Scripture: John 11: 1-45 – the illness and death of Lazarus
Focus: The sadness and grief we feel and share (i.e., crying) when a friend or loved one dies are some of the outward signs that we have learned to love one another and to share God’s love through our acts of kindness toward one another.
Who here has ever written a note or made a card for someone’s birthday or Father’s Day or Grandparents’ Day? Yeah! It’s fun, and we write nice things like “I love you” and “you’re beautiful” and “I have so much fun at your house”, right?
I’ve got a couple of notes my niece Anna has made for me. This one was for my birthday last year. It’s a pink Pecachoo and says “Happy Birthday CeCe” and has a heart on it. Do you think any of these words and pictures might be signs that Anna loves me? Yeah, the heart, and she says “Happy”. Those are great signs of love, easy to spot.
I’ve got this other note with me that she wrote one when she’d done something she wasn’t supposed to and I put her in time out. Here’s what it says:
I don’t like you, CeCe.
Isn’t that the very best, most wonderful note you’ve ever heard about how much my niece Anna loves me?
No? You don’t think that sounds like she loves me? It’s not a common sign of love, to tell someone you don’t like them, but when we share our feelings with someone – even our not-so-happy feelings, that’s also a sign that we love them. You see, there are more signs of love – especially Jesus’s and God’s love – than just the fun ones like hugging and saying I love you.
In today’s Children’s Church, you’ll read and talk about the time Jesus learned that his friend Lazarus had died. In the Gospel of John, we read that when Jesus went to see Lazarus after he had died that “He wept,” and that those gathered around saw Jesus’s crying as a sign of his love for his friend.
Will you pray with me?
Thank you for becoming human like us
And showing us more ways
To love and to be kind to others.
Help us to always remember
That others will know
That we are Christians
By our love.
Delivered on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at Palmetto Presbyterian Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC.