Help Little Ones Understand God’s Love Carolyn Tomlin May 1 Title: Seasons of the Year Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:1 Song: For the Beauty of the Earth Object: Calendar Hello, boys and girls. I am glad to see you today. This morning I want us to think about this object I'm holding in my hand. This is called a "calendar." A calendar shows the twelve months of the year. Why do we need a calendar? Some places in the world do not have four different seasons. But many places have the season of spring, summer, fall, and winter. Let's think about spring for a minute. What happens during this season? Yes, new green leaves appear on the trees. Baby animals are born. It's like the earth awakens from its winter sleep. In summer, we have long hours of daylight for playing outside. We have good fruits and vegetables to eat from gardens. In the fall, leaves start to turn orange, gold and red. Then, comes winter. Snow and ice may cover the ground. Daylight hours grow short and night becomes longer. (Make adjustment to the material, depending on where you live.) Yes, God has a plan for the seasons. And He has a plan for you. How can you know God's plan for your life? Pray. Live close to God. Read your Bible daily. Help others. Prepare yourself to do the work God has chosen for you. That means doing your best in school. Then when God calls, you will be ready to accept His plan. The writer of Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us about God's system. Listen as I read: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven" (NIV). Let us bow our heads and close our eyes. I will lead us in prayer asking God to help boys and girls understand God's plan for their lives. Ask the pianist to play softly For the Beauty of the Earth as children return to their seats. Title: A Time to Start Scripture: Luke 2:52 Song: Jesus Loves the Little Children" Object: Horn (Ask a college or high school student to come into the church blowing a horn as you call the children to come forward for the Children's Sermon.) Say: A horn has been used for thousands of years. At one time this musical instrument was made from a ram's horn. Today, most horns are made of metal. Each material produces a different sound. Do you believe you could play a horn such as this? (Look for show of hands.) Yes, you probably could. To play one really well, you might need to take lessons and practice each day. Can you think of times when a horn or even a whistle is blown? (Pause for response.) What about a parade? A ball game? A policeman directing traffic? To begin a race? Yes, those all are times when we hear a horn. Usually a horn is blown to begin or end an event. It's time to begin — to get involved. As boys and girls who love God, we also have a "call to begin." How can we do this? Church and Sunday school each Sunday is a good place to start. Choir practice, mission activities, and other organizations provided by our church helps us make friends with others who love Jesus. I know you boys and girls love Jesus. Will you promise Him that you will try to be in church each Sunday? Could you bring a friend who does not attend church with you? Let's accept this "call to begin" by being faithful to our church. If we start at an early age, we will grow in the knowledge and wisdom of God. Listen as I read from Luke 2:52, "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (NIV). Lead the children to sing one stanza of Jesus Loves the Little Children before they return to their seats. Title: Jesus Knows Us Scripture: Psalm 44:20-21 Song: My Jesus, I Love Thee Object: Framed picture of an unknown child Boys and girls, what am I holding in my hand? (Allow time for response.) Yes, this is a picture of a boy (girl). I do not even know his/her name. I purchased the frame with the picture inside. What can you tell me by looking at the picture? (Such as color of skin, hair, eyes, perhaps smile, clothing). What is this child's name? Do we know where he/she lives? If he/she has a brother or sister? Do you think he/she goes to school? Does this child have a family who loves her? We can guess, but we know very little about this child. When we look at a picture of someone we do not know, the picture tells us very little. But there is someone who knows all about you. He knows all about me. Can someone tell me who that is? (Pause) Yes, that person is God. God knows all about us. We may only see what is on the outside — like eyes, skin color, hair, and clothing. These are what others see. But God sees what is on the inside. He knows what we are thinking. He knows the thoughts in our heart. And Jesus loves you — and He loves me. Listen as I read from Psalms 44:20-21. "If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?" (NIV). Let us say a silent prayer, thanking God for loving us — evening when we do not deserve his love. As children return to their seats, have the pianist softly play, My Jesus, I Love Thee.