John 15:9-17. NIRV
9“Just as the Father has loved me; I have loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. In the same way, I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that you will have the same joy that I have. I also want your joy to be complete. 12Here is my command. Love one another, just as I have loved you. 13No one has greater love than the one who gives their life for their friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I do not call you slaves anymore. Slaves do not know their master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends. I have told you everything I learned from my Father. 16You did not choose me. Instead, I chose you. I appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit that will last. I also appointed you so that the Father will give you what you ask for. He will give you whatever you ask for in my name. 17Here is my command. Love one another.
Visual objects: The plant if it has grown enough or another plant in a pot. Provide an individual small plant in a pot for each child.
Today is Mother’s Day. Have you given a gift to that special woman in your life?
Let’s see how our plant is doing today. What have we learned about this plant in the last few weeks? (Review with children that plants need love, water, sunlight, and oxygen. Talking to them helps too! Some plants produce fruit.) We showed love to grow this plant. In the same way, Jesus showed love to us.
We hear the word love a lot, but we don’t always spend a lot of time talking about love. That’s because love isn’t just something we say; it’s something we show.
What does love look like? How can you show people that you love them? How do others let you know they love you? (Let children answer.)
Wow, you sure do know how to show your love! You’re right. Love is a special kind of caring and kindness. Those are all great ways to show love.
This week’s scripture is about love. Jesus tells us that out of all his teachings, “loving one another” is the most important.
Isn’t that interesting? When we think of the people we love, we probably think of certain people: our families and special friends. Maybe on this day, we think of mothers. But Jesus reminds us of something important: He doesn’t say, “Pick a few people to love.” He tells us to “love one another.” He wants us to show our love to everyone. Jesus wants us to treat everyone with kindness and love.
But that’s not all! Jesus not only wants us to love one another – but to love one another in the same way that he showed his love to us. That’s a lot of love, isn’t it?
Can you think about ways that you might show your love for others? (Let children respond.) How many times can you show love? (Let children respond.). I want to give you each a plant to remind you of the love that we have put into the plants. (Hand out plants to children.) I want you to give this plant to someone to show love to that person. Maybe it could be your mother. You can show love by giving a plant to your mom, or grandmother, or someone special. After all, Jesus taught us to love one another.
Oh, how I love Jesus, let me count the ways. Let me show others the ways that Jesus loves me by my actions. Amen.