28 August 2022
Bible readings for today
in the humble Christ
you take the lowest place among us;
may we see and serve you
in the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind;
through Jesus Christ our Liberator,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
How to be a guest (Luke 14:1,7-14)
In today's story, Jesus went to eat dinner in the home of a leader of the Pharisees, and the people were watching him closely.
The best seat in the house
What you need
Newspaper and any other random supplies you have.
(You will need one set of supplies and a chair for each group.)
Note: you can either do this as a competition between different groups. Or if you have limited numbers, you could give them a time limit eg. How far do they get in 10mins.
What to do
Explain that a very special person is coming to visit today and they need to have the best seat in the house. So their job is to give these very bland chairs a makeover using only the supplies provided.
After they have finished, it would be a good lead in to the reading and then a discussion about welcoming guests. You might even have a member of the congregation primed to come and be your special guest for the day. The children could interview them.
Preparation: You need a circle of chairs/cushions facing outward so that children can comfortably walk around. There needs to be one less chair than children. You will also need a cd/tape player and some music, and some jellybeans/stickers
What to do: Get the children to walk around the chairs/cushions while the music is playing. Tell them that when the music stops, they need to try and sit on a chair/cushion. The child that misses out gets a jellybean/sticker and sits out.
Before you start the next round, remove a chair. Then continue the rounds making sure each person who misses out on a chair gets a jellybean/sticker right until there are no more people left.
Purpose of jellybeans/stickers: Musical chairs can often make children feel bad because they ‘miss out’; it also brings out a competitive streak in others. By giving each child something, they hopefully don’t feel as bad for not getting to the final chair!
This is particularly good for a church service – but could be adapted for a Sunday School session.
What you need:
Hand out a reserved for sign to everyone and give them a pen at the beginning of the church service. Welcomers can do this combined with pew sheets or the usual handouts.
When it comes time to read the Gospel, prime your reader to invite the congregation to close their eyes while it is being read. Read Luke 14:1, 7-14 aloud slowly. At the end, invite people to open their eyes and to think about who they would like to reserve a seat for at the table in light of the reading. They can talk about it with their neighbours too. Get them to write who it is on their reserved sign and they bring it up to the altar and stick it on.
If you want to extend this further, you could invite a couple of brave people (or those you have warned!) to share who they invited, and why.
Leads well into communion. If your church facility lends itself to it, you could invite the whole congregation to surround the altar in a big circle during the great thanksgiving.
What you need: boxes, tape, scissors, pens, stuff to decorate with.
Printed out prize ribbons (pdf)
What to do: Get the children into group of 2-4 (depending on numbers) and give each group a box of ‘stuff’ that they can use. (Things like boxes, toilet rolls, newspaper, tape, scissors, magazines, glue, cellophane, wool, etc)
Tell each group that their job is to design ‘The best seat in the house’ using the things provided. Tell them to think about things like maybe a cup holder for a drink, a built in remote control for the tv, wheels so the person doesn’t have to get up, etc. All the things that would make this the best seat to sit in.
Give them a limited amount of time to do it (eg 15min) and at the end, get each group to present their chair to the whole group and explain it.
After they explain it, you might like to either give each group, or each child a ‘best seat in the house’ award