I gave the children's sermon.
And I was SO not prepared, I'd forgotten it was my turn! And I've never done it before, either, so.. EEK. I ran and hid in a rear pew for about ten minutes and prayed like crazy, but nothing came to me. I sat through the opening of church, still praying, and then it hit me out of the blue what to base it all on, but I had no time to think about what I would say.
But I think it went pretty well.
Hi boys and girls! I hope you don't mind if I don't sit on the floor with y'all like the other grownups do for this part of church, but my legs don't like the floor much! (giggles all around)
You know, guys, when I was a little kid, my family didn't go to church. I didn't really know much about God or Jesus until I was ten years old and started going to church regularly. I remember my very first Sunday in church, there was a children's sermon, just like there is here, and then all of us kids went to children's church, just like we do here.
The leader of the children's church gave each kid a Bible verse to memorize, and she gave me the verse found at John 15 verse 12, which says: "Love one another as I have loved you."
I bet you hear all the time how much Jesus loves you, right? (nods and giggles) But can any of you tell me how we KNOW Jesus loves us?
(My son Evan's hand shot up. "He died on the cross for our sins!" Six year old Davey Corkins next "He made us this beautiful world we live in!" Three year old Joshua raises his hand "YES!")
Excellent answers! Can anybody think of ways that we can show other people that we love them like Jesus did?
(One boy suggested sharing his cookies with his sister, another kid suggested doing their chores before Mom had to yell about it, and so on).
So there are really two very important things we need to do as Christians. The first is we need to love God. Do you guys love God? (loud yesses and a little bouncing around). And we need to love everybody we know and meet, and we need to show them that love by being kind and decent people to them. Can you all try to do that? (Yes, yes yup uh huh okay!)
Hey, do you guys want to sing a song? (YES!) How about.. Jesus Loves Me? (Rousing rendition thereof, piano player jumped in and jammed, choir harmonized, congregation got into it).
Now, let's pray.
Dear God in Heaven, I want to be like Jesus! Please help me learn how to be a good and loving person to everybody I meet! In Jesus' name, Amen.
That was it, and after church I got SO many positive comments.
Now we're talking about starting a children's choir, because everybody really liked the singing. :D