August 2024


Sent Out to Live

Worship with Rejoicing

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

If you got to last week and thought that must be the last week of this series since it focused on benediction—SURPRISE! The benediction isn’t the end of worship—nor is it the end of this series—because worship does not end when the gathered Body of Christ disperses.

This worship series from James reminds us to be “doers of the word.” There is action involved. To create an image to help children (and adults) understand the worship series, use the board game Operation to connect each week’s message. Each week, during the series, show the children the board game with its attached tweezers and explain how to play. You may want to get creative and have a life-size board or have someone dressed in a “Cavity Sam” costume. Remember to bring the board game with you each week of this series to reference a new game piece that refers to a Scripture passage.

James 1:19-20, 22, New International Reader's Version [1]

Listen to the Word and Do What It Says

19My dear brothers and sisters, pay attention to what I say. Everyone should be quick to listen. But they should be slow to speak. They should be slow to get angry. 20Human anger doesn’t produce the holy life God wants.

22Don’t just listen to the word. You fool yourselves if you do that. You must do what it says.

Operation game piece: Entire Operation board; Adam’s apple.


In the next few weeks during worship, we are going to read a letter by James. James is all about action. Throughout his letter, he reminds us that we must “do” something.

Have you ever played the board game Operation? (Allow children to answer.) What are the rules of this game? (Show the board game or introduce your human “Cavity Sam.”) Allow one child to explain the rules as he/she understands them. Then reinforce that response with your own summary. The star of the game is the very unfortunate Cavity Sam, who has a lot of issues. In each of the twelve cavities on Sam’s body is an ailment game piece, such as a Charlie horse, wishbone, brain freeze, and Adam’s apple. Players take turns using a pair of tweezers to remove the ailments from Sam’s body, without hitting the sides of the cavity. If they do, Sam’s nose will turn red, and players hear an unpleasant buzzing sound. Have you ever heard that sound? Players try to remove the pieces successfully without making that buzzing sound. To be successful at the game of Operation, you must “do” something about it. You can’t just say, “I took out the wishbone.” No, you must show the other players that you can do it.

Today’s part of James’s letter teaches us that we should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Many times, we are too quick to talk, when we really should be listening to someone else speak. Have you ever heard, “God gave you two ears and only one mouth?” That means we should listen twice as much as we talk.

Playing the game of Operation is like that. When it is our turn with the tweezers, if we move too fast, what happens? (Allow children to respond.) That’s right, a buzz and a red nose. What happens if we take our time and slow down as we try to pull out the Adam’s apple? (Allow children to respond.) That’s right, we have a better chance of removing the game piece without that annoying buzzing sound.

The next time you feel that you want to speak too quickly, think of the tweezers, the red nose, and that buzzing sound of this board game. Take your time and think before you speak, and you will discover that when you do, you are responding the way God’s wants you to.


Loving and gracious God, thank you for giving me two ears and one mouth. Remind me each time before I speak that I should listen twice as much as I should talk. When I do this, I remind others of your love for me and my neighbor. Amen.

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

In This Series...

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes