Sunday School, March 24, 2019 3 Lent C
Sunday school themes
What happened to Moses after his disappointment and failure?
The Story of Moses
The life of Moses was spared as a newborn baby when an Egyptian princess adopted him and raised him in a palace. But Moses was a Hebrew man and when he saw that the other Hebrew people were treated like slaves by the Pharaoh of Egypt, he knew that God wanted him to help to make the lives of the Hebrews better. He tried to help but in his first attempt he was opposed by both the Egyptians and also his fellow Hebrew. He felt like a failure so he ran for his life to a faraway place. He became a shepherd and got married and he worked for his father-in-law. When he was tending the flock, Moses saw a bright burning bush and he heard God call him. God wanted him to go back to Egypt to help the Hebrew people. Moses told God that he could not do it and that he had failed. But God told him that God is greatest of all and that God would help him. God said that Moses would be given another chance to go and help the Hebrew people be freed from slavery in Egypt.
We can learn from our failures. Sometimes when we fail we want to give up and quit and run away. We may want to say, “I can’t do that.” But our teachers and parents come to us and say, “Keep trying and you will be successful.” Our teachers and parents forgive us and accept us and they help us because they understand that we learn through our failures. When we are not yet perfect, God does not forget us. God keeps coming to us and inviting us to keep trying. When we fail to love or be kind, God keeps inviting us to learn how to be better. The lesson that we can learn from Moses is that God does not give up on us. God keeps coming to us and asks us to do the good work that we know that we’re supposed to do.
The Gospel Riddle of Jesus
Jesus told a riddle about the patience of God. When a fig tree did not have any fruit, the orchard owner wanted to cut it down. What good is a fig tree if we can’t get figs? The gardener of the orchard said, “Don’t cut it down; let me fertilize the soil around the tree; give the tree another chance to bear fruit.”
God is love because God always gives us more chances. God tells us to use all of the things of our past, things that are dead and gone, but things like the memories of our failures can be used to help us grow new Christian fruit in our lives, like the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, faith, self control and gentleness. Compost is dead plant and animal remains which are used to fertilize new plants. God is always using the human compost of our past life experience to help us produce new and wonderful fruits in our lives, the fruits of love and kindness.
Remember God did not give up on Moses when he failed. God does not give up on us when we fail. So we should not give up on ourselves or on each other when we have failure and some difficult times. Let us remember that God is patient with us. God will allow our lives to be fertilized with all that has happened to us to make us better in the future.
Children’s Sermon: Growing Christian Fruit
If you are a fruit grower, and you plant an apple tree, what do you want to get from the tree?
When it is time to harvest, you want to be able to pick some fruit don’t you. You want some nice big red apples, don’t you?
But what if harvest time comes and you go to your apple tree and you don’t find any apples to pick? You have a lot of questions don’t you? If the tree looks healthy and has lots of pretty green leaves, you ask why doesn’t this tree have any apples. It looks good and it looks healthy; why doesn’t it have good apples. Did I make a mistake? Did I plant the wrong seed? Did it have some hidden plant disease? Did the bugs get under its bark? Did it get enough water?
What should I do with an apple tree if it doesn’t have any apples? It looks like a good tree but I have to sell apples to make money. What should I do?
I will wait until next year. I will water it better. I will dig around it and puts some special fertilizer around the tree, some special tree food to make it grow some good apples.
Jesus told a story about a tree farmer who grew a fig tree, but the fig tree did not have any figs on it. So the tree farmer decided to keep the tree and put some fertilizer, some tree food around the tree in the soil and wait until next year to see if it would grow some figs.
The story about Jesus is a story about God. You and I are like trees that God plants in this life. And God does not just want us to look pretty, God also wants us to be like trees that produce lots of good fruit.
Now you and I cannot grow apples and figs can we? What can we produce and grow? What kind of fruit can we grow? We can make deeds of love, joy, faith, patience, gentleness, goodness, self-control and kindness.
Those are the kinds of fruit that God wants us to grow. And God is always giving us more time to produce these wonderful fruits.
Just as the tree farmer gives fertilizer to help grow good fruit, so God gives us things to help us learn how to love. We have the Bible, we have God’s word and God’s law to teach us how we should live. We have parents and teachers who teach us how we should live good lives. And sometimes we have some difficult tests that we have to pass to help us get strong and get better. Some times we don’t know how to help others until we have had a hard time and learned to get help from God and other people. And when we learn to help other people, then God is happy because then God says, I have planted a good tree and it is producing good fruit. I have made a good person and that person is kind and loving, so I have been a very successful God. We can help make God a very successful God by learning to grow good human fruit. And the fruit that you and I are supposed to make are the fruits of love and kindness.
A Family Eucharistic Liturgy
St. John the Divine Episcopal Church
17740 Peak Avenue, Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Family Service with Holy Eucharist
March 24, 2019: The Third Sunday in Lent
Gathering Songs: Simple Gifts, The Butterfly Song, Jesus Stand Among Us, My Tribute
Song: Simple Gifts (Christian Children’s Songbook # 206)
‘Tis a gift to be simple, ‘tis a gift to free, ‘tis a gift to come down where you ought to be, and when we find ourselves in the place just right, ‘twill be in the valley of love and delight. When true simplicity is gained, to bow and to bend we won’t be ashamed. To turn, turn will be our delight till by turning and turning we come out right.
Liturgist: Bless the Lord who forgives all of our sins.
People: God’s mercy endures forever. Amen.
Liturgist: Oh God, Our hearts are open to you.
And you know us and we can hide nothing from you.
Prepare our hearts and our minds to love you and worship you.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Liturgist: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Liturgist: Let us pray
Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Litany of Praise: Chant: Praise be to God!
O God, you are Great! Praise be to God!
O God, you have made us! Praise be to God!
O God, you have made yourself known to us! Praise be to God!
O God, you have provided us with us a Savior! Praise be to God!
O God, you have given us a Christian family! Praise be to God!
O God, you have forgiven our sins! Praise be to God!
O God, you brought your Son Jesus back from the dead! Praise be to God!
Liturgist: A reading from the Book of Exodus
Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, "I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up." When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." Then he said, "Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." He said further, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Liturgist: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God
For your loving-kindness is better than life itself; * my lips shall give you praise.
So will I bless you as long as I live * and lift up my hands in your Name.
My soul is content, as with marrow and fatness, * and my mouth praises you with joyful lips,
Litany Phrase: Thanks be to God! (chanted)
For the good earth, for our food and clothing. Thanks be to God!
For our families and friends. Thanks be to God!
For the talents and gifts that you have given to us. Thanks be to God!
For this day of worship. Thanks be to God!
For health and for a good night’s sleep. Thanks be to God!
For work and for play. Thanks be to God!
For teaching and for learning. Thanks be to God!
For the happy events of our lives. Thanks be to God!
For the celebration of the birthdays and anniversaries of our friends and parish family.
Thanks be to God!
Liturgist: The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke
People: Glory to you, Lord Christ.
Then Jesus told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, 'See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?' He replied, 'Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put fertilizer on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'"
Liturgist: The Gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to you, Lord Christ.
Sermon – Father Phil
We did not make ourselves, so we believe that God the Father is the maker of the world.
Since God is so great and we are so small,
We believe God came into our world and was born as Jesus, son of the Virgin Mary.
We need God’s help and we believe that God saved us by the life, death and
resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We believe that God is present with us now as the Holy Spirit.
We believe that we are baptized into God’s family the Church where everyone is
We believe that Christ is kind and fair.
We believe that we have a future in knowing Jesus Christ.
And since we all must die, we believe that God will preserve us forever. Amen.
Litany Phrase: Christ, have mercy.
For fighting and war to cease in our world. Christ, have mercy.
For peace on earth and good will towards all. Christ, have mercy.
For the safety of all who travel. Christ, have mercy.
For jobs for all who need them. Christ, have mercy.
For care of those who are growing old. Christ, have mercy.
For the safety, health and nutrition of all the children in our world. Christ, have mercy.
For the well-being of our families and friends. Christ, have mercy.
For the good health of those we know to be ill. Christ, have mercy.
For the remembrance of those who have died. Christ, have mercy.
For the forgiveness of all of our sins. Christ, have mercy.
Youth Liturgist: The Peace of the Lord be always with you.
People: And also with you.
Song during the preparation of the Altar and the receiving of an offering
Offertory Hymn: If I Were a Butterfly (Christian Children’s Songbook, # 9)
1-If I were a butterfly, I’d thank you Lord for giving me wings. If I were a robin in the tree, I’d thank you Lord that I could sing. If I were a fish in the sea, I wiggle my tail and I’d giggle with glee, but I just thank you Father for making me, me.
Refrain: For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile. You gave me Jesus and you made me your child. And I just thank you Father for making me, me.
2-If I were an elephant, I’d thank you Lord by raising my trunk. If I were a kangaroo, you know I’d hop right up to you. If I were an octopus, I thank you Lord for my fine looks. But I just thank you Father, for making me, me. Refrain
3-If I were a wiggly worm, I’d thank you Lord that I could squirm. If I were a billy goat, I’d thank you Lord for my strong throat. If I were a fuzzy-wuzzy bear, I’d thank you Lord for my fuzzy-wuzzy hair. And I just thank you Father for making me, me. Refrain
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Prologue to the Eucharist
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, for to them belong the kingdom of heaven.”
All become members of a family by birth or adoption.
Baptism is a celebration of birth into the family of God.
A family meal gathers and sustains each human family.
The Holy Eucharist is the special meal that Jesus gave to his friends to keep us together as the family of Christ.
The Lord be with you
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to God.
It is right to give God thanks and praise.
It is very good and right to give thanks, because God made us, Jesus redeemed us and the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts. Therefore with Angels and Archangels and all of the world that we see and don’t see, we forever sing this hymn of praise:
Holy, Holy, Holy (Intoned)
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of Power and Might. Heav’n and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna in the Highest.
All may gather around the altar
Our grateful praise we offer to you God, our Creator;
You have made us in your image
And you gave us many men and women of faith to help us to live by faith:
Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachael.
And then you gave us your Son, Jesus, born of Mary, nurtured by Joseph
And he called us to be sons and daughters of God.
Your Son called us to live better lives and he gave us this Holy Meal so that when we eat
the bread and drink the wine, we can know that the Presence of Christ is as near to us as
this food and drink that becomes a part of us.
And so, Father, we bring you these gifts of bread and wine. Bless and sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ our Lord. Sanctify us by your Holy Spirit so that we may love God and our neighbor
On the night when Jesus was betrayed he took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread, and gave it to his friends, and said, "Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me."
After supper, Jesus took the cup of wine, gave thanks, and said, "Drink this, all of you. This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me."
Father, we now celebrate the memorial of your Son. When we eat this holy Meal of Bread and Wine, we are telling the entire world about the life, death and resurrection of Christ and that his presence will be with us in our future.
Let this holy meal keep us together as friends who share a special relationship because of your Son Jesus Christ. May we forever live with praise to God to whom we belong as sons and daughters.
By Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory
is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. AMEN.
And now as our Savior Christ has taught us, we now sing,
Our Father: (Renew # 180, West Indian Lord’s Prayer)
Our Father who art in heaven: Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done: Hallowed be thy name.
Done on earth as it is in heaven: Hallowed be thy name.
Give us this day our daily bread: Hallowed be thy name.
And forgive us all our debts: Hallowed be thy name.
As we forgive our debtors: Hallowed be thy name.
Lead us not into temptation: Hallowed be thy name.
But deliver us from evil: Hallowed be thy name.
Thine is the kingdom, power, and glory: Hallowed be thy name.
Forever and ever: Hallowed be thy name.
Amen, amen, amen: Hallowed be thy name.
Amen, amen, amen: Hallowed be thy name.
Breaking of the Bread
Celebrant: Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
People: Therefore let us keep the feast.
Words of Administration
Communion Song: Jesus, Stand Among Us (Renew! # 17)
1-Jesus, stand among us at the meeting of our lives, be our sweet agreement at the meeting of our eyes; O, Jesus, we love you, so we gather here, join our hearts in unity and take away our fear.
2-So to you we’re gathering out of each and every land, Christ the love between us at the joining of our hands; O, Jesus, we love you, so we gather here, join our hearts in unity and take away our fear.
3-Jesus, stand among us at the breaking of the break, join us as one body as we worship you our head. O, Jesus, we love you, so we gather here, join our hearts in unity and take away our fear.
Everlasting God, we have gathered for the meal that Jesus asked us to keep;
We have remembered his words of blessing on the bread and the wine.
And His Presence has been known to us.
We have remembered that we are sons and daughters of God and brothers
and sisters in Christ.
Send us forth now into our everyday lives remembering that the blessing in the
bread and wine spreads into each time, place and person in our lives,
As we are ever blessed by you, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Closing Song: To God Be the Glory (Renew! # 68)
To God be the glory, to God be the glory, to God be the glory for the things he has done. With his blood he has saved me; with his power he has raised me; to god be the glory for the things he has done.
Liturgist: Let us go forth in the Name of Christ.
People: Thanks be to God!