Anna's Hosannas!
Free Worship Resources for Use with the Lectionary
 

Lesson for Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time  (August 21, 2011)

Theme Song for Month:"Be the Change"

Scripture Reference: Matthew 16: 13-20

First Thoughts:  In our scripture passage today we read Peter’s Great Confession of Faith, along with Jesus’ declaration that Peter would be the rock upon which the church.   A rock is something strong that can last through any storm.  Why is it important for the church have “rock”- like people?  What happens if the church is full of “sand" people instead?  This leads into a conversation about what it means to become mature in the faith, to see God when God is revealed, to understand God when God speaks, and to follow God’s lead wherever it goes.

Props You Will Need:  A picture of an elaborate sandcastle, and one of a mountain.  If you have a screen in your worship space, you can project these.  If not, just blow the pictures up to increase their visibility to the congregation.

Teaching as a Team 

Leader 2: I have something amazing to show you.  Look at this! (sharing picture) 

Leader 1: What is it? 

Leader 2: It’s a sandcastle I built at the beach.  It only took me ten hours! 

Leader 1: Ten hours!  Wow.  How long did it last? 

Leader 2: Once I got done?  Hmm, about ten minutes.  That’s when the tide rolled in and washed it away.

Leader 1: Sandcastles are lot of fun to build, but we don’t expect them to last very long, do we?  Not like this (show picture of mountain).  This mountain has stood like this for a long, long time.  It will be standing when we’re all gone. 

Leader 2: That’s because it’s made out of rock. 

Leader 1: That right.  In our scripture today, Jesus says that his friend Peter is a rock - and that Jesus is going to build the church on Peter’s faith.  What do you think that says about Peter?

Leader 2:  He must have pretty smart. 

Leader 1: Not only was he smart.  Jesus knew that he would be faithful, that he would share God’s Word with everyone, no matter what.  It would be up to Peter and the other disciples to not only share God’s Word, but teach others to share the Word from generation to generation. 

Leader 2: Which is why we read the bible in church! 

Leader 1: Right.  But the Word isn’t just the bible.  It’s how we live too.  When we love others, when we forgive, when we share, we are building our lives on the Word - the Word of God’s love.  Love is everlasting, like that mountain. 

Leader 2: Sandcastles are fun, but I think I’d rather dedicate my life to living on the mountain. Leader 1: Me too!

 

Teaching On Your Own: Hey, kids. I have a picture to show you.  What is it?  (sharing picture of sandcastle)  Right, it’s a sandcastle.  How long do you think it took to build the sandcastle? Several hours, probably.   And how long do you think it took for it to wash away?  Just a few minutes, as soon as the tide rolled in.  Sandcastles are lot of fun to build, but we don’t expect them to last very long, do we?  Not like this (show picture of mountain).  This mountain has stood like this for a long, long time.  It will be standing when we’re all gone.  What’s it made out of?  Rock. That right.  In our scripture today, Jesus says that his friend Peter is a rock - and that Jesus is going to build the church on Peter’s faith.  What do you think that says about Peter?  Not only was he smart.  Jesus knew that he would be faithful, that he would share God’s Word with everyone, no matter what.  It would be up to Peter and the other disciples to not only share God’s Word, but teach others to share the Word from generation to generation.  That’s why we read the bible in church.  But God’s Word isn’t just the bible.  It’s how we live too.  When we love others, when we forgive, when we share, we are building our lives on the Word - the Word of God’s love.  Love is everlasting, like that mountain.  So how do you want to spend your life - building sandcastles that wash away or building on mountains that last forever? 

Closing Prayer: Thank you, God, that you show us how to build our lives on the foundation of your love.  That you’ve taught us to love, to forgive, to share with others.  Thank you for your Word, that teaches us and inspires us to live full, meaningful lives.

Follow-Up Lesson: A great way to follow up this children‘s sermon, in a classroom or home setting, is to ask the kids to spend time thinking  about what things are eternal, and what things aren’t.  Help them to name the non-eternal things in their lives - their grades in school, their sports season, the celebration of their birthdays and holidays.  All these things come and go.  Eternal things never pass away: when we care for somebody, or share God’s love.  Help them to think of times in their lives when they’ve participated in God’s eternal love, when we forgive someone for hurting us.  Then give each child a long flat rock, on which they can paint or write.  Encourage them to paint one of these scenes, or to write words like “love”, “compassion”, “God’s Word”, etc.  Right in the middle of the rock they can write their own names, to remember their place in God’s kingdom.  Invite them to carry their rocks home and put them a place where they can see them everyday and remember how much they are loved, and how important they are to God’s plan.