Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Birthday to Us!

If you're like me, then you're one of those youth ministers who gets roped into doing the children sermon.  And if you're like me, you also actually enjoy doing it! But fresh ideas are always welcome.  For the first time ever I am posting one of my children sermons.  Feel free to use and/or modify.  The emphasis/inspiration is how the Holy Spirit democratizes the church, cf. "I will pour my spirit out on all flesh." Acts 2:17b  This means that the kids are just as much the church as the adults.  Of course in acts, language isn't a barrier either.  Pentecost...and the formation of the church breaks down barriers, it doesn't put them up.  So let's celebrate that this Sunday!

May 23, 2010
Day of Pentecost
Acts 2:1-21
Children Sermon
[Have a birthday cake prepared]

Good morning girls and boys, how are you?  It is really good to see you today.  Today is a very special day.  Today is the birthday of the Christian church!  As you can see we have a birthday cake, with some candles.  Can we sing “Happy Birthday” to the church?  Put the cake on a stool or table in the middle of the aisle.

Let’s sing:
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear church,
Happy birthday to you!

Now when it is someone’s birthday, what do you normally bring to the party for the birthday person? [a present, or a card]

That’s right, a present!  So who has a present for the church? [wait, allow for pause, or for possible sarcastic answers]

Does anyone seriously have a present for the church?

Wait a second, who is the church, anyway? 
Is it this building?
Is it the altar?
What is the church? 
[The church is all of us! It’s the kids, the adults, the older youth, all of God’s people are the church.]

So if it’s the church’s birthday, and we’re the church, then do we get presents? 
Who is going to give us a present?
Do you have a present?  [asking someone in a pew] Oh wait you’re part of the church too.
Pastor Mark, do you have a present?  You’re the pastor.  Oh wait, is the pastor part of the church too.  Who is going to give a present? [Looking somewhat discouraged]

Well today in our scripture from the book of Acts, we find that God gives a gift to the church. God gives is the Holy Spirit!  Who does God give it to?  God gives it to everyone!  Young or old, rich or poor, female or male, slave or free, people with papers, and people without papers.  Everyone gets the Holy Spirit! And with this gift, God literally gives his power away to us, so that we might be a part of God in the world, and that everyone is equal.  So today I encourage you to receive the power of the Holy Spirit, the very real presence of God with you here and now!  Amen.

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