Monday, November 21, 2011

Children's Lesson for Sunday, November 27

Update of Sunday School
The Man Beside the Pool
Jesus is the Son of God.  When he lived on earth, he performed many acts, called miracles that showed his power.  There were four kinds of miracles:  one kind showed Jesus’ power over nature; another showed Jesus’ power over evil spirits; one kind showed Jesus’ power over death itself; and one showed Jesus’ power over disease and disabilities.  Jesus performed more dealing miracles than any other kind.
Miracles are not magic.  Magic is not real – it is an illusion.  The things Jesus did were much more powerful and more wonderful than any illusion.  Miracles are real and only come about through the power of God.  Jesus did not use his power to attract followers.  Often he cautioned the person he knew that many people would begin to follow him only because of the attention he got from the miracles.  He wanted his followers to come to know him as God’s son and to know God as a loving parent, always concerned for the good of God’s children. 
All of Jesus’ miracles were performed for three reasons.  The Gospel writers tell us that Jesus used his power because he loved people; as signs that what he said was true; and as a sign that he was the Messiah, the Holy One from God.
Three times Jesus made people well on the Sabbath.  Each time he was reproached by the religious leaders of the day because they saw healing as work.  Work, they said, should never be done on the Sabbath.  But Jesus knew that God had sent him to show God’s love and care to all people.  One of the ways he acted out God’s care was by healing those who were sick.  He knew that God wanted him to help people, whether it was the Sabbath or any other day.
Today’s your children will hear the story of Jesus healing the man beside the pool.  The man could not walk.  He lay on a mat beside a pool, hoping someone would help him get into the swirling waters of the pool.  He believed that the swirling waters would heal him.  Jesus helped the man, not by putting the man into the swirling waters, but by healing him.  Jesus told the man to take up his mat and walk!  The man could walk!   The man was glad that Jesus helped him.  We can help people today.
God used people to show God’s care.  Help your children see that we can help other people by praying for them.  Do you have a family member or friend who is sick or hurt?  Say a prayer for that person and help your children send a note to the person.
Our story will be The Man besides the Pool, Mat Ball, and Swirl, Sway and Pray. 
Bible Verse
Sing praise to the LORD: tell the wonderful things God has done.
Psalm 105:2
Bible Story
John 5:2-9
Prayer Pockets
Help your chlld name people they can pray for.  Write the names on 3-by-5 cards or pieces of paper cut into 3-by-5 inch rectangles.  Let your child decorate the cards with stickers. 
Use two paper plates to make a prayer pocket.  Cut one paper plate in half.  Place the paper plate half on top of the whole paper plate to form a pocket.  Staple the plates together around the edges.  Let your child deorate the paper plate pocket with crayons or markers. 
Place the name cards inside the pocket.  Each day, let your child pck a name card from the pocket.  Help your child pray for the person names.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Greeting

This week we officially begin the holiday season.  It is appropriate that we begin with a holiday that calls us to express gratitude for all of the things we will enjoy over the coming weeks.  On the fourth Thursday in November – and I hope on all days – we thank the One who makes the celebration possible.

What are you thankful for this year?  Make your list long.  Joy comes with every item on the inventory when we acknowledge and enjoy how blessed we are.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Rev. Nancy

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rev. Nancy’s Corner

I am a holiday nut . . . and freely admit it.  I am thrilled that Thanksgiving is nearly here and that the Christmas season will begin right after.  I have secretly been playing Christmas music, and will be very ready to put up the tree when the time comes.  While my appreciation for the holidays has deep theological roots, I am a real sucker for all the warm fuzziness that comes along with this time of year. 

I believe that Thanksgiving is an act of faith.  Particularly because we schedule it every year.  No question of when it is or if it will happen.  If you have already bought a 2012 calendar, I’ll bet “Thanksgiving” is already printed on the fourth Thursday in November.   It’s going to happen this year, and the next, and the next, no matter what.   

That’s the faith part.  It says that no matter how bad things get or how weak the economy may be, regardless of what happens to our 401Ks or how many extra jobs we have to take on, we believe that come this time next year, we will have found God faithful and will have much to be thankful for.  A year from now, whatever losses we might have suffered, whatever fears we might have faced, God will still be with us.  We will have a community of family and friends, and a faith that will get us through any hard times.  Thanks be to God.

Start now saying prayers of thanksgiving – for the abundance God provides us, for friends and family and for the work that God is doing in and through Christ Church.  I am praying in gratitude for you.

Rev. Nancy