Anna's Hosannas!
Free Worship Resources for Use with the Lectionary
 
Lesson for Seventh Sunday of Easter (June 5)
Scripture Reference: John 17: 1-11
 
Theme Song for June: "As You Are One"
 
First Thoughts: This passage from John is complicated and difficult, so we’re going to focus on just one part of it - where Jesus asks God to make the disciples one as he and God are one.  “Unity” is our theme.  How do we get it?  What can it do for us as a church?
 
Props You Will Need:  A bag with a banana in it (optional).  You could also change it to “I’m thinking of a fruit…”
 
Teaching as a Team
Leader 1: OK, everybody.  I want to see how good you are at reading minds.  I have a fruit in this bag and I want you to guess what it is.  On the count of three, everybody yell out the name of a fruit and we’ll see if you get it.  One, two, three!
Leader 2: (with kids) Kumquat!
Leader 1: Not a kumquat!  Here’s a clue - this fruit is yellow. Ready?  One, two, three…
Leader 2: Pineapple!
Leader 1: Pineapple?
Leader 2: They’re yellow on the inside! 
Leader 1:   That’s not it either.  One more clue - you peel it to eat it.  One, two three…
Leader 2: Banana!
Leader 1: (pulling out the banana) You’re right!  You all got it.  How did you do that? I mean, when we started you guys all had different answers.  Especially you, (name).
Leader 2: Once I put the three clues together the answer seemed obvious.
Leader 1: Right - after you had all the clues, you all had the same thought in your minds.  You had unity!  That’s what Jesus is talking about today.  Jesus says that he and God have unity.  They understand each other’s minds - they have the same answers to questions.  And Jesus asks God to give that same unity to the rest of the believers.  What do you think that means? 
Leader 2: That they can all read each other’s minds?
Leader 1: Did you read each other’s minds to come up with “banana”?
Leader 2: No, we listened to the clues you said.  (realizing) Oh!
Leader 1: If we’re going to have unity we all have to be listening to one source - God!
Leader 2: How do we do that?
Leader 1: When we need to make a decision as a church we’ll probably start off with different ideas, just how we all were guessing about the fruit.  But then we pray together, and listen to how God is talking to our hearts.  When we don’t agree on something, we just pray harder.  We’re listening for clues from God, for God to tell us what God wants us to do.  If we pray and listen honestly and faithfully, eventually we’ll all come to the same answer…
Leader 2: Banana!
Leader 1: Right.  Unity.  It’s the name of the game..
 
Teaching on Your Own:  See my bag here?  I have a certain fruit in this bag, and I’m gonna see if any of you can guess what it is.  So get a fruit in your mind, then on the count of three shout out the name.  Ready?  One, two, three.  (wait)  Wow, that didn’t work out so well.  We all had different fruits.  Let me give you another clue - it’s yellow.  Ready? One, two, three. (wait)  Hmmm, more of us agreed that time. One last clue - you have to peel it to eat it.  Here we go - one, two, three (wait). (pulling it out) Banana!  That’s amazing - you all got it!  But just a moment ago you all had different answers.  What changed?  The clues!  After you got the clues, you all found the same answer.  There’s a word for that, unity.  Today in our scripture passage Jesus talks about unity.  Jesus says that he and God have unity.  They understand each other’s minds - they have the same answers to questions.  And Jesus asks God to help to give that same unity to the rest of the believers.  Now that doesn’t mean they can read each other’s minds.  That’s not what you guys did, right?  You didn’t read each other’s minds - you just all listened to the clues I was giving.  If the people of God are going to have unity we have to listen to who?  God!   When we need to make a decision as a church we’ll probably start off with different ideas, just how we all were at the beginning in guessing the fruit.  But then we pray together, and listen to how God is talking to our hearts.  When we don’t agree on something, we just pray harder.  We’re listening for clues from God, for God to tell us what God wants us to do.  If we pray and listen honestly and faithfully, eventually we’ll all come to the same answer.  That’s called unity.  It’s how we know we’re making good choices and doing what God wants us to do.
 
Closing Prayer: Thank you, God, for speaking to our hearts, and helping us listen for you together as a church.  Help us to always work toward unity in our decisions, so that we know we’re all following your direction in our lives.  In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.
 
Follow-Up Lesson: A great way to follow up this children‘s sermon in a classroom or home setting, is to practice the “Telephone Game.”  Start out by seating the kids in a circle and then whispering a simple message in one of their ears.  Let that child whisper to the next one and so on, until the last child gets the message.  He shares what he heard out loud, which (hopefully) will be a distortion of the original message.  Then change the game, whispering the message into each ear.  When you’re done ask the kids to share what the message was.  You might have some variation, but keep them talking until they all agree on one message.  Let them know how close they got.  Bring out the lesson - they did a better job of getting the message right when they each heard it from you.  It’s important for everyone in a faith community to pray, to listen, and to share what they hear God telling them.  That means not just the pastor and elders, or even just adults - but kids too!