a children's sermon based on Genesis 29:14a-30
by Rev. Randy L Quinn
Do you know what a practical joke is? (They
probably will not.)
A practical joke is when you play a trick on someone in a way that no one
is hurt, but people get to laugh. Have you ever played a trick on someone?
Maybe you went up to them and pretended you were going to
push them in the water at a pool? Sometimes when you do that they get so
scared they jump in the pool without being pushed!
Maybe you told someone their shoe was untied and then when
they looked down, you said, “Made you look!”
Those things can be funny. But what if you were the one who was being
laughed at? Would you still think it was funny? (Probably not.)
In our story today, a man who was known for always playing tricks on other
people has someone play a trick on him.
He isn’t very happy about the joke that gets played on him, but he learns
an important lesson about laughter. Things are funnier when you laugh WITH
someone rather than AT someone.
His dad’s name meant “laughter” (Gen 21:3, 6; see also 18:12). Maybe he
should have paid more attention to his father and learned how to laugh at
jokes that make everyone laugh.
God in heaven, we know you have a sense of humor because you made us so we
enjoy laughing. Help us to laugh with other people rather than at
them so we can all enjoy the gift of laughter that you have given us. Amen.
We're All In
God's Green House
based on Mt. 13: 31-32
by Rev. Frank Schaefer
props: Bring in some small seeds (they don't have to be mustard seeds,
if you cannot get them), a foam cup, a little bit of soil some water in another cup, and
some clear foil.
Explain to the children what it takes to plant a seed, step by step. Ask them
what the seed needs to grow: nutrients form the earth, water from the sky, sunshine, and
fresh air. . . . but most of all it needs God. A big tree/plant can grow from this tiny
little seed--it's almost like a miracle, isn't it?
Application: God wants us to grow too, in body and in spirit. We all know what growing
in body looks like, but how do we grow in spirit?--we become better Christians by praying
to God, by reading the bible, by caring for/helping others, by going to church, by
praising God--those things are like water, sunshine, and soil to a seed.
We're going to leave this little seed that we planted in the soil right here on the
window sill, and you can check next Sunday and the Sunday after whether you can see a tiny
little plant growing out of it. And every time you look at it remember that God is growing
you too, in body and in spirit.
Prayer: "Lord, we thank you for the illustration of the tiny mustard seed that
grows to be a big tree, helped by the soil, the water, the sunshine and the air. We need
you to grow in our bodies and spirit as well. Help us remember to pray, to
read your bible and to obey you so that we may grow up to be strong Christians.