Lost Sheep (Matthew 18:10-14)
The parable of the lost sheep can also be found in Luke 15:1-7
Building bridges (Matthew 18:15-20)
In our Gospel reading Jesus teaches about how to deal with conflict and disagreements
Joining the lectionary dots
Linking today's Matthew passage on conflict to the one on Romans on love, shows how beautifully the lectionary can work together.
Part of the Season of Creation series by Intergen Australia, written and compiled by Michelle Cook. See here
A story about living in harmony which can be found on Sermons 4 Kids.
Children's talk - a talk from Storybox
Has a friend ever hurt you by something that they did? What was that like? (pause for discussion) It isn’t very nice when people hurt us by what they say or do, particularly if they are our friends. It can leave you feeling hurt or angry, and unsure of your friendship towards that person. It’s even worse if it doesn’t get sorted out. We can lose good friends that way.
In today’s story, Jesus gives us some good advice for how to sort out our conflicts with other people. Right at the start Jesus tells us to go and talk to the person about it. do you sort out your problems with friends? (pause)
We need to treasure our friendships and work at keeping them healthy by reminding people that we care about how much they mean to us so that when we do have problems we feel more able to sort them out.
Craft - friendship certificate
The activity today is a friendship certificate that you can give or post to one of your friends to remind them how much their friendship means to you. You may even like to send it to someone that you haven’t been getting on with
What you need:
A copy of the template, cardboard, glue, felts and crayons to decorate. Envelopes and stamps are an optional extra.
What to do:
Glue the template to the cardboard. Fill in the three qualities that you most appreciate about that person. Decorate!
If you are posting them, seal in an envelope with a stamp and address it.
How to use:
This activity is a good way of helping children gain good skills for maintaining healthy relationships. With older children, you may like to do some role playing of conflict resolution stuff.
We are connected prayer
Equipment: Pre-cut out strips of paper chain people (found in most $ stores) or handmade strips of 3-4 paper-chain people, Pens
Game - rob the nest game
Topic: This game could help you introduce the topic of what it feels like to work with or against others.
Equipment: A hula-hoop per team and one for the center, 10-20 small objects/balls/bean-bags
Possible debrief questions: How did it feel to have items taken from your team nest? How did you feel doing the robbing? Which version of the game did you enjoy the most? To the winning team...how did it feel to win even though you didn't you didn't fill your nest for yourself?
Game - getting in order
What you need: a circle of chairs
What to do: get the children to stand on the chairs. Explain that you will give the children a topic eg birth date. You will then nominate which seat is the starting chair and the children have to then get in order without talking and without touching the ground. When they think they have done it, check. If they talk or stand on the ground, they have to start again!
Topics you could use: birth date, street number, height, last name, pet’s name.
The Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:21-35)
Jesus talks about forgiveness, and what it means to forgive someone.
At first glance you might think this was a nice little passage about how good it is to forgive each other. Our conversationalists this week, however, dig a lot deeper than that to find that it is much more challenging than we might first think. Even so, they are able to come up with good news for us to take away! Ben Truman joins us for the first time, together with Grace Morris and Judy Ringland.
Over and over again Bible story
A story about God's forgiveness and forgiving others which can be found on the Sermons 4 Kids website.
What does it mean to forgive someone?
When someone says sorry to us, God calls us to forgive them. If we are able to do this when the apology occurs, we can use words like ‘I forgive you’, ‘that’s ok’ etc
Sometimes we are not ready to do this. Time is needed, both for the offender to be ready to apologise and for the victim to recieve the apology well. Sometimes the victm needs to be able to express the depth of their hurt - perhaps this needs to occur before an apology from the offender is given, so that both understand the extent of what has happened.
Deep hurts are not always easily forgotten and when they come to mind, we have a choice about how we choose to think & act. When we choose to forgive, we give the hurt to God & determine not to let it make us bitter/think badly of the offender. Sometimes, though we have chosen to forgive, our memories of the event come back to us. This does not mean we have not had an attitude of forgiveness, but rather that we need to choose to forgive again, as we see the situation through older eyes.
Have you ever hurt someone else - with your words or what you did? Sometimes we upset someone by accident, eg when we break something that doesn’t belong to us. What’s it like to say sorry? Have you ever said sorry when you didn’t mean it? Who needs some time to calm down before they can apologise? (I do) How can you show you are sorry? How can you show you forgive someone who hurt you? When is it hard to forgive?
Who do you know that shows/has shown forgiveness?
Are you holding on to something you need to give to God? Something you are sorry about, or someone you need to forgive? Can you bring it to God this morning?
Prayer Spaces have two great forgiveness prayers for you to try -- Fizzy Forgiveness and Forgiveness Stones. You can find more information about them here
The unmerciful servant
Forgiveness memory verse
Although from a slightly earlier passage in Matthew, a good 'forgiveness' memory verse for this week could be:
"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you" -- Matthew 6:14
Unforgiveness can feel like carrying around a backpack of rocks, and when we give our worries and grudges to God, he can lighten our load. This memory verse could be written out on rocks or pebbles, and rearranged as a puzzle. Once the kids are more confident with the memory verse, you can always remove different rocks and have the kids fill in the gaps.
Part of the Season of Creation series by Intergen Australia, written and compiled by Michelle Cook. This week looks at the wilderness - See here
A teaching aid for forgiveness from Mina Munns, at Flame: Creative Children's Ministry
Game - I'm sorry!
What you need: circle of chairs facing inwards
What to do: Have the children sit on the chairs and have one person in the middle. The person in the middle chooses someone in the circle. They start by going up to the person and saying ‘I need to talk to you about something.’ The person sitting down replies ‘What about?’
The person in the middle then makes up a situation involving that person that needs an apology, eg. ‘The other day when you didn’t tell me about the banana skin on the floor and then I slipped on it and everyone laughed, well I was embarrassed.’
The person sitting must then reply with as much sincerity as they can, “I’m sorry”
Now the trick is for the person in the middle to make the person sitting laugh or seem insincere by making the situation as silly and funny as they can. If the sitting person laughs or seems insincere, they swap places with the person in the middle. If they manage to say ‘I’m sorry’ sincerely, then the person in the middle must choose someone else and start with a different story.
Game - would you say "I'm sorry?"
What you need: a list of situations where you may or may not want to say ‘I’m sorry’ (see the list below for ideas)
What to do: Get all the children to stand in the middle of the room. Choose one end of the room to be ‘I’m sorry’; and the opposite end of the room to be ‘I’m not sorry’
Explain to the children that you will read out an “I” statement. The children then have ten seconds to decide whether they would be sorry or not if it had been them. Keep going as long as you wish.
Eg ‘I gave my mother a bunch of flowers’
“I kicked my best friend”
‘I helped my dad with the gardening’
‘I didn’t eat my vegetables’
‘I drew on the wallpaper with felt pen’
Craft - forgiveness crown
A Forgiveness crown craft from Sunday School Zone, free to download and print.
Source: Sunday School Zone (All rights reserved)
Craft - the forgiving king / queen
What you need: balloons, 2 large feet drawn onto an A4 sheet (joined together), bits and pieces of paper that may be useful for decorating your King/Queen, scissors, glue, tape etc
What to do:
Note: you may want to talk to the children about how the King in the story represents God. And that they can use their ‘Forgiving King/Queen’ to talk to about when they have done something wrong that they want to say sorry for. You might like to even finish off the lesson with time of prayer.
Season of Creation resources
Resources from EcoCongregation Scotland.
A sermon from EcoChaplain Rev. David Coleman, filmed on the St Abb’s Head seabird colony, with supporting location reading from Exodus 14
Watch the video here