Thursday, January 7, 2010
TRUE OR FALSE:
1. One of Christ’s apostles was named Ralph – Luke 10:2-4 (F)
2. Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem (T)
3. The Bible was written by many authors over almost 1,500 years (T)
4. The four Gospels are called Matthew, Mark, Luke and James (F)
5. Ephesians 2:8&9 reads: For by grace you have been saved through doing good works, and that not of yourself (F)
6. There are 27 books in the New Testament (T)
7. Mr. XXX has a moustache (choose a distinctive of one of your leaders)
8. Mrs. XXX has a daughter named Julia and a dog named xxx (again, choose some information about one of your leaders - kids thought this question was hard but fun)
9. T&T stands for Truth and Traditions (F)
10. Jesus died on the cross on Easter Day (F)
11. The club secretary for AWANA is Mrs. XXX (T)
12. Our AWANA club has 4 parts: Cubbies, Sparks, T&T, and TREK (T)
13. The goal of AWANA is to win game time at all costs (F)
14. Store is next Wednesday (T)
15. The first book of the Bible is Genesis and the last book of the Bible is Revelation (T)
16. One of the proverbs in the Book of Proverbs is “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” (No, Benjamin Franklin said that)
17. AWANA stands for “approved workmen are not athletic” (F)
18. AWANA stands for “approved workmen are not ashamed” (T)
19. Jesus told many stories that are recorded in the Gospels, and they are called paracletes (F - you need paracletes if you play soccer!)
20. Salvation means being rescued from the penalty of your sins (T)
21. In the book of Revelation, Jesus promises that at the end of time he will wipe away every tear, and death will be no more, and there will be no more crying or pain. (21:4) (T)
Begin Council Time by doing some sword drills with Scripture on God’s character –
Give kids clue that all verses are from OT
Tell children to keep their Bibles open to Isaiah
Council Time Talk -
I applaud those of you who created great hats for tonight! I brought a very special hat tonight and perhaps you’ll think it doesn’t look particularly amazing, but it is! First, unlike other hats, this one must be worn inside out because it is an opposite hat.
When I put it on, I do the opposite of what I usually do or think the opposite of what I usually think. So let’s try this out
(put hat on) I think I’ll stand up (sit down). [take off hat]
Oh! Why did I do that? (Because it’s an OPPOSITE hat!)
Thanks! (Put hat back on) And let me be the first to say goodbye. I hope you have a terrible time at AWANA this morning.
(take off hat – scratch head - wow, I AM confused!). I said goodbye, not hello! What else was wrong in what I said? (morning, terrible time)
I did this to make you laugh, but most times I don’t like to be so confused.
People can be confused even without an opposite hat, right? One way lots of people are confused is about God. People have all kinds of ideas of who God is. Maybe you know some kids your age who will say they don’t believe in God at all. Do any of you know kids who say that? There are many adults who don’t believe in God. That’s one way people are confused about God.
Here’s another way people are confused about God. Many people today think they can just make up what God is like. If they don’t want God to be a particular way – say they don’t want God to care if we sin or not - then they just will believe in a God who doesn’t care about sin. Most of the time when people make up who God is, they want a God who is always kind and never tells them they have done things wrong. Kind of like a big teddy bear.
Have you heard kids talk about God? What do they say?
(ask kids for what they have heard).
Long ago, God’s people the Jews were confused about God too. Even though God had been with them and cared for them, and given them the bible, they still began to wonder if God still cared for them. They began to wonder - Did he exist at all? Could he help them? And so God sent a prophet named Isaiah to tell them the truth about God and help them not be afraid.
So let’s get out our Bibles
Let’s think about this, and I am very serious about this danger of confused thinking about God, so maybe I’ll just put the opposite hat away.
(SCENARIO #1 – is God real?)
One BIG fear the Jews had in Isaiah’s time was that God was not real – that there was no God. That is a big problem. How would you feel if you believed there was no God at all? God didn’t want His people to wonder if He was real or not. So look in
What does God want us to know?
(SCENARIO #2 – Has God forgotten me?)
Or what if I believed that God existed, but He had forgotten all about me?
How would you feel if you believed that? (if a child answers well, have him/her come up and put the opposite hat on him/her). Now let’s look up the words God gave Isaiah to help the Jews when they believed God had forgotten them. Isaiah 49:14-15
Have verse and have child with hat on read it and turn hat right-side out.
Now you’re thinking right! What does God want us to know?
(SCENARIO #3 – Is God powerful enough to help me?)
Let’s think about another way people are confused about God. Some people believe that God is real and cares about us, but he really isn’t powerful enough to really help us. What if I believed that when I needed help, God would let me down?
(again have a child come up and wear the hat) – then let’s think – do we know God is powerful? (Almighty – Isaiah 46:11b OR Isaiah 41:10)
What does God want us to know?
and have child turn hat right-side out.
(SCENARIO #4 – God is there to do what I want?)
Some people think God is like a genie in a lamp. He’s there to grant me my wishes. To help me make lots of money, or get a job, or to get a good grade on a test. Some of the Jews were angry that God didn’t do what they wanted him to do. Maybe you feel that way sometimes. If I think God is like that, is He really God? No. That makes me in charge, not God.
Sovereign – Is. 46:9-10 – What does God want us to know?
God has the right to do with creation whatever He wants. God has the wisdom to plan whatever He wants. God has the power to make whatever He wants to happen
Maybe you sometimes think the same things about God, and just like the Jews –
• is God real?
• Does God care?
• Can God really help me?
God doesn’t want you to be confused. He wants you to know who he really is and to trust Him. That’s why God gave us the Bible – so we can know who He really is.
And since I don’t want to be confused any more, I think I’m going to get rid of this “opposite” hat and just stick to what God has told me!
White Board (write 2 Cor. 5:18 & 20),
red and black markers,
envelopes with labels saying “For the Ambassador” on outside with II Cor. 5:20 written on page inside,
Wordless book, wordless bracelet, other Gospel-sharing tools
Option 1 (teaching only)
When you read the stories of the miracles Jesus did on earth, do you sometime think – it was a lot easier for people to believe in Jesus then, when you could actually see Jesus heal someone or watch Jesus calm a storm, or listen to his words. It seems sometimes harder to believe so many years after Jesus was alive.
Why would Jesus leave it to ordinary people like you and me to continue his work? Sometimes I think – Jesus, I wish you had stayed here on earth because you can teach people so much better than anybody else. Do you ever think that too?
But Jesus knew best. When Jesus rose from the dead, and days later left this earth to go to heaven, he gave his friends a big job to do and he also promised a big helper to help along the way. The big job is using that word “reconciliation” again and the big helper is the Holy Spirit.
Look at 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Read it and let’s look for the BIG ideas:
• We are made new in Jesus
• We are reconciled to God by Jesus and
• now we have the ministry of reconciliation
• we are ambassadors for Christ
Boys and girls, when you asked Jesus to be your Savior, you were reconciled to God! (take your 2 hands and separate them). Sin separated you from God but when Jesus forgave you all your sins, you and God were reconciled. You became friends. I hope each one of you has done this – it’s the very first step to do!
And now God gives you and me a big job to do – a job so big that it will take your whole life to do it. Now maybe some people think that kids can’t do hard jobs, but God knows you can, and that job is to be an ambassador for Him.
Let’s think about what an ambassador is. Let me give you an example.
Some of you may know that in NYC there is a big building called the United Nations. Every country all around the world sends one person to the United Nations with one job in mind – to serve as its ambassador. The United States ambassador to the UN is a woman named Susan Rice. An Ambassador has a very special job. Ms. Rice’s job is to speak what the President wants her to say. Ms. Rice cannot think – I don’t like what the President wants me to say so I’ll make up something else. No! Her job is to represent the United States to all the nations that are at the United Nation.
Sometimes ambassadors are sent by the president on important trips to talk with countries who are disagreeing with us. Sometimes those places can be dangerous. When an ambassador is sent on a trip like this, he or she is given a very clear list of instructions of what to say to try to bring peace. Hopefully, the ambassador will be successful to bring peace and reconciliation. But an ambassador cannot force reconciliation. His job is to bring the message the President has to this other country and hope that peace will be received.
OPTION 2 (DRAMA) -
Begin talk here and have someone ready to be interviewed who is pretending to be an Ambassador. Have this person dressed very nicely, articulate, and perhaps having the flag of his/her country with them. Ask them questions that open up the themes above – what does an Ambassador do? How did you become Ambassador? Is there anything dangerous or exciting about being an Ambassador? How do you know what you’re supposed to say? Can you make a country accept your offers of peace?
Thank the guest, and move on to 2 Cor. v. 18ff.
Option 1 & 2 Continue here:
This verse in 2 Corinthians tells us that God has now given his people the job of being ambassadors not for a country, but for Christ in this world. Our job isn’t to settle a war or make peace between countries, it’s even bigger than that. Our job is to tell anyone who will listen that peace with God is possible. (You might want to omit the first 2 pieces here and just go on to msg. bullet point)
• It is a great honor to be an ambassador, imagine that you represent God! And like any ambassador, sometimes we could be sent into places that can be dangerous because that is where the greatest need is to hear God’s words – come back to me! Could you imagine that God is sending you as an ambassador into your school? Or into your soccer team? You don’t have to go far away to another country!
• Here is another important piece of being an ambassador. An ambassador must not cause shame to his or her country. If an ambassador meets the president of a country and is dressed in dirty, sloppy clothes, he has shamed the United States. If an ambassador is late for a meeting for no reason, she has shamed the United States. If an ambassador arrives unprepared for a meeting, he has shamed the United States. An ambassador must realize his/her job is of highest importance
• If you are an ambassador, what is the message you must be ready to give?
Look at 5:21 to learn what it means:
Be reconciled to God!
At VBS, we are very careful that each boy and girl hears this appeal. Some years we use the wordless book to give God’s message of reconciliation (show kids the wordless book). One year we used something called a Gospel Cube. One year we used the Bridge to Life booklet in the pews. Last year we used the gospel bracelet (show the kids). Every Christian needs a simple way to speak God’s message. Otherwise, she is not a good ambassador!
So let’s quickly sum up:
• It’s a big and important job to be an ambassador, and every Christian is an ambassador for God – will you take the job?
• An ambassador’s job is only speaks the words of his/her leader. Are you willing to speak to others for Christ?
• An ambassador must be ready to speak the message entrusted to him/her. Do you know how to tell others that God wants to be reconciled with them – can you do it in a way that even a child can understand?
• It takes courage to be an ambassador. Can you be brave?
• An ambassador must not cause shame to his/her country by his/her performance. Are you willing to live in a way that honors God?
So clubbers, I want to hand you an envelope as you leave tonight with your task as Christ’s ambassador. It is found in 2 Corinthians 5:20. Please open the envelope up when you are home. God is giving you a big and important job but God will help you.
Cards with Scripture: Romans 6:23, I Peter 2:24, Romans 10:9
Large double foam heart with slot in top, smaller colored foam heart
Has this ever happened to you?
• You did something wrong and someone else got blamed and punished for it – how do you feel? (relieved? Guilty)
• Someone else did something wrong and you got blamed for it and punished – How do you feel? (Angry, unfair)
• Why is it not fair for someone to get punished for something they didn’t do?
• Why it is wonderful? – relief!
We’ve been talking about sin the past 2 weeks at T&T. We learned God made humans wonderfully, but then humans chose to sin. Remember what sin is?
(anything we think, say or do that breaks God’s Law)
Last week we had some ice cream and some dirt – what was I explaining?
(To show that sin ruins humans)
Right. And we said – there’s nothing we can do to make this ice cream good again. The dirt/sin is all mixed in. It’s ruined.
But this week, we are going to learn that God would not let sin win.
Today we’re going to learn that when God forgives sin, he didn’t say – oh, sin doesn’t matter. Sin matters a whole lot, and sin earns punishment.
Let’s look at Romans 6:23 –
When I sin, I earn wages for that sin – but it is bad wages – it is God’ punishment. When you sin, you earn punishment – not just from mom and dad, but from God. This is a very bad situation. It is very serious to be punished by God.
Let’s imagine that this heart is me. Now it looks really nice and clean, doesn’t it but the trouble is that every human being, boy or girl, grownup or old person – is a sinner. That means that sometimes I:
• Say something mean to someone, that love of sin shows itself (smudge heart)
• Every time I wish something bad would happen to someone, that love of sin shows itself
• When I take the best piece of food for myself,
• When I lie
• When I disobey
I show what’s really in me – a sin nature. And sin must be punished. What do you think – this heart is really looking a big miss. And remember, the Bible says that everyone has sinned, so every has a sinful heart.
Now what if someone said – I feel so bad about (name), and I love (name) so I will take the punishment for his/her sins. Let’s say I offer this to Alexa. There’s a big problem. If I loved her very much I might want to do that, but let me ask you – am I a sinner? Yes. I can’t help Alexa with her sins because I have a problem with sins too. I’m in the same situation as Alexa. So I can’t help. Could Pastor Matt help? He’s a good man who loves God. Why not?
Could a powerful man like Barack Obama help? Why not?
What about a really rich man like Bill Gates? He’s kind and does good things.
Only someone who never, ever sinned might even possibly be able to help, but who could that be? Only one person has ever lived who perfectly obeyed God in everything and that is Jesus.
Take out white heart:
Jesus never pushed in line to make himself first
He never said mean things to hurt someone
He never hurt or hit someone
He never disobeyed his parents
He never lied, cheated, or stole anything
Jesus is the only human being ever who never sinned, and that’s why we can use this clean heart to show what Jesus’ heart is like. He not only never sinned, but his heart didn’t love sin. He was sinless. And so this person – Jesus – never earned any punishment.
Here’s something else that’s important about Jesus. He is full of love for sinners – for you and me.
So one day Jesus took up a big wooden cross and was nailed to it and died. The bible tells us in I Peter 2:24 that on that cross he took all my sins, and all your sins, and the sins of the world. He took all that dirty punishment and sin on him, he gave us his goodness. So because of Jesus, God looks on me (put heart inside white heart) as if I am pure and good.
That’s how God can forgive us. God IS forgiving, but sin must be punished. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins. That’s why Christians look at the cross and are full of love and thankfulness. How much God loves us to do this to help us!
Boys and girls, have you ever asked Jesus to take your sins away? Jesus gladly paid his life in your place.
God is asking each of us to:
Admit we are sinners
Believe Jesus died for my sins
Confess your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior
Ask someone to read Romans 10:9
HALF GALLON OF SOME KIND OF ICE CREAM, PREFERABLY NOT VANILLA, BUT SOMETHING LIGHT
CONTAINER OF DIRT
SPOON AND CLEAR BOWL, Table
Last week in council time, we played a game show called Who do You Believe? We had 2 special guests up front . Do you remember what parts the 2 persons played? Right, the Creator and the customer.
When I asked you who you believed, you all voted to believe the one who made the invention – the Creator. Why did you choose the creator?
I read you from Psalm 139 where your Creator – God – the one who made you – says this about you – you are fearfully and wonderfully made. We also looked at Genesis 1 where God makes the world, and who remembers what God says at the very end as he looks at everything he has made?
(that it is very, very good).
When God created the world, he made human beings good. The Bible tells us God made a man and a woman – Adam and Eve. God put them in a wonderful, beautiful world with all they needed. They never got sick. No flu, no colds, no chicken pox, no throwing up from a bad stomach ache! Imagine that! Life was wonderful. They loved God, and they loved one another and they obeyed God.
But something changed. One day, Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and that was a very dangerous decision. When they disobeyed God, they brought into the world all the problems and sickness that people now have, including death itself. Adam and Eve lost their close friendship with God and from that time on they were called sinners.
If you did your start zone this week, you learned what sin is – does anyone remember?
Sin is disobeying God’s laws. Here’s another way to understand sin (CEF definition) – sin is anything we think (point to head), say (point to mouth) or do (stretch out hands) that breaks (use hands as if you are breaking a stick) God’s Law. Let’s say that together – Sin is anything…
So what God made so very good, changed.
So let’s imagine that this container of ice cream is you and me. I really agree that Thomas Sweet’s ice cream is wonderfully made! And it’s good. Now I’m going to scoop out this ice cream – doesn’t it look good? I bet it tastes great, because the person who made this ice cream – the creator of the ice cream - knew what would make it really delicious. It is fearfully and wonderfully made!
But just like Sin turned something God created very good into something that was now ruined, this container of dirt (slowly mix dirt into ice cream) ruined the ice cream. Sin ruins people.
Now look at this bowl of ice cream and dirt. You all don’t seem to anxious to eat it anymore. So how could I fix this ice cream so you could eat it?
Maybe I could just add more new ice cream – would that make it good?
Maybe if I just tried to take out every bit of dirt with a spoon…
Maybe I could just eat around the dirt…
It’s just plain impossible. This ice cream is ruined.
Just like Sin ruins everything! (put ice cream away)
Now I want you to check me – am I telling you the truth as God tells it?
Get out your Bibles and let’s go to Romans 3:23:
Can someone read this for us?
This verse tells us that all have sinned. All means everyone! This is pretty bad news, isn’t it? Because we are sinners, we do things we shouldn’t do like fighting and lying and taking things that don’t belong to us. Maybe you have done some of those things.
Like Adam and Eve, sin has broken our friendship with God too. Unless this sin is taken away, we can’t ever be friends with God and sin will separate us from God forever. Like the ice cream, we are ruined.
But here is some very good news! God has found a way to do the impossible – to get the sin dirt out. And that way is by believing that Jesus came and died to take away all your sins.
When we believe in Jesus, he takes ruined sinners and forgive our sins and make us clean.
Boys and girls, maybe you have never understood that you are a sinner and tonight God is helping you understand this for the first time. If you have never asked God to forgive your sins, you can do that right now by telling God you are a sinner – we all are! – and asking Him to forgive you. And that is a very, very sweet thing.
Since I can’t give you ice cream, I do want you to understand that believing in Jesus is a very sweet thing, so leaders, can you pass out one Skittle for each clubber, and clubbers, I want you to hold onto that Skittle until after we pray.
Close in prayer on the sweetness of God.
2 12x18” SIGNS – ONE with word “CREATOR” written on it, the other with “CUSTOMER” written on it
Class bell or some kind of bell
Narrator: This evening we’re going to have a special game show called “Who do you believe?” And you will help us decide – which person do you believe. The first person will be someone who is the “Creator” – and I’m going to ask xx to come up and be our Creator.
The second person will be the “customer” and I’m going to ask xx to be our customer.
You must help us by holding these wonderful signs.
Now our Creator and our customer will act out 2 scenes. After watching the scene, we will vote on Who do you Believe?
For our first scene, imagine that we are going way back into time and we are going to listen to our creator and our customer discuss a wonderful new invention from prehistoric times:
Creator – Hello, customer. I want you to look at this wonderfully made invention I have just perfected. I call it the wheel!
Customer – I have never seen anything like this before. What does it do?
Creator – Oh, it can do amazing things. First, it can roll. Second, you can move things with it. For example, if you added 2 of these wheels and a strong log in between, you could put heavy things on that log and move things that would take many strong people to move. It is WONDERFULLY made!
Customer – I see. But you know, it looks heavy to me. And I don’t know where I would put it. I’ve never seen any thing like this before, and I’m not sure I like it. In fact, you may think it’s a wonderful invention, but honestly, it looks like a rock with a hole in it to me. I think it’s just plain junk.
Narrator - LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, now is your chance to vote – who do you believe about this thing called a wheel? Now I expect you to vote smart! Do you believe the one who made it, the creator? If so, please clap.
Okay, how many of you believe the customer?
Sorry, customer. In this case, the creator knew best.
Okay, let’s do scene 2. We are now almost in the present time, and our 2 people are different. Our “Creator” is a person called Bill Gates, who you may or may not know is extremely important in creating computers. And so he is our Creator, and then we have our customer. Let’s listen in:
Customer: Mr. Gates, I am looking at this black thing you call a laptop, and honestly, I can’t think of any reason I’d want one. Just look at it. How can anything so small do very much? And when I turn it on, I think I have to wait at least 20 seconds before anything happens. It’s slow and I just think it’s junk. No one will buy any of these.
Creator: Oh, you don’t understand. This laptop will change the world! It can do things faster than a human brain. It can give you information that would take years to find out any other way. And as to it being slow to start up, if you only knew how many checks this computer was doing to keep it running at its best, you’d understand that 20 seconds is very, very quick. It is WONDERFULLY made!
Okay, audience. WHO DO YOU BELIEVE? Will you believe the customer who believes no one would want to have a laptop, that it is slow and really junk? (ask for response)
Or will you believe its creator, Bill Gates?
Thank you Creator and customer!
Each time, you chose the Creator to believe. Can some of you tell me why you believed him?
Right, the person who creates something knows it inside and out. He knows what it does well, why it was built, and he can fix it if it breaks.
God is our Creator. He is the one who made human beings. He knows us inside and out. He knows what humans were made to do, and he can fix human beings too. God tells us in the Bible that human beings are wonderfully made. Actually, it says we are “fearfully” and wonderfully made. The fearfully is like our word “awesome”. Humans are awesome and wonderfully made.
But sometimes people feel like they are just junk. Can you think of reasons why people would feel like they are worthless? (wait for kids to answer - below are some suggestions)
• Not loved by parents
• Words people say (think of some hurtful words people say to others, write them on a Post-it note and put it on yourself - words like "loser", "jerk", "retard", etc.)
• That they are just smart bipeds who just evolved from monkeys
And people can believe that they really are worthless – they believe that is the truth!
Get out your Bibles and turn to the very beginning to Genesis 1:26-31.
When God made the world, the last thing he made were humans – male and female. Could someone read Genesis 1:27? Maybe you look a bit like your mom or your dad. God says when he looks at people, he sees a bit of himself in each one. So the first big idea is that every human being is in God’s image.
Here’s the second big idea – can someone read 1:31? God looked at the human beings he created, and he didn’t say – oh, they are okay, or they are losers. He said It is VERY good.
So, tonight I want to ask you - who do I believe? Do I believe what people tell me – that I’m a loser? Or do I believe the Creator, the one who made me, who knows me, who says –
I don’t make losers. What I make is very, very good?
Who do you believe?
Psalm 139:4 says – I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
So turn to your neighbor and say – You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Now look at me, and tell me – I am fearfully and wonderfully made!
Boys and girls – this is the truth. I hope you always believe it.
WHO’S IN, WHO’S OUT?
Wear a cross (the bigger the better) and hold a Bible (the bigger the better)
Roll of masking tape
I think that most of us would say “yes” if someone asked us – are you a Christian. What are some ways people know that? (ask kids to respond - below are some suggested answers)
· Wear a cross and hold a Bible
· Go to church/AWANA
· Talk to people about Jesus
Please get out your Bibles and turn to the Gospel of John ch. 13:35
Jesus says people will know you are Christians by what?
(Loving one another)
Did Jesus say – all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for some people? Or if you love kids your own age? (ask children to read John 13:35 together out loud)
Maybe you find it hard to love some kinds of people. Sometimes Jesus calls us to do things that seem impossible to us! But everything Jesus calls us to do, he helps us to do. (can you repeat that with me? - have kids say it with you)
I think that all of us sometimes are good at loving others, and sometimes not so good. Let me give you an example.
(Use masking tape to create a 6' line in front of you on the floor or carpet).
Let’s imagine that this line represents who I let in – people I “love”. First, you have to notice that I’m the only one on this side right now! I guess I have a way to go to love.
The easiest thing is to let people into my part of the line who are nice to me. So let’s think of someone who has been really nice to me – I’m going to add (name an adult who is there and is a friend) to this part of my life. (name), can you join me on this side of the line? (give this person a hug when they join you)
Then maybe you feel it’s a lot easier to like kids who are the same gender – so if you’re a boy, it’s easier to like other boys than to like girls. Since I’m a girl, I’m going to invite a girl up here – (invite a clubber by name to join you) up here. Oh, looks like I already have something going on here. What do you notice about all of us? (We are all girls) – thank them and ask them to return to their seats.
Okay, so maybe there is another type of person I let in to my side. I help with the blue team sometimes at Gametime, and what if I wanted the Blue team win in gametime every week? Imagine if someone joined my team and I made a face or rolled my eyes when they came on my line? What if I told them to go to another team because I thought they would slow the team down and we could lose gametime? If I want to win really badly, I might be tempted to want only fast people on my side!
What if I only wanted smart people on my side, or funny people? Or people who are cool or popular?
We know Jesus says the world will know we are his because we love one another. we know that from John 13:35, right? Now let’s look at John 15:17 just a little further on. Jesus says what? (have someone read it). He says this is a commandment – an order to us - he commands us to love one another!
If we are followers of Jesus, we want to do what he says, so let’s start loving others right here at T&T! I want you not to say anything, but look at the person on your left. Is there room on your side of the line for this person? Now look at the person on your right. Now in front of you, now in back of you. God is commanding you to love all of these people! Maybe you think - I already do that!
Okay, one way you can see if we need to do a little better at loving is to look at who you sit with each week at T&T. Is it always the same friends? What does that say about who you welcome and love?
Jesus said – John 13:35 – let’s let the world know that at T&T, we are Christians not only because we may wear a cross, or learn lots of Bible verses, but also because of the love we had for one another! And if it’s hard to love some people, remember – everything Jesus calls us to do, he helps us to do! Let’s stop now and pray about this together (have prayer begin with confession that we haven’t loved one another, and asking God’s help to do it here at T&T)
I want to show a short funny video to helps us see ways we can do better loving one another! – Show “For the Birds” – a Pixar short on the Disney DVD – Pixar Short Films Volume 1. (Video is 3-4 minutes long)
After showing video – talk through what the small birds did to the larger bird, how they ganged up together against him, and how they needed the big bird at the end, maybe you and your kids will see some other things to talk about – dont' labor this part - the DVD already shows the problem well and winsomly!
Finish by saying – Jesus said people will know we belong to Jesus not because we wear a big cross, or carry a Bible or even if we know lots and lots of Bible verses. He says it’s the love we have for one another that will show we belong to Jesus, so let’s be people who love!