Every once in a great while, I decide that the Gospel for the week is more appropriate for adults than children. Matthew 5:21-37 is one of those times. Instead, I chose to use the same theme of the Love Commandments from Matthew 22:34-40, and will expand upon this during my children’s message this week.
Dear Jesus, we thank you for your unconditional love. Help us to return that love, with all our hearts, souls, and minds. Teach us how to love our neighbor as ourselves. In your name we pray, Amen.
34 When the Pharisees heard that [Jesus] had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Have you ever been tested, or asked a question meant to trick you? What was that experience like?
What does Jesus say is the greatest commandment? What are some ways that you could work on keeping this commandment?
What other commandment does Jesus lift up? What are some ways that you could work on keeping this commandment?
Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Why do you think Jesus compares us to salt? What is food like when you have too much salt? Too little? Too much?
Why do you think Jesus says that we are the light of the world? What happens when you turn on a light in a dark room?
Who, in your life, needs more salt or light? In what ways can you be with them?
1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: 3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. 8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
What are some blessings that you have in your life?
Why do you think that Jesus calls these unexpected people “blessed”?
What are some ways that you can think of to be a blessing to others?
the day of Pentecost had come, [the apostles] were all together in
one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like
the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were
sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and
a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with
the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them
Why do you think
that the Holy Spirit comes in wind, fire, and language? How do you experience the Holy Spirit? What is the Spirit stirring up in you?
Holy Spirit, Breath of Life, breathe the fire of your love into us. Shape us, give us life, make us whole. Help us to spread the love of Christ to the ends of the earth. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
[Jesus said] “You will receive
power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in
Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9When
he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him
out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing
up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They
said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus,
who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you
saw him go into heaven.”
Why do you think that Jesus ascends to heaven, instead of staying on earth?
Why send the Holy Spirit?
What are you looking forward to?
Risen Christ, thank you for making a place for us in heaven. Send your Holy Spirit among us, that we may be your risen people. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Jesus answered [Judas
(not Iscariot),] “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will
love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Whoever
does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not
mine, but is from the Father who sent me. 25“I have said these things to you while I am still with
you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will
send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have
said to you.
Where is the place that you call home?
What difference does it make to know that God is at home with you there, as well?
What do you think of the Holy Spirit?
Where does the Spirit show up in your life?
Risen Christ, thank you for making your home with us, and for sending your Holy Spirit to teach us and remind us of your presence. Fill us with your abiding love. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
When he had gone out, Jesus
said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in
him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify
him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children,
I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the
Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34I
give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved
you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will
know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
What are some ways that God shows love for you? What are some ways that others show you they love you? How do you show your love for others?
Risen Christ, thank you for loving us enough to go to the cross for us. Help us to obey your commandment, to love another as you first loved us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.