Saturday, April 18, 2009

Prayer preface - Worship

As my husband goes to the church to work on his music, and I have dishes to do, I think, “This is a good time to pray…”

And I begin…

Oh Lord, I must begin with worship; not because You need my worship, but that I need to say it. I need to affirm it…

Because, O Lord, there is no hurt that I can feel, that You have not already felt.
There is no question I can have, that You don’t already know the answer to; and there is no fear that I can fear that You are not bigger than… because You are God.

You are God, and You know everything - You are Omniscient.
You are all powerful – You are Omnipotent.
You are everywhere – You are Omnipresent.
And, You are GOD!

(And I am overwhelmed with the idea that the dishes will just have to wait, because I need to write this down…)

I just have to affirm that worship. I just have to drink that into my very being.
“Be still…” the Psalmist said, “And know that I Am God.” But what he/He really said was, “Cease striving…” “Don’t kick against the pricks; don’t kick against the goads…”

And I immediately ask, “Lord! What in the world does that mean?” And I find it means “to offer vain and rash resistance which is a proverbial expression alluding to unruly oxen and applied to those who by unruly rage hurt themselves.”

And I cry out, “Oh God! I do do that, don’t I?” In my case (at least at “this” age) it’s not so much “rage” or anger anymore, as it is fear, and discouragement, and an ache in my heart for those I love… but still, it is “vain and rash resistance…” to being still and knowing that You are God.

Help me, O Lord. Help me.

Even in my praise; even in my worship; remind me O Lord, that I am Your child, and You love me.

As I lift up, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty. You are Holy, O my Saviour, my Redeemer! You are Worthy to be Praised… and I will praise You, Most Holy One.

And now, Father… “Abba”, let me crawl upon Your lap, lay my head on Your shoulder, and feel Your arms around me while I pray…

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Sermon for Children

I don't do a lot of children's sermons, but this will work for a sermon or if you need to keep the kids occupied while the adults are hiding the eggs! (Which is the reason I wrote this today.)

Children’s Sermon/Story for Easter
(Use for “Egg Hunt” story time or Easter Sunday Sermon)

Do you know what “Special Day” tomorrow (or today) is?

Why do we celebrate Easter?

(Let the children make comments.)

We have a lot of special days, don’t we? Can you name some other special days? (Christmas, 4th of July, Memorial Day, etc…) We celebrate each of these special days for a reason – Christmas is Jesus’ Birthday; the 4th of July celebrates our county’s birthday, etc.

When Jesus was a little boy, (well, when He was all grown up, too) the Jewish people had a lot of special days that they celebrated. They had one called “Passover”; and one called “Hanukkah”; and one called “The Day of Atonement”, and a whole bunch more. But they had one that they celebrated on the very same day that we celebrate Easter… Do you know what it is?

It is called the “Festival of First Fruits.” What do you think that might mean?

Just like our special days’ having a reason for celebration, so did the “Festival of First Fruits.” When God brought the Jewish people into the Promise Land they were mostly farmers and shepherds – they grew crops and raised sheep. Every year when their crops were ready to pick, they were supposed to bring the very first of the produce to God as a “thank you” for His blessing on their crops; they called this the first “fruit” whether it was a fruit or a vegetable or a grain of some sort. So they called the special day, “The Festival of First Fruits.”

Now, I’m going to use a really big word, and see if you know what it means… Do you know what “Resurrection” means? It means to have a new life. Jesus died, but then was given a new life.

In another place in the Bible (1 Corinthians 15:20) a man named Paul calls Jesus the “first fruits of those who have died…” What do you think that might mean? (He is the very first One to be resurrected.)

Do you think He will be the only one to ever have a new life?

Let me ask you this… have any of you ever had a garden? What did you grow? When you picked the very first _____… did you think that would be the only _____ that you would have? Why?

Paul called Jesus the “first” fruit… he didn’t call Him the “only” fruit… This means that someday, everyone who believes in Jesus will be given a new life, too.

I’ve got one more word to ask you about… Do you know what a “witness” is? A witness is someone who has seen something or knows something for themselves. When Jesus was given a new life, a whole lot of people were witnesses to that. A lot of people saw Him over a few weeks’ time. But you know what? Even though we haven’t seen Him, we can be witnesses of Jesus, too.

One time Jesus healed a blind man, and later a bunch of people were asking the man all kinds of questions about Jesus, and the man said, “Well, I don’t know a whole lot about Him, but one thing I know for sure – I was blind, and now I can see. And that’s good enough for me.”

And so, we don’t have to “see Jesus” to be His witness. All we have to see and know are the things He has done in our own lives. One song says, “When I am sad, He makes me glad… He’s my Friend.”

And so, when anyone asks you what Easter is, you can say, “It means that Jesus has a new life, and it means that I can have one, too. And I know that for sure!”

Dear God, thank You for Easter. And thank You for calling me to be a witness that Jesus is the First Fruit, and that I can be one too!
In Jesus’ Name – Amen.