14

March 2021

Mar

Look Up and Live

Rend Your Hearts: Claiming the Promise

Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B

This is another occasion of Jesus predicting his death and the doorway that it opened for all of us. And by “another occasion,” we don’t mean how repetitive, but instead we mean we need to pay attention here. This is important. Worship, then, should be centered around the offering that Christ makes to all.

Each week during this series, an emoji (yellow-faced emotions) will be presented as the feeling or emotion of the scripture text that children and families can wonder and discuss every week. Display your own version of the emoji in creative ways. Cut a big poster-sized emoji each week or display the emoji on the screen in your worship space.

Numbers 21:4-9, NIRV

4The Israelites traveled from Mount Hor along the way to the Red Sea. They wanted to go around Edom. But they grew tired on the way. 5So they spoke against God and against Moses. They said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt? Do you want us to die here in the desert? We don’t have any bread! We don’t have any water! And we hate this awful food!”

6Then the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the Israelites. The snakes bit them. Many of the people died. 7The others came to Moses. They said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

8The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake. Put it up on a pole. Then anyone who is bitten can look at it and remain alive.” 9So Moses made a bronze snake. He put it up on a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake remained alive.

Ashamed emoji

Symbol: Yellow emoji face with hand over mouth to suggest “ashamed.”

Supplies: The children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.

Children’s Message

(In today’s message, read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day aloud. Focus on “whining” from both the scripture passage and the book.)

This morning, I want to read a story to you. How many of you are familiar with this book? First, I want to read this morning’s Bible passage to you. I want you to listen for the Israelites’ whining and complaining.

“4The Israelites traveled from Mount Hor along the way to the Red Sea. They wanted to go around Edom. But they grew tired on the way. 5So they spoke against God and against Moses. They said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt? Do you want us to die here in the desert? We don’t have any bread! We don’t have any water! And we hate this awful food!”

6Then the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the Israelites. The snakes bit them. Many of the people died. 7The others came to Moses. They said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

8The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake. Put it up on a pole. Then anyone who is bitten can look at it and remain alive.” 9So Moses made a bronze snake. He put it up on a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake remained alive.”

Now, I know some of you focused on the snake in the story, but I wonder what you heard from the people of Israel? What did they complain about? (Let children respond.)

Now I want to read this the story of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day to you. Again, listen for the whining and complaining. (If you fear that both scripture and book reading will be too long, feel free to summarize both with the emphasis on complaining.)

Both the people of Israel and Alexander needed to learn what Alexander’s mother told him at the end of the day when everything went wrong: “Some days are just like that.”

Today’s emoji is the face with a hand over the mouth to suggest being ashamed. We feel ashamed when we have done something wrong, like whining and complaining.

God doesn’t want us to stay ashamed, so God offers grace. Grace is loving people even when they don’t deserve it. God continues to love us, care for us, and forgive us, even when we really do not deserve it. Today as we continue to worship, listen for the words that remind us of the grace that God offers us in the songs we sing and in the prayers we say. And listen to one big example of grace that involved lots of snakes. The Israelites experienced a “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” but God got them through it.

Prayer: Loving and Gracious God, we are thankful for the grace that you offer us daily. Even when it seems to be a “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” remind us of your presence and love. Amen.


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture verses 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...


Ash Wednesday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes First Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Palm/Passion Sunday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Maundy Thursday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Good Friday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes

Colors


  • Purple

In This Series...


Ash Wednesday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes First Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Palm/Passion Sunday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Maundy Thursday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Good Friday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes