Ephesians 5:19-20, NIRV (New International Reader's Version)
19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord. 20Always give thanks to God the Father for everything. Give thanks to him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prop: Small bicycle that resembles a first bike a child would learn to ride.
Theme: Always give thanks, for everything, in all times.
Bike theme: Always give thanks for those trusted adults holding on, eventually letting go. Even when we fall, give thanks; get up and try again.
Today’s the day. Today is the day that we may be able to have that trusted loved one let go and we pedal for ourselves. I am a little nervous about trying for the first time. Let’s review all that we have learned since we began this journey of learning to ride a bike this summer – and the journey through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. How have we learned to be better followers of Jesus? (Allow children to respond.) Those are all important things that we have learned. We have learned four things: Jesus is our peace. We need to have those who love us and whom we trust around us for support. It takes patience and speaking in truth with love to others, just like it takes patience to learn something new. We need to be like God and to love like Jesus.
Before we climb on the bike to try riding alone, Paul reminds us in today’s part of the letter to always give thanks: “Always give thanks to God for everything. Give thanks to him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Paul writes. I wonder if I should give thanks to God before I try to pedal by myself? Always give thanks and for everything! I wonder if I should give thanks that I don’t need the training wheels any longer? Always give thanks and for everything! I wonder if I should give thanks, even if I lose my balance and fall off the bike? Always give thanks and for everything! I wonder if I should give thanks after a successful bike ride? Always give thanks and for everything!
Always giving thanks and for everything is certainly a powerful way to live!
Let’s pray: Loving God, today I have learned to always give thanks and praise to you. When things are great, I give you thanks. When things are difficult, I still give you thanks. Thank you for everything! Forever and always. Amen.