star shape onto some card, and then cut it out. Write across the star, the initials C.O.P. which stands for Christian On Patrol. Use double sided tape or some other fixing method to attach the sheriff’s star to the high visibility vest.
Wear the vest and hat with the whistle in hand when you enter.
Your role will be that of a ‘super cop’, the keeper of all the rules of the church.
1. Have someone invite the children out for the children’s talk while you make a noisy entry. (In my case I was able to come from behind and surprised everyone.)
2. Blow your whistle a couple of times like a cop. As you move towards the group of children call out in a loud voice, “Stop, stay where you are, don’t move. I’ve caught you all.”
3. Address the children in a tough voice. “I’m super cop. As you can see on my badge the word C.O.P., it stands for Christian On Patrol. My job is to make sure everyone keeps the rules here at church.”
4. “This morning, I noticed that all of you were not wearing a hat coming to church on this bright sunny day.”
5. From the carry bag pull out the ‘rules book’, open to any page and read out as if you were reading a rule. Read out, “It is written in my ‘rules book’: Part 4, Section 2, sub-section 2c- 3, that it is an offence for any child coming to church or leaving not to wear a hat on a sunny day.” Then snap the book close.
6. Ask the children a question. “Why do we need to wear a hat on a bright sunny day?”
7. No doubt someone will give the right answer and say something about skin cancer. “Yes, that’s correct. Wearing a hat helps protect us from skin cancer. So, this is really a good rule. It’s a rule that helps look after us and keeps us safe.”
8. Open the ‘rules book’ again and say, “With every offence follows a punishment. Here we are: It is written in Part 8, Section 12, sub-section 12f, that anyone caught not wearing a hat will clean all the dishes after morning tea, clean the floor, and not play outside after church.”
9. Ask the children, “Is that a fair punishment?” Most of them would say no.
10. Ask the children again, “If I was Jesus right now, what would Jesus do?” Some children would say that Jesus would forgive them.
11. “Alright then, I forgive you. But you still have to clean the dishes, the floor, and stay inside after church. Does that make you happy?”
12. Imagine a lot of head shaking. Then say, “I think Jesus would do more than that. What else would Jesus do to give you life and make you happy?
13. There might not be a reply. Then say, “Jesus knows that there is a better way, and that is to give life.”
14. Pull out from the carry bag the hats for the children and while giving them out say to them, “This is what Jesus would do, by giving you a hat. In this way Jesus is giving you life so that you can continue to play outside after church, and forget about cleaning up after morning tea.”
15. Conclude with prayer. Dear Jesus, thank you for loving us and giving us good things everyday so that we have life. Help us to give life to other people by forgiving and helping them. Amen.