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May 2024

May

All-Consuming Presence

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Trinity Sunday, Year B

How often do we plan and show up to worship expecting to encounter God? It feels like the right answer should be, “Every week!” But, in reality, I’m sure many of us would prefer not to be scared witless by the glory of God as Isaiah was in today’s passage.

We are entering the longest season of the Christian Year, the Sundays after Pentecost, or what is also called Ordinary Time. For many, the days feel ordinary, week after week of the long spring and summer and the early fall season. It is the time when attendance patterns shift, and folks find it hard to maintain a regular weekly presence. Ordinary. Yet, it could be argued that this season is where our faith gets put to the test. From Advent through Pentecost Sunday, we are walking with Jesus, learning, growing, and inviting alongside him; observing and listening as he makes his earthly journey. Then on Pentecost, the church takes the stage and seeks to live out all that has been learned as we show the world what living in the kingdom looks like.

We don’t walk alone, however. That is why the first series of this long season is about the God we proclaim. We want to keep a proper perspective as we live out our faith and realize that while our efforts are important, it is by the grace of God that we can be the church we are called to be. Even here, in the season after Pentecost, we ascribe to God all the glory, all the wonder, all the joy that is within us. To help us in that task, we turn to the songbook of the Hebrew scriptures and listen to the assigned psalms. But we begin with Isaiah’s knee-knocking encounter in the presence of God. Join us as we look to the source and sustenance of our faith.

This first series of this long season will incorporate “Rhyme Time” for the children’s messages. First, we must define “rhyme” and why it is developmentally important for children. When two words rhyme, they repeat certain sounds. Examples include cat and hat, hair and care, and smoke and joke. Rhyme is important because it helps children develop phonological awareness. This awareness allows the child to have the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds in words. This awareness helps children hear the sounds in words so that they will be able to read words on the printed page as they grow. This series will also incorporate hand and arm gestures to reinforce the learning.

You are encouraged to have a dry-erase board or a magnetic board to display the rhyming words each week for the children (and congregation). If you use a magnetic board, find some magnetic letters that can be interchanged throughout the series.


Children's Message

Isaiah 6:1-8, NIRV

The Lord Appoints Isaiah to Speak for Him

6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was seated on his throne. His long robe filled the temple. He was highly honored. 2Above him were seraphs. Each of them had six wings. With two wings they covered their faces. With two wings they covered their feet. And with two wings they were flying. 3 They were calling out to one another. They were saying,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord who rules over all.
The whole earth is full of his glory.”

4The sound of their voices caused the stone doorframe to shake. The temple was filled with smoke.

5 “How terrible it is for me!” I cried out. “I’m about to be destroyed! My mouth speaks sinful words. And I live among people who speak sinful words. Now I have seen the King with my own eyes. He is the Lord who rules over all.”

6 A seraph flew over to me. He was holding a hot coal. He had used tongs to take it from the altar. 7 He touched my mouth with the coal. He said, “This has touched your lips. Your guilt has been taken away. Your sin has been paid for.”

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord. He said, “Who will I send? Who will go for us?”

I said, “Here I am. Send me!”

New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Word:

Send

Message:

Today I want to begin a fun way for us to learn and remember our stories from the Bible. Each week, I am going to give you a rhyming word. We are going to play a game called “Rhyme Time.” Does anyone know what a rhyme is? (Allow children to answer.) That’s right, a rhyme is two or more words with similar sounds. Can anyone give me two words that rhyme? (Allow a couple of children to provide two rhyming words. Be prepared to correct them if the words don’t rhyme.) Those are all good rhyming words.

Throughout the next few weeks, I want to play a game with you called “Rhyme Time.” Get it? Even the name of my game rhymes. Name, game—I did it again!

I have a board on which I will put the last few letters of a word for us to see. (Show the board and then write/affix the letters “END” on it, leaving some space to add letters before those three.) Each week, I am going to give us a word that uses these letters, and each week our words will all rhyme. Ready? Let’s play “Rhyme Time.” Together, as loud as you can, say, “Hit me with a rhyme!” One, two, three… (“Hit me with a rhyme” collectively).

Today’s scripture passage is from Isaiah. Isaiah was a prophet from the Old Testament. God used a vision to call Isaiah to become a prophet. When God calls you, God is asking you to do something for God. Have you ever felt that God was calling you to do something? (Allow children to provide examples.) God wanted Isaiah to deliver a message to the people of Judah. But Isaiah and his vision of God made him afraid to say anything. He wondered how a weak person who made so many mistakes in life could deliver a message for a holy, all-powerful God.

In Isaiah’s vision, one of God’s creatures touched Isaiah’s lips with a burning coal. You might think this would make it harder for Isaiah to speak. But the coal is a sign that God has forgiven Isaiah’s sins. Remember, a sin is something that isn’t pleasing to God.

After the burning coal had been removed from his mouth, Isaiah felt a cool sensation flow through his body. His lips weren’t burning any longer. He felt clean and accepted by God. He was much more relaxed when he heard another voice around him. It was the voice of God. God said, “My people are stubborn. Who will I send to tell them my message? Who will I get to go and speak to them for me?”

At this point, Isaiah leaped to his feet. He was no longer afraid. He felt different. He felt brave and ready to serve God. His response? Isaiah raised his hands and answered God by saying, “Send me. I am here. Send me.”

Today’s rhyming word begins with the letter “S”: S-E-N-D. Send means to cause to go or to cause someone to deliver a message. (Write/affix the word “send” on the board.) In the end, Isaiah was willing for God to use him. Are you willing for God to use you? Are you scared? Isaiah was scared. But God wanted to use him to be a messenger. God wants to use you too! Maybe God wants you to help someone in your class at school who is struggling with math. Or to help a friend who is upset about something that has happened in the family. Or to help your mom set the table for dinner or clean your room. Or to tell your neighbors around the corner from your house that Jesus loves them. God can use you too, just as God used Isaiah to help spread the message of God’s love. You must be willing to raise your hand and say, “Here I am. Send Me!”

Before we pray, to help us remember our “rhyme-time” word, I have a hand motion to teach you. First, raise your hand and point your finger to the space over your head. Second, take your hand and point it in front of your body. Finally, take your hand and point it at yourself. Three steps.

  1. God – point at sky.
  2. Send – point in front of your body.
  3. Me! – point to yourself.

Let’s try it while I say the words, then a second time with no words, just the motions. (Walk children through the steps as described.)

Now let’s pray.

Prayer:

Send me, O God, to speak and do what you say in your word. Forgive me when I disobey and do things that aren’t pleasing to you. Give me the strength I need to do what you want me to do. Amen.


Family Conversation Starters

To assist with conversations within the family during the week, a series of conversation starters has been added to each children’s message series. We encourage families to use these questions to guide them through conversations and subject matter discussed during the worship service, including the children’s messages on Sundays. These conversations will reinforce the learning as and nurture faith formation for the entire family.

  1. Share a time when you felt God calling you to do something. How did you respond?
  2. Give one example of how God used you to share the good news of the gospel.
  3. How does it feel knowing that God knew you first before anyone else (including your parents)?
  4. Talk about a time when you witnessed God giving you the strength to face a challenging time in your life.
  5. Together as a family, listen to the song, “Bound to Come Some Trouble,” written and performed by Rich Mullins. Regardless of age, we will all go through tough times in life. How do the lyrics of Rich’s song speak to you? How do they compare to Psalm 20:1-5, 9, NIRV? How does it make you feel knowing you can rely on the words of this song and the words of the psalmist?
  6. Throughout this worship series, we have used rhyming words—send, mend, depend, and tend—to describe our relationship with God. As a family, discuss how each word makes you feel in your relationship with God. Find other rhyming words to add to the words send, mend, depend, and tend that could describe your relationship with God and one another. Spend time searching the Bible to discover scripture passages that reinforce your “rhyme time” words. How many new words did you discover?

In This Series...


Trinity Sunday, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes

Colors


  • White

In This Series...


Trinity Sunday, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes