Throughout this series, you will need to prepare and use each week an adapted version of Rev. Leanne Hadley’s “Listening Stones.” Click here to learn more about “Listening Stones.”
Supplies needed for the entire series:
- Stones (You can either use small stones and give each child one each week or one bigger stone for the entire group to use throughout the series.)
- Jar large enough for placing one stone from each week’s lesson. This jar will hold one stone from each week of this series. Keep it in the worship area throughout the series as a reminder to the entire congregation about the lessons discussed each week.
- Permanent Markers.
- Mod Podge
Steps to Make Listening Stones:
1.) Purchase stones (pre-polished from a craft store in the floral department. These are used to put in vases, etc.).
2.) Using a permanent marker, draw the symbols on the rocks and let them dry well. Click here to view a template (PDF) for the symbols for each week.
- Water droplet
- Music note
- Yes, checkbox
3.) Place a small dab of “Mod Podge” on each stone and let it dry. (If you skip this step, the symbols will rub off the rocks. It is very important! We have tried finding a spray-on application but have not had any luck.)
4.) Place the stones in a large cloth bag after they have dried for several hours. Placing the stones in a cloth bag or nice box makes the stones seem holier than toys or playthings.
Each week during this series, introduce the stone with the week’s image. Offer a stone to each child to use as a prayer stone. If you have only one larger stone, have children either touch or reach toward the stone as you close in prayer. Collect one stone each week in the jar or box and keep it visible in the worship area for the duration of the series.
1 Corinthians 1:10-18, New International Reader's Version
Taking Sides in the Church
10Brothers and sisters, I make my appeal to you. I do this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I ask that all of you agree with one another in what you say. I ask that you don’t take sides. I ask that you are in complete agreement in all that you think. 11My brothers and sisters, I have been told you are arguing with one another. Some people from Chloe’s house have told me this. 12Here is what I mean. One of you says, “I follow Paul.” Another says, “I follow Apollos.” Another says, “I follow Peter.” And still another says, “I follow Christ.”
13Does Christ take sides? Did Paul die on the cross for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15No one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16It’s true that I also baptized those who live in the house of Stephanas. Besides that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else. 17Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to preach the good news. He commanded me not to preach with wisdom and fancy words. That would take all the power away from the cross of Christ.
Christ Is God’s Power and Wisdom
18The message of the cross seems foolish to those who are lost and dying. But it is God’s power to us who are being saved.
Stone(s) with the image of the cross inscribed on them.
Many times, we point out how we are different from someone else. For example, raise your hand if you are left-handed. Raise your hand if you are right-handed. Some of us may be fans of a certain sports team. Others of us may cheer for a different team. Some may attend one school, while others may be students at a school across town. Some may like chocolate milk, while others may prefer strawberry, and even others may be lactose intolerant. It seems that we are constantly pointing out how different we are from one another.
I wonder what the word “united” means. (If you live in the United States, use this example). We live in the United States. Have you ever heard “united we stand, divided we fall”?
Where do we see the word “united”? (Allow children to answer.) According to one dictionary, “united” means “to put or come together to be as one.”
Do you think it is easier to accomplish a task when everyone is united and together as one, or when everyone works independently from the other? For the past few months, there have been many Soccer (Futbol) games on television. Do you think the team that is most likely to win the game is the team that plays together, united, or the team in which each player tries to outdo his teammate? I don’t think teams would win very many games if they argued and bickered with one another, do you? (Allow children to answer.)
Today’s scripture passage from I Corinthians finds Paul telling the people of Corinth that what’s most important is being one in Christ. He shares with the church of Corinth that all of them should agree. He points out that many are arguing with one another and that they are not united. He pleads with them to come together as one, united in Christ Jesus, for that is where God’s power can be found.
Today, I have a stone with an image of a cross drawn on it. I wonder what this image might mean. (Allow children to answer.) (If you have one stone for each child, hand the stones out now, or draw the children’s attention to the one stone in your hand.) I want you to touch the stone. Again, feel how hard the stone is. Trace your finger around the image. When you finish tracing the image, I want you to use your index finger to make the gesture of #1. Sometimes when we watch a football game, we’ll see a player make a great play and put up the #1 sign with his index finger.
As I say today’s prayer, quietly trace your finger on the stone. When we say “Amen,” raise your finger to represent the #1 gesture as a reminder that we should always be united, one in Christ Jesus.
Let’s pray. Loving God, we know that there is power when we come together, united in Christ Jesus. There is power in the cross. And there is power in us as we share your love with others. Today, we come together, united, and make Jesus number one in our lives. Help us to do that today, tomorrow, and forever. Amen.