Free Children's Sermons
Trinity: Three in One
May 26, 2013
Props: A plastic egg which opens, with an imitation fried egg inside it. These fried eggs often come with children’s play food sets, but you could make a yolk with yellow play dough and glue it to a circle of white paper. A messier alternative: Bring a real egg and a bowl in which to crack it.
How many people am I? (Response.) Yes, I am only one person, but I have many parts. I have two eyes and two ears, two hands and two feet, a heart, a nose, and many other parts. Even though I have hundreds of parts I am still only one person. Right? (Response.)
How many eggs am I holding in my hand? (Show the children the egg.) Yes, it is only one egg. (Open the egg and be sure they all see the contents.) How many parts are there to this egg? (Point to each of the parts: shell, yolk, and white.) Even though there are three parts to this egg it is still only one egg.
How many Gods are there? (Response.) There is only one God, but Christians think of God in three different ways. First there is the part of God that made the world. We call this part of God our creator, father, or maker. The Doxology, a song we sing often in church, says, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” This means God has made our world and everything it.
Another way we think of God is as Jesus. God came down to be with us in the form of Jesus, a real live person. We sometimes call Jesus Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” Other times we call Jesus the Christ or God’s Son. The second line of the Doxology says, “Praise Christ all people here below.” (If you do not use this version, refer instead to the last line of this song and the word Son.)
A third way we think of God is as the Holy Spirit. Some people say “Holy Ghost” instead, but this means the same thing. The Holy Spirit is a part of God we cannot see, but which is with us always. The third line of the Doxology says, “Praise Holy Spirit evermore.” (If you do not use this version, refer instead to the last line of this song and the words “Holy Ghost.”)
How many eggs do we have here? (Point to the egg.) Just one egg. How many Gods do we have? (Response.) Right; only one God. How many parts are there to an egg? (Response.) There are three parts to this egg and there are three parts to God. What are those three parts? (Response.) God is our creator or maker; God is Jesus who lived on earth to help us know God’s great love for us; and God is the Holy Spirit whom we cannot see, but who is with us always to help and guide us.
A way we use to describe God as one God, but three parts, is “The Holy Trinity” or “Triune God;” both of them mean “three in one.” (If you use the contemporary version of the Doxology, repeat the last line at this point.) Say those words with me. (Do this twice.) Today we celebrate knowing one God but in three ways. Let’s sing the Doxology together as our closing prayer. (Do so.)
June 2, 2013
In the Gospels are many stories about Jesus and the people he met in his travels. We learn a lot about Jesus in those stories, but we can learn much from the people he met, too. Let me tell you about one of those people.
We don’t know his name, only that he was a centurion, an officer in the Roman army that occupied Jesus’ homeland. The title centurion gives a hint about his importance. It has the word cent in it, which in Latin, the language of Rome, means “a hundred.” We have pennies or cents, and 100 cents make a dollar. We have the word century which means 100 years. So, this officer commanded one hundred Roman soldiers. He and his 100 soldiers were stationed in the city of Capernaum, where Jesus was visiting.
Normally Roman soldiers weren’t very interested in the people around them. They just wanted people to behave and not cause trouble. And usually the people hated the Roman soldiers. They saw them as the enemy who had taken over their country.
But this centurion was different. He got to know the people and their religious faith. He even built them a new synagogue, which is a place where they could have their worship services. He treated people fairly and with respect.
In those days wealthy people often had slaves, and they could treat those slaves any way they liked. But, the centurion treated his slaves like they were family. While Jesus was coming through town, one of the centurion’s slaves was seriously sick, likely to die. So, even though religious leaders were not supposed to have anything to do with people like Roman soldiers, the centurion cared for his slave so much that he asked Jesus to come heal the slave. Jesus started to walk to the section of town where the centurion lived. But the centurion realized that if Jesus had the power to heal a person, he didn’t have to come personally and touch the person. All Jesus had to do was say the word and it would so. Jesus was amazed at the centurion’s faith. The officer had never met Jesus, but he had this kind of faith. Jesus said that he had never met anyone with such faith!
Because of the way this centurion helped others and treated others, everyone like and respected him. Because of his faith, Jesus helped by healing the slave. Just as today, the way we act toward others shapes how they act toward us. And the way we believe in God’s love may help others believe, too.
Let’s pray: O God, thank you for people like the centurion. Help us to have the same faith and treat others the same way he did. In Jesus’ name. Amen.