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.
Matthew 5:44, NIRV
44 But here is what I tell you. Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you.”
Supplies: Create a fancy heart-shaped construction paper card (very large in size, so that all can see). On the outside, write “To My Valentine” and decorate with glitter and fringe, and so on, On the inside, write a version of this poem:
Although I know you love me not,
And often we have argued and fought
This note of love I send to you
It’s what Jesus would have me do
Although you’ve hurt and caused me pain,
I refuse to do the same
Though you may not return my love,
The love I give comes from heaven above
I love you, dear enemy. May God bless you and may God’s love change your life.
God, help us to love even those who do not love us.
Today is a special day. Does anyone know what today is? (Let children answer. Yes, today is Transfiguration of our Lord Day on the church calendar, but children will certainly note that it is Valentine’s Day.) That’s right, today is the day that we give heart-shaped cards and candy to others and speak of love to one another. I have a Valentine’s Day card right here. Let me read it to you. (Read the card out loud.) This poem seemed different from most others that you hear on Valentine’s Day, didn’t it? What was different about it? (Let children respond.) That’s right; this is for someone who doesn’t really show us love. Maybe this person treats us bad. Do you ever think of giving the people who treat you bad or argue with you a Valentine? We talked a few weeks ago that Jesus teaches us that our words and actions must match. If we tell people we love them, we should also show them love by our actions. But if someone treats us unfairly, should we treat them badly in return? No, we should offer the love that God has for them.
This poem reminds us to love those who do not love us. Matthew 5:44 tells us from Jesus’ words, “44But here is what I tell you. Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you.”
We have spent several weeks learning the “key” words we need to follow Jesus in life. Today’s “key” word is very simple. What word do we use a lot on Valentine’s Day? (Allow children to answer). That’s right; the key word is love. Can anyone remember any of the “key” words we have used the past few weeks? (Allow children to answer. Baptize, truth, promise, follow, heal, and love.) If we remember the “keys” of being baptized, living by God’s truth, trusting God’s promises, following Jesus, being healed by Jesus, all help us to live a life of love. Then we can show the world that we are following Jesus every day of our lives.
Prayer: Let’s pray for those who love us not, just like Jesus teaches us. God of love…even to our enemies, remind us to both show and tell others of the love that you have for each and every one of us on this Valentine’s Day. From Jesus’ words and in Jesu’s name. Amen.