For the “A Life That Matters” worship series, each week focuses on a worship word of the day to reinforce one aspect of our lives that following Jesus offers us. During this three-week series, create a worship word of the day sign, with the word on one side and the definition on the back. Invite a child to read the definition for the congregation. Invite the children to make their own signs during Sunday school or a small-group meeting. The signs could be displayed each week during this worship series. If you have use of video screens, create a PowerPoint of the word and hand the child the definition of the word on a typewritten page.
Mark 12:41-44, NIRV
41Jesus sat down across from the place where people put their temple offerings. He watched the crowd putting their money into the offering boxes. Many rich people threw large amounts into them. 42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins. They were worth only a few pennies.
43Jesus asked his disciples to come to him. He said, “What I’m about to tell you is true. That poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. 44They all gave a lot because they are rich. But she gave even though she is poor. She put in everything she had. That was all she had to live on.”
Visual Aids: The book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Worship word of the day: “Generosity”
Generosity Definition: The act of giving freely to others.
For the next few weeks, we are going to learn a “worship word of the day” and discover how Jesus wants us to live a life that matters. I have a sign with today’s word printed on it. The definition of the word is on the back. Would one of you like to read the definition? (Hold up the sign and have a child read this printed page of the definition. Today’s worship word of the day is “generosity.”: the act of giving freely to others. Generosity). Throughout the next few moments, listen and see if you hear the definition to the word generosity described.
The book The Giving Tree is one of my favorite children’s books. It tells the story of the relationship between a young boy and a tree. The boy would gather the tree’s leaves, eat its apples, swing from its branches, and fall asleep under its shade. “The boy loved the tree, and the tree was happy.” However, as the boy got older, he struggled to make time to spend with the tree. When he did visit, he only asked for things from the tree.
When the boy asked, the tree was always happy to give.
The boy wanted money, so the tree gave him its apples to sell in the market.
The boy wanted a house to stay warm, so the tree gave him its branches to build a home.
The boy became old and wanted to escape from everything, so the tree let him chop down its trunk to build a boat to sail away.
Through all of this, the tree gladly and freely gave of itself to make the boy happy and provide for his well-being.
Everything the tree did was out of pure love for its friend.
In the final pages of The Giving Tree, the boy who was now an elderly man, returns to the tree one last time. He doesn’t need anything but says that he would like a quiet place to sit for a while because he is very tired.
The tree, who is also very old and now just a stump at this point, offers the boy (man) a place to sit and rest. The boy slowly walks toward the stump, bends at the waist, and sits. “And the tree was happy.”
I wonder if you heard the definition of today’s word, “generosity,” as I shared the story with you? Can you give me an example of how the tree was generous? (Have children respond.)
God is going to take care of you. It’s your job to let God use you to take care of and be generous toward others. You can do this by thinking of others first and be free in your giving to them. Be generous! I wonder if each of you can come up with one way you can be generous this coming week. When you think of a way, hold up one finger to let me know that you have an idea. (Select a couple of children with their fingers raised to provide suggestions.)
Prayer: Generous God, we give you thanks for your many blessings. Give me the opportunity to be generous to others in my life. Amen.