Scripture Focus: John 17:6-19
Preparation: Bring a small plant that is destined to be planted outside somewhere, like a little flowering plant, or a vegetable sprout.
Faith+Open: Invite the children to gather around the plant, but be very protective of the little plant. Make sure the children are being careful around it and remind them how delicate it is. Make sure they are all focused on how important and vulnerable the young plant is.
Faith+Share: Now that we are all gathered together I want to tell you about my little plant. I am planning on planting it outside later today and I’m very worried about. I’ve been thinking about all the things that could go wrong with this little plant. It might not get enough water, or maybe it will get too much water. And it needs sunlight, too, but not too much sun or it will dry out! Then there’s the soil to worry about, too! What if the soil doesn’t have the stuff the plant needs? I’ll have to find the right food for the plant, but I have to be sure not to give it too much food because that could hurt it too. Even if I get all the water and sunlight and food right, it could still be eaten by a rabbit or squirrel or dug up by a dog or something.
I really just want to keep it inside. But, if I do that it can’t really grow and be happy, and no one will be able to eat the vegetables (or see the flowers, depending on your plant).
I think that today’s Gospel story might help me with this. In the Gospel story we hear Jesus praying for his friends, right before he is arrested, right before Good Friday and Easter. Jesus is asking God to look after his friends after he is crucified. Jesus knows that they will be in danger because of what they know about God and Jesus, and that the danger will be greater if they tell people about Jesus, but Jesus knows that for them to be happy they have to tell the story. Jesus knows that his friends will only be able to share the amazing gifts of God if he lets them go out into the world.
Just like my little plants here. If I keep them inside where they might be safer, they won’t grow food for people to eat (or flowers for people to enjoy). God sends us into the world, too. We are sent out to share Jesus story with others and to love everyone the way that God loves us. It’s a hard thing to do, but we know that God is watching over us and loves us.
Faith+Prayer: Loving God, thank you for the amazing stories about Jesus and hid friends. Help us to share the story and to love everyone we meet the way that you love us. Amen.
Faith+Blessing: Remember what Jesus says to his disciples: Do not be afraid and peace be with you. +
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