Sunday – May 1, 2016
Christ Lutheran Church – Manchester, PA
(This sermon was done as a children’s story with pictures “read” to the congregation on Slipper Sunday.)
One day in a very small town called Bethlehem, a little baby was born. He was the best baby ever born. He was a gift from God. In fact, he was God’s Son. And his name was Jesus. He grew up to be really, really good and he never did anything bad. Jesus always prayed and he always listened to God.
When Jesus grew up he started teaching everyone about God because he knew God. Jesus asked twelve people to stay with him all the time so he could teach them everything he knew about God. They said yes, and followed Jesus everywhere. They were called the first disciples. As time passed, many other people followed Jesus too.
The longer the disciples stayed with Jesus, the more they changed in a good way. Sometimes though, things happened that made them sad like they got sick, or they got hurt, or someone made fun of them, or their pets died, but Jesus was always with them. And because Jesus was with them – even when bad or sad things happened – they had joy in their hearts. When they were around Jesus they felt relaxed and comfortable like a comfy pair of slippers and they had fun with Jesus, and sang, and jumped for joy.
But one day Jesus told his disciples he couldn’t always be with them and they were very sad. They wanted Jesus to stay with them forever. When Jesus told them he had to go away they cried. But Jesus said, “Wait, don’t be scared. Don’t be afraid. I’m going to send you a helper, someone special who is going to be with you all the time when I’m gone.”
Jesus, friends said, “No, no, no! We want you to stay with us. We don’t want you to go away. And we don’t want to meet anyone new.” Jesus said, “Trust me. Don’t be afraid because I’m going to be with God, my Father, but I’m going to send the Paraclete to stay with you.”
One of Jesus friends, named Phil said, “ A parakeet! You are going to send a parakeet to come and live with us! We love parakeets!” Jesus said, “No, no, no, not a parakeet; I said the Paraclete!”
Grace said, “Oh, a pair of cleats! I love playing soccer and they will help me play better! I can’t wait to get a new pair of soccer cleats!” Jesus said, “No, no, no, not a new pair of cleats. I’m sending the Paraclete. It’s a nickname for the Holy Spirit who is a special helper who knows everything about me and will help you remember all the things I taught you. And the great thing is that the Holy spirit will always live with you and be your companion or helper.”
“How is the Holy Spirit going to do that?” asked Grace. Jesus asked them all to breath in deeply and they did. “What did you breath in?” he asked them. They said, “Air.” Jesus asked, “Can you see it?” They said, “No.” “Then how do you know it is there?” Jesus asked. They thought about that……
Then Grace shouted out, “Because if the air isn’t there for us to breathe we’d all die!” “Exactly!” Jesus said. “And the Holy Spirit is like the air. The Holy Spirit will make you alive. And just like the air, the Holy Spirit will be with you all the time, whether you can see or feel the Holy Spirit. That’s my gift to you.”
They all jumped and shouted and said, “Thank you Jesus! We’re not afraid anymore. We’ll have fun with the Holy Spirit until you come back again. This makes us happy!” They all started jumping for joy!
Jesus smiled. He loved them so much. “Keep on jumping for joy! And when the Holy Spirit comes you will be able to do amazing things that will make you even more excited! The Holy Spirit will teach you how to pray better, and help each other better, and love better. So relax, have fun, because the Holy Spirit will always be with you.”
Jesus friends said, “That’s the best gift ever!” Grace said, “That’s even better than a pair of cleats!” And Phil said, “That’s even better than a parakeet!” They all laughed, even Jesus. “It sure is!” said Jesus. “It sure is!” The End.