Wednesday, March 19, 2014

IT'S MINE - a talk about giving


About 10 labels with MINE printed in large letters on it
About 10 labels with GOD printed in large letters
Pad of fake $50 bills
·         Exodus 9:29, Psalm 50:10, Mt. 6:21

A while ago, there was a boy about 15 years old who had some model cars on his dresser that he had made a long time ago, but hadn’t used for years.  His younger brother – who was 9 – wanted the cars, and so the boys’ dad told the older boy to give them to his younger brother.  That made the older boy angry – they were his cars, and so he wouldn’t have to give them to his brother, he deliberately broke every one so his brother could see, and put them in the trash.

Let me tell you another story – this one about me.  When I was about 5, my mom was very sick.  My dad told me he would give me 25 cents and I could get my mom something or I could spend it on myself.  I decided to spend it on myself.

That story about me is kind of funny because I was only 5.  The first story isn’t funny at all because the boy was 15.  But both stories show something important.  When it comes to money, or things, or our time – deep down we think they are ours to keep as we want.

One of the first words little kids learn is “MINE”, right?  How many fights begin with two people wanting the same thing?  Has that ever happened with you and a brother or sister?
(have kids answer)

We may not know it, but this is what we believe – (Use stickers and put them on things – explain as you go – use $50 fake bills to show all my money is “MINE”, put a sticker on a person and talk about how you can think a friend is just for you and no one else and put a “MINE” sticker on him/her.  Talk about being too busy to help a little brother, or in gametime, how you want to win more than anything else, and don’t have time to help someone else – put a MINE sticker on the game scores sheet).

That’s what we believe deep down a lot of the time.  And not only does it cause problems like fights, but it’s believing a big, fat lie.  I HATE being lied to, don’t you?  But what’s the lie?

I need 3 helpers to look up some verses in the Bible that are going to show us what the BIG FAT LIE is:

Psalm 24:1 – The earth is the LORD’S and all that fills it

Psalm 50:10 – For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills

Matthew 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Look at all these things that I say are “MINE”.  Well, aren’t they?  They aren’t yours!  But what does Psalm 24:1 say – they belong to God.

(Take a sticker that says “God’s” and put it one by one on the things you had the MINE stickers on and say as you do it – my friend isn’t mine, she really belongs to God.
That money I have really isn’t mine, it really belongs to God.)

Let’s get back to my story at the beginning  of the boy who broke the cars rather than let his brother have them.  What do you think about what he did?  How do you think his younger brother felt? 

The way I see that true story, the older boy may have thought he won – he kept his brother from getting the cars – but I think he really lost.

I think he lost his brother’s trust – imagine how his younger brother felt towards him after he did that!  But I also think that older boy put all his “treasure” in stuff that was stupid, worthless.  And in a way, that stuff was pushing him around.  It was as if the stuff was saying – I’m so worth it that you need to do anything to keep anybody from getting your stuff.

I think that’s like being a prisoner.  It sure isn’t being free.

It’s hard to live as if everything is God’s.  But the truth is, it really is His.  We can fight it, we can act like everything is “MINE”, but when we do, we are believing the BIG FAT LIE, and I HATE believing lies, don’t you?

(Repeat 3 verses from above and pray)

Psalm 24:1 – The earth is the LORD’S and all that fills it
Psalm 50:10 – For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills
Matthew 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Ways to talk With God (Prayer)

Signs that say:

            I want you to think way, way back to the time you were a little baby.  Can you do that?  And I want to have you see if you remember what your very first word was.  Or maybe your mom or dad has told you what your first word was.

(Have kids answer – write on board??)

Sometimes a baby will be so happy to say “Da-da” or “Ma-Ma” or xx, that they say it over and over and over again.  Or maybe they sing a song over and over and over again.  Do any of you have younger brothers or sisters, and they keep saying the same thing?

How does it feel to hear the same thing over and over and over again?  Are you really mad at them, or do you just wish they could grow up a bit more so they could say more things?

Sometimes I think that the way we pray sounds a little bit to God like a little baby’s words.  We keep saying the same thing to God – things like – God please make David feel better.  Or God, please bless mommy and daddy.  Right?

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with talking to God that way.  He invites us to ask him for what we need.  But there are more things God would love to hear from us, so tonight I want to suggest 4 words that will help us grow up a bit as we pray to God.

Prayers like please make David feel better are what I call “Help” prayers (use sign).  Those are prayers where we ask God for things we need.  Can you think of other types of “help prayers”?

The second type of prayer I think of goes along with the “help” prayers, and that’s when God answers our prayers for Help, we can say “Thanks” prayers.  Thanks for Mr. Mika being back tonight after his concussion.  We said a HELP prayer to God for him last week, didn’t we?  But we’ve maybe forgotten to say a THANKS prayer to God for helping Mr. Mika, right?  HELP prayers and THANKS prayers go together.

What could be some other THANKS prayers?

Here’s a third type of prayer – one that you know about, but it’s a little harder to pray.  It’s called a SORRY prayer.  This is something you talk to God about when you’ve done something to hurt someone else, or against God.  A SORRY prayer is hard – can you think why?

(we are embarrassed, we don’t agree we did something wrong, we think God won’t forgive us).

Another reason SORRY prayers are hard is that sometimes we don’t know how to say we’re sorry.  So let’s imagine what a fake sorry prayer might look like:
(Have kids brainstorm)

Let me suggest what a real, whole-hearted SORRY prayer might look like.
God, you’re right.  I lied.  It doesn’t really matter why I lied, I did lie.  I said I went to x when I actually went x.  I will talk with Mom and Dad.  And if they punish me, that will be okay.  Help me not to lie any more.  Please forgive me, God.

Now THAT’s a Sorry prayer, isn’t it?

So let’s quickly go over it again-

What’s a HELP prayer?
What’s a THANKS prayer?
How about a SORRY prayer?

The fourth type is I think the hardest to understand, and it’s what I call a WOW prayer.
It’s telling God how great He is.  It’s different from a Thanks prayer, because we’re telling God how great HE IS, not thanking him for what he’s done.

So lots of the Psalms are WOW prayers – they use the word Praise the Lord. 

Here are some ways you might think of WOW prayers –

When I look at all the amazing types of birds you’ve made that are at my birdfeeder in the winter, I see that you’re amazing too!  Wow!

When I think that you are so powerful to make the planets, the stars, the black holes, and stuff we don’t even know exists yet, WOW God!

How about some other WOW prayers?

So let’s go back to how we started this thinking – little babies learn to speak slowly, and sometimes they only know one or two words.  But as they grow, they learn lots of ways of talking.  When we talk with God, sometimes we are like little babies – we only ask for what we need or want – only HELP prayers.  But God loves to hear prayers that thank him, prayers that tell him we’re really sorry for what we’ve done wrong, and prayers that talk about how amazing He is – WOW prayers.

Let’s do just that, okay?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014



Have box with papers in it with various scenarios written on them.  Tell kids we are going to talk about one of God’s best gifts to us – Christian friends.  Also have 3-strand cord for final illustration.

Prepare three postcards with the following good thing or hard thing that could happen to you or me.  Tell the clubbers, when we pull one out, let’s talk together about the story.  Invite a child to pick out the postcard and you read.  Here are the three scenarios.

Scenario #1:
Sylvie’s stomach felt sick.  She walked slowly into her math class, knowing she wasn’t ready for her test.  Why did math have to be so hard this year?  And she didn’t like her teacher, Mr. Smith, so it was hard that way too.  She missed Mrs. Miller who was out because she was having a baby.  She walked into the class and sat next to her friend from church, Ruth.  They both gave one another a look that meant – I’d rather be anyplace than here.  “Okay class,” said Mr. Smith.  Only a pencil on your desk.  Here’s the test. 

  • ·         Why does Sylvie feel sick?
  • ·         Is it important to God for Sylvie to get an A?
  • ·         How could Ruth be a Christian friend to Sylvie that morning?  How could Sylvie be a Christian friend to Ruth?


Stephen was a good student and loved school.   But yesterday, something happened that still made him uncomfortable.  There had been some problems with bullying at his school, and all the teachers decided to help the kids be more respectful to one another.  That day, the teachers took time to read the story of the Six Blind Men and the Elephant.  Stephen believed nobody should be bullied, but he didn’t like the idea that it didn’t matter what you believe about God, that all religions are the same.  At lunch, Stephen walked into the cafeteria to see who he could sit with.  The only kid sitting alone was Otto who everybody thought was a loser.  Otto happened to go to Stephen’s church and was in his AWANA club, although they had never talked.  It took him a minute to decide, but Stephen took his tray and sat next to Otto.

  • ·         Why was Stephen slow to sit next to Otto?
  • ·         How might Otto understand Stephen’s problem better than most other kids at the school?
  • ·         How could they have helped one another?

Scenario #3

When they were little, Nick and Melissa had been best friends, but now that they were in 5th grade, Melissa had more friends who were girls, and Nick had more friends who were boys.  One day, Nick wasn’t at school and the next day and the next.  On Monday, Melissa’s teacher told the class Nick was in the hospital.  His family was in a bad car accident, and Nick was pretty badly hurt.  The teacher said – please think good thoughts for Nick.  Melissa thought about Nick all day.  She wanted to do something, but it was complicated.  If Nick weren’t a boy it would be easier.  Girls and boys are SO weird in 5th Grade. 
  • ·         Why was Melissa nervous about doing anything for Nick?
  • ·         Can boys and girls be friends?
  • ·         Melissa’s just a kid.  What could she do as a Christian friend for Nick?

I want you to look around at each clubber here.  We’re all different, aren’t we?  We come from different towns, go to different schools, there are boys and there are girls.  Some are in 3rd grade, some in 4th, some in 5th, and some in 6th

I remember my son John saying he would never have friends who weren’t in the same grade as he was – somehow he thought that wasn’t right to have friends older or younger.  There’s so many ways we could think about one another, and believe   – none of these kids could be a friend for me.  We’re just too different.

But we have something very BIG in common - what is it?  Right!  We are Christians.  And we are part of God's family, so we're like brothers and sisters to one another.  That's pretty great. One of God’s best gifts to you and me are Christian friends, but so many of us don’t have any.  And so many of us don’t know how to be a Christian friend to one other.  What make a Christian friend different from other types of friends?

Here’s some ways the Bible talks about friends:

  • A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (long-time friend)  Prov. 18:24
  •  As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. – Prov. 27:17 (help one another love God more and obey more)
  • Eccl. 4:12 - Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (stick with one another in hard times)

A cord of 3 strands.  (Take out 3 ropes).  Each of these ropes is pretty strong, isn’t it?  If I put 2 together, it’s even stronger.  That’s like you with a good friend who loves Jesus.  But I think this verse says there’s a third friend we sometimes don’t even think of – God himself is the best friend.  He never lies to you, he’s always there, he loves you, he died for you! 

And with Christian friends, God can be the 3rd friend, and makes friendships so much better!
So look around and think – could there a Christian friend here for me?  Could I be a friend to someone here?  Does it have to be a boy or have to be a girl?  Does it have to be someone your age? 

Christian friends have made a huge difference in my life.  They have helped me when I’ve been discouraged.  They have understood me when I’m sad.  They have prayed with me in tough times.  And I want to be a good Christian friend to others.

So let me pray for just that for all of you.

Thursday, November 14, 2013



Globe, pitcher, torn paper from previous lesson
Paper cross made to fit over the torn part of the paper, tape
Small present box (optional)

Last week we talked about why Sin IS such a big deal, and maybe you remember I used 3 things to help us understand it.

The first was this piece of paper that I tore.  Who remembers what that helps us understand?

And the globe?  - do you remember the verse that taught us that?

And finally, the pitcher of poison?  And why is that true?  Romans 6:23

At the end of last week, I told you that there is very, very good news alongside this bad news, and tonight we’re going to look at that.  It comes at the second half of Romans 6:23.  Let’s say it together:

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Now this gift of  God is so very simple to receive – God calls you and me to believe in Jesus.  That is called faith.  You don’t have to be good to earn God’s gift of eternal life.  You don’t have to pray really really hard to get it.  You don’t have to promise never to sin every again to get it.  It is a free gift.  God says – will you take it?

But it is a gift that cost more than we can understand.  And that’s what we’re going to think about today.

The Bible tells us that when Jesus died on the cross, he died for all our sins.  My sins, your sins, sins of people who lived long ago, people who aren’t even born yet, people who live in China, in India, in France, in Canada (point to globe).  Small sins, big sins.  Every sin.  Every sin that deserves what? (hold up poison) – death.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to pay for my own sins – to drink the poison I’ve earned.  I certainly can’t imagine taking another person’s sin or two or three.  I have my own poison, and can’t handle any more!  What might it be like to take the sins of all of you?  How much poison could I handle?

Who could do that?  Nobody.  Nobody could take my place even if they loved me, because they are sinners too, right? 

Maybe people wish God would just say sin doesn’t matter.  But God is holy – perfectly good – and He can’t do that.  And God knew that.  He could have just said – you sinned, you live with the consequences.  And we really couldn’t tell God he wasn’t fair, could we? 
But thank God, he is fair AND he is also kind, and full of mercy.  And God found a way, and only He could have done it.

The only way the sin of the world could be taken away was if there was someone who loved us enough to take on all the punishment we earned, and didn't sin.  This person had to be so strong that he could handle the poison from me, and you and thousands and thousands of sinners, and drink that poison.  And that person was Jesus.  But how could Jesus do it?

Here is God's marvelous plan.  Jesus was human, just like you and me, right?  But he was also something else – He was God.  And that is how he was the only one who could save us.  Jesus had to be human – become like us – to die for us.  But he couldn’t sin, or he would need to drink the poison for himself, right?  The Bible is clear that Jesus was the only human being who never, never sinned.  But that  wasn’t enough just to not be a sinner.

No human is strong enough to take on the evil of the world.  Only God is strong enough to take on all the evil of this world and win!   That’s why God’s plan allowed Jesus to be full human and fully God. 

When Jesus was nailed to a cross, every sin, ever lie, every murder, every hateful word, every punch, every sin was put on him.  Sins from every part of the globe (point to globe) and when God the father saw the horrible, evil sins on His very own Son, God turned away from Jesus.  (hold up torn pages).  Jesus was separated from God.  And Jesus died.  He drained every bit of poison out on himself.

And if that was the end of the story, how could we ever know that God’s plan worked?
We KNOW it worked because 3 days after Jesus died, something totally wonderful, totally crazy, totally fantastic happened!  (have kids answer)

When Jesus rose from the dead, it was the proclamation that God’s rescue plan worked!  Jesus was stronger than all the sins in the world, he was stronger than the poison that he took.  He won!  And that’s why Christians think Easter is the very best day ever!

But God’s gift doesn’t stop there.  This is a 2-part gift!  Not only does Jesus take the sins of the world upon that cross, but he gives us back His goodness.  All my sins are taken away and in their place, Jesus gives me His goodness.  That’s how even though I’m still a sinner, I can be called God’s child!  Jesus’ goodness is MINE!  And God’s love pours into me.  Am I perfect?  Not at all!  But I’m forgiven!

(take paper pieces and tape together with cross in the middle).

And now the choice is yours.  We know SIN is a big deal.  And we know it’s a killer.  But we know that God made a way for the poison of sin to be taken by another who was stronger than sin.  It is a mighty gift – a very, very costly gift.  Have you ever received it?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sin IS a Big Deal


Piece of paper with “God and Me” written in large letters
Bottle labeled “poison”

I want you to think about a time when you got hurt – not too bad – maybe a cut or a skinned knee.  Maybe you cried or maybe you thought – hey, no big deal.

There are lots of things that aren’t a big deal, but there are some things that really are BIG DEALS.  (Ask kids what they think are the biggest problems in the world today – write on the board)

What could fix them?
What problems seem beyond fixing?

Let’s think of these problems a little differently.  Let’s imagine that all the problems we wrote down are actually pointing to a much deep sickness in this world – not a sickness like the flu or a disease like malaria, but a sickness of the heart.

Some problems can be fixed.  It’s wonderful to hear about new drugs that are helping with malaria, or better ways of cleaning the air.  But most of the big problems in this world can’t be fixed by small fixes.  Because humans keep polluting, or hurting one another, or take more than they need and leave others hungry. 
It reminds me of the verse in Jeremiah 17:9 you all learned in your Start Zone – the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick, who can understand it? 

I want us to think of 3 big ways sin is a BIG DEAL.

But first, let’s be sure we know  what sin is (ask kids)
I want to give you an easy way to understand what sin is.  Sin is anything we think, say, or do that breaks God’s laws.

So what might be some sins kids do?
(kids will mention easy sins – stealing a cookie, disobeying mom.  Push to get to bigger categories – selfishness, anger, jealousy, fights, hating)
Deep down – sin is telling God – you’re not the boss of me!

Another verse you learned in your Start Zone was Romans 3:23 – who knows it?
(Get out 3 props and put on a table so the kids can see)

So why is sin such a big deal to God?

First, sins a big deal because everybody does it.  Sometimes we think – there are people who do big sins, like murder and God is really mad at them.  But we think that the rest of us do little sins – a little lie, a little stealing, a mean word to someone on our team at game time, a little shove to your younger brother or sister  – but we think God looks at the good things we do and he says – oh, (clubber), it’s okay.    You do much more good than you do bad.  So we think we’re not too bad.  But the bible says everybody sins.  You can’t travel to another place in this world to get away from sin.  So I’m going to put the globe up here to help us remember that all have sinned.

Here’s a second reason sin’s such a big deal.  The bible tells us that God is good – totally good – and he hates evil.  So one reason sin is so awful is that it separates us from God.  I’m going to use this piece of paper to help us remember that.  (piece of paper with us and God – tear it to separate Me from God).  It makes us enemies of God.

Finally, God says sin is deadly.  God makes such a big deal about sin because the wages of sin for everybody is – what?  death.  Until we understand that, we can’t really understand why sin is such a big deal to God and to us!

To help us remember that, here’s a bottle that I want you to imagine has something very, very deadly in it.  There is a poison called cyanide that is so strong, if you mixed a teaspoon in water, and drank it, you’d be dead in 15 seconds.  Who would drink something like that?  You wouldn’t.  But God says sin is far more dangerous, and far more deadly than cyanide.  The wages of sin is death, so we drink the poison.

Let’s see if you remember it –

The globe reminds us (have them answer) - that sin is a big deal because all have sinned.
The torn pages reminds us that sin is a big deal because (let them answer) it separates us from God
And finally, the poison reminds us that sin is fatal – there’s no cure and the wages is death.  No matter how good you are, how kind, how obedient, how many AWANA verses you learn, how many toys you share – when you sin, sin wins and you die. 

Now that’s pretty bad news, isn’t it?

And most of the time we really, really don’t like to think about this.  But sometimes we have to face hard news.  But I urge you to keep listening.  Until you realize you’re sick, you won’t go to a doctor.  (at this point I brought up a child, and had the kids imagine I was his doctor.  I told them I knew he had a serious disease, but I didn't want to tell him because it would make him sad.  I said I 'loved" him too much to tell him bad news.  We talked about how sometimes you have to tell someone bad news because they won't get better unless you do.)  Until you see how sick your soul is, you won’t see that you need Jesus.

And in fact, this is the way God begins to work in us, to help us see how bad a place we are in, and how much we need Him.  It’s actually a good thing that you feel a bit uncomfortable.  Until you do, you won’t reach out for God.

Your Start Zone ended with this verse –
John 3:36

Whoever believes in the Son will have eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. 

God has made a way for the whole world to be forgiven, a way for God and you to be friends, and not enemies (tape paper together), a way for you to live and not die, even though you sin (take bottle off table). 

We’ll learn more about that next week.

Friday, November 1, 2013

God as Creator


Apron dusted with flour
empty bag of chocolate chips
Sign:  Creator of Toll House Cookies

Invite someone to come up and be our special guest – wrap apron around her, give her a cookie sheet and the script.  Maybe brush a little flour on her cheek and nose.

I want to welcome tonight a very special guest – someone who created something that I think most of you love, love, love!  Her name is Mrs. Ruth Wakefield.  And she’s going to tell us what she created.
(Have her read attached script - see end of blog)

After she reads the script, put around her neck a sign saying


We would say Mrs. X is the creator of chocolate chip cookies.  And that’s right because she had the big idea to mix chunks of chocolate with the cookies.  But in some ways she couldn’t be the creator.

Let’s think of the ingredients that go into chocolate chip cookies:

Brown sugar & white sugar

Did Mrs. Wakefield use flour or did she create flour?
Did she use eggs or create eggs?
Did she use salt or create salt?

So what does it mean to create something?
(ask kids)

I’m sorry, Mrs. Wakefield – I think I need to fix your sign – In MY opinion, it should reads –


Now why should I talk about chocolate chip cookies – even though they are SOOOO delicious?  Well, it’s because today we’re beginning a series of talks I’m calling:
It Matters What You Believe.

Already tonight, you may guess what the big idea for tonight is – what was the word I crossed out on Mrs. Wakefield’s sign (hold up sign)
So our big idea tonight is:  It matters that you believe God is Creator.

I don’t know about you, but I am so very glad Mrs. Ruth Wakefield made those first cookies!  I bet someone who ate one of the first cookies would have said – HEY – THESE ARE GREAT!  WHO MADE THESE??
        When Got made this world – as you learn if you read Genesis 1-3 – He made it out of nothing, no dirt, no water, no chemicals, no atoms – absolutely nothing – nada, nichts, rien!  Some call this creation ex nihilo
        Unlike Mrs. Wakefield, who used items in her kitchen to make cookies, there was absolutely nothing but God alone and then he created.  Really created – something from nothing.  And what are some of the things He created?
All fit together in an amazing creation delicately balanced.  I wonder – have you ever had a moment when he or she thinks – WHO MADE ALL THIS??  (ask kids to raise hands)

Scientists ask the question – where did our world come from?  And they explore outer space, and layers of the earth, and old bones to put together a picture of what life was like long, long ago on earth, and how life itself could have begun.

They know that carbon is absolutely for life to begin, but to this point they can’t take various compounds like Mrs. Wakefield’s recipe and create life.  And even if they did, it would be using what’s already there to make life, where the Bible tells us God made the universe out of nothing!  It is a huge mystery, and scientists LOVE mysteries.
        If you love science, don’t think that you have to give it up to follow Jesus.  There are many very good scientists who love God and the bible.  For some, it is their love of the world God made that began their interest in science in the first place! For others, a growing amazement at this world leads them closer to God. 

Many of you know about the scientist Albert Einstein who lived for many years in Princeton.  One time he said:
1.       The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books—-a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.

He says when he looks at the universe, he sees it is amazingly complex, but he also sees a definite plan – which leads him to wonder – who or what made all of this??
        Einstein was saying something the bible tells us too - that one way God lets everybody know He is real is by his Creation.  Romans 1:19-20
19 But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! 20 By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse.

So I hope you don’t miss the way the beautiful leaves outside, the cool air, the birds flying south, your baby brother or sister, all are ways God is saying – this is not by accident - I CREATED THIS!!

Mrs. Wakefield Script:

Hello, my name is Mrs. Ruth Wakefield.  Back in 1930, I owned the Toll House Inn with my husband Kenneth.  We loved serving home-cooked meals to our guests, and I loved to bake.

One day, I was preparing my favorite Butter Drop Do cookies from a recipe that goes back to the time of the Revolutionary War!  I added flour, butter, sugar and salt.  Yum!  But that day I decided to add something special.

I had a bar of Nestle chocolate and chopped it into tiny pieces and added it to the dough.  I thought the chocolate pieces would melt, but instead, surprise!  They held their shape, and made the cookies absolutely delicious!

My new cookie called toll house cookies – were so popular that a Boston newspaper published the recipe and the Nestle company began making chocolate morsels.  Who would have guessed that in 2013, people still make and love my cookie creation!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Have 3 chairs up front, and signs indicated below ready

So since we’ve been thinking about potatoes tonight, I need a volunteer who wouldn’t mind playing a character called Mr. Potato Head.  (ask for volunteer) – put sign around neck with picture of Mr. Potato Head on it, and the name “Mr. Potato Head.”

I also need 2 more characters to read their scripts – (invite kids up) – this is Baby Christian, and Brainiac.  (Put Signs around neck that has “Baby Christian” and a picture of a pacifier and for Brainiac – that name and a big picture of a brain.)

So those of you not part of the panel, you can help too and help when I ask you to. 

So let’s have the panel introduce themselves:

Mr. Potato Head – Well, as you can tell, my head is a big potato.  There’s not too much inside this big head of mine, and honestly, I don’t think about anything very much.  My parents feed me, I like to sleep a lot, and my life is pretty good. 

Baby Christian – My family is really, really good to me.  Honestly, if I could live at home forever, I would.  I like being taken care of.  I think maybe it’s a little wrong to think too much about things.

Brainiac – That’s NOT me!  Nobody can tell me what to do or think!  I’m smart and know it.  Before I believe anything, you have to PROVE it to me.   (Folds arms across chest).


Okay everyone – I think we’ve met our three guests tonight.

So our big topic tonight is – What is Easter?  Before we talk much about it, let’s ask our 3 guests what they think Easter is all about.

Mr. Potato Head – Candy from start to finish.  Chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, peeps, yum yum yum!

Baby Christian – Well, let’s see.  I think Easter has to do with springtime, cute baby ducks and chickens, wearing a nice dress to church, a big dinner, family and maybe Jesus.

Brainiac – Maybe some people celebrate Easter, but I think it’s all a trick to get you to buy junk food.  I think some people believe Easter is the day Jesus rose from the dead – that that is impossible!  Nobody who’s dead comes back to life, except in super hero movies!

Narrator:  Okay – thank you all.  Let’s talk more about the Jesus part of Easter, like Baby Christian and Brainiac said.  Mr. Potato Head, maybe you can join in too.

(Mr. Potato Head looks confused and shrugs his shoulders.)

The Bible tells how Jesus died on a cross and was buried.  Then the Bible says that three days later, the tomb where he was buried was empty.

Brainiac – Yeah, I read somebody just took the body away to make it look like Jesus was alive.  But it was just a trick.

Narrator:  yes, the Bible says some people thought that.  But the Bible also gives lots and lots of proof – evidence - to help people believe that Jesus really came alive again.

Brainiac – I like evidence – kind of like a detective!

Baby Christian – I don’t think I’m supposed to ask any questions.  I just believe it.

Mr. Potato Head – (looks confused) – huh?

Well, baby Christian, that’s an important thing – is it okay to ask questions?  Just quickly, let me ask you to read 1 Peter 3:15:

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

Baby Christian, what do you think that verse means?

Baby Christian:
Well, I’m not sure, but maybe it means I need to know some good reasons why I am a Christian.

Okay, I agree.  Kids – any ideas you have?

Okay – I’m going to suggest 3 big reasons why you should believe that Jesus really rose from the dead.

1.     Many people saw him alive
2.    Story of Thomas
3.    11 of the 12 disciples died for the truth of Jesus alive

The first reason you should believe that Jesus really rose from the dead was that many, many people actually saw Jesus alive after he died on the cross.

Kids out in the seats – can you help us remember who saw jesus?
(Peter, Thomas, Mary Magdelene, the 2 men on the road to Emmaus)

Now maybe it is possible that one or two people said they saw Jesus alive, maybe you’d think they were wrong.  But Jesus appeared to his 12 disciples, and at one time, over 500 people saw him.   Is it really possible that hundreds of people – men and women, poor and wealthy – could have imagined they saw him alive?

Brainiac – Well, I like to think I am open to evidence, so what you say is quite interesting.

Mr. Potato Head – Huh?  What does this have to do with the Easter bunny?

Okay – second reason you should believe Jesus really rose from the dead.  One of Jesus’ closest friends named Thomas wasn’t there when the disciples first saw Jesus alive.  In fact, he was a bit like you, Brainiac.  He said – you can’t convince me Jesus is alive unless I actually put my fingers into the wounds on his hands, and put my hand into the wound in his side.

Mr. Potato Head – Ick!  That’s gross!

Okay, kids out in the seats – do you know what happened to Thomas?
(Jesus came, Thomas saw him alive – and he didn’t doubt any more)

It’s pretty clear that Thomas needed proof, and wasn’t going to believe anybody else.  He had to know for himself.  And it’s also pretty clear that when he saw Jesus, he was totally convinced.  Seeing Jesus, and hearing Jesus tell him – come here and touch my hands and side, and stop doubting – that Thomas got all the proof he needed to believe.

Okay, last reason.

Baby Christian – Whew!  My brain is hurting with all this thinking.  But maybe I DO need to think about this.

Mr. Potato Head:  Does any body have any candy?

I think each one of us would agree that it’s foolish to stand up for something that you know is a lie.  And it would be even more crazy to give your life up for something you really knew was a lie.

We think that every one of Jesus’ disciples – with the exception of John who died of old age – was martyred (killed) – gave up his life – because he refused to say that Jesus was dead.

Baby Christian – I didn’t know that.

Mr. Potato Head – That’s pretty serious.

Early records say that the apostle Peter was crucified and died.  The book of Acts tells us about how the apostle James was stoned to death.  All the others – again, with the exception of John – gave up their lives because they believed Jesus really had risen from the dead, and they would not deny it, even if it would cost them their lives.

It’s really, really unlikely that all of these men gave up their lives for God if they thought Jesus was still dead.  But I think it makes sense if they knew he was truly risen, that they would die for that truth.

There are many more ways that we could prove that Jesus rose from the dead.  In Acts 1:3, it reads:

Jesus showed himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs. 

Don’t you wonder – what were those proofs?  But God has given us enough reasons – proofs – for us to trust that the resurrection really happened – and that was Easter day.

So let me ask our 3 panelists:

Now that you’ve heard some reasons to believe Jesus rose from the dead, what do you think now about Easter?

Mr. Potato Head:  Well, I’ll never give up candy for Easter, you can be sure of that!  But even I can see that if a dead man came back to life, that’s pretty important.

Thank you.  And Baby Christian.

Baby Christian:  My mom and dad have told me about Easter since I was a little kid.  And I just believed it was true because they told me, and I trust them.  But now I see that I can grow up a bit more and believe that Jesus rose from the dead because God gave us good reasons to believe it – and I DO!

And Mr. Brainiac?

Well, I told you at the beginning I am like a detective – I LIKE evidence.  I never knew the things you told us today, and I think I need to look more closely at this.  I’m not sure yet, but just maybe it’s true.

Any thoughts from you, audience?
(Let your kids respond, and when appropriate, end in prayer)