Anything Good

Follow Me!

Second Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B

“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” That’s our guiding phrase from our gospel text for this week. “Anything good?” Surely you can hear how that sounds. Surely in our contentious environment, you hear the presupposition behind the sarcasm. You can hear the prejudice tucked away in such an innocuous joke. We are potentially dealing with some difficult topics this week. They are not difficult because they are complicated but because they are threatening. And personal. And most folk have some pretty entrenched positions on race and ethnicity.

INTRODUCTION

Have a set of keys for display each week. You can also create a set of construction paper keys with the word “key” written on each key, or simply use a set of real keys. Each week of this series, a “key” word will be introduced to the children. Use a reminder on the set of keys, so that you won’t forget to have the prop ready each week. The “key” word will depict one characteristic of following Jesus that connects the message to the adult worship series.

John 1:43-49, NIRV

43The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.”

44Philip was from the town of Bethsaida. So were Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one whom Moses wrote about in the Law. The prophets also wrote about him. He is Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.

47Jesus saw Nathanael approaching. Here is what Jesus said about him. “He is a true Israelite. Nothing about him is false.”

48“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree. I saw you there before Philip called you.”

49Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God. You are the king of Israel.”

Children's Message

Worship word of the day: truth – agreement with fact or reality (Word Central online kids dictionary, http://wordcentral.com/cgi-bin/student?book=Student&va=truth).

Today’s “key” word is truth. Truth is agreement with fact or reality.

Sometimes followers of Jesus wonder if what they believe is true. In a world filled with bad news, the good news of Jesus can seem too good to be true. Having doubts and asking questions are normal parts of faith. In fact, faith means believing in something that you cannot see.

In today’s scripture, Nathanael had doubts about Jesus. Jesus came from the small town of Nazareth, and Nathanael didn’t think an important person could come from a little place like that. When his friend, Philip, invited him, Nathanael went to see Jesus. Jesus knew the truth about Nathanael. When Nathanael discovered this, he then told the truth about Jesus. He called Jesus the Son of God. What can you do to invite others to hear about Jesus? (Let children give responses.)

Jesus praised Nathanael for his faith. Jesus promised Nathanael that his faith would grow. Jesus promises us the same thing. When we tell the truth about Jesus, our faith will grow stronger and stronger. While we pray, think of one way we can tell others the truth about Jesus.

Prayer: Jesus, sometimes I wonder if your promises are true. Help me to listen to what others say about you and help my faith grow stronger every day. Amen.


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

In This Series...


Epiphany/Baptism of the Lord, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Transfiguration Sunday, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes