Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Complete with Children!

Sheldon asked me if I would do a Children's Sermon on Mother's Day, and of course I said "yes." Then I called my mother! I asked her if she was willing to send me some old pictures of herself with little me to use for the Children's Sermon—so she agreed not only to do some scanning for me but to have pictures of herself shown to my new congregation! I'm so thankful for her willing helpfulness!! The pictures below can be en-biggened by clicking on them, and what follows is the way the Children's Sermon ran—to the best of my memory.

I made a simple PowerPoint presentation with some of the many pictures my mom e-mailed to me. I carried my laptop from work into the sanctuary and sat down in one of the huge wooden chairs in the chancel. Emmi says that I was quite a sight, booting the thing up in my lap while sitting in that old chair, in that old space, fully robed for worship. We may reenact it so she can do some photography! In any case, the time came for the Children's Sermon and I sat on the front step with the laptop in my lap, facing the children. At this point, I can't see what's on the screen, and neither can most of the congregation.

"So you're going to have to help me." I tell the children before asking them, "What do you see in this first picture? Describe it for me."

"A girl with a baby!"
"Do they look happy? Sad?"
"They look sleepy!"
"They look sleepy?"
"Ok, what's happening in this picture?"

"Christmas is happening! Do they look happy?"
"Ok, what's in this picture?"

"The girl and the baby in a bean bag!"
"A bean bag chair? That dates it a bit!" says a woman sitting in a pew in the congregation.
"You know what? I put a bean bag on my list for my birthday!" says a little girl sitting on the floor in front of me.
"You want a bean bag for your birthday?" I ask, ignoring the horrified looks coming from the little girl's parents.
"Ok, what's in this picture?"

"A mom and her son sitting on a couch!"
"Do they look happy or sad?"
"How about this one?"

"The mom is kinda looking at the son!"
"They're on the same couch!!"
"Ok, what's in this one?"

"The same mom and son in another chair."
"Is that the one that looks like it might have a tent in the background? Do you think maybe they're camping?"
"I think that's the last picture! So let me ask you this: who do you think that baby is?"
"You!" this said with a definite undercurrent of "duh."
"So who do you think that lady is in the pictures with me?"
"Your mother!"
"Yup! That's my mother. And based on what you saw in those pictures, do you think she loves me?"
"Me too. I think she loves me very much. So one of the things I like to do on Mother's Day is thank God that I have a mother who was there for me, and is still there for me, and who loves me very much. But another thing I like to do on Mother's Day—and this is a little sad—but there are people who don't have their mothers anymore, and there are people who don't get along with their mothers very well. But God is there for them, and loves them very much, just like a mother. So on Mother's Day I like to pray that God will be a Mother for them. So please pray with me: Loving Mother God, we thank your for our mothers, who are always there for us and love us very much. And we pray for the people who don't get along with their mothers, or whose mothers aren't here on earth any more, that you would be their Mother. And we pray these things in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
And I do have something for you to help you remember what we prayed about." I hand out bright yellow pencils with writing on them. "Can someone tell me what that says?"
"Smile. God loves you."

Smile, God loves you,
Rev. Josh


Mama B said...

That was really beautiful and those pictures are just adorable!

Rev. Josh said...

Emmi says that I still make that incredibly happy face. The one in the picture of me sitting on my mom's lap on the couch? Speaking of which, I don't remember that thing being that loudly colored!