Though it is arriving out of sequence, here is my children’s sermon on John 14:15-21. I already posted a children’s sermon on this Sunday’s Gospel text. (You can find it here; And you can find the Monday Meditation on that text here.) So this one is part of my ongoing mop-up of texts I missed both this year and three years ago when I started writing these things.
John 14:15-21 is the Gospel reading for the sixth Sunday of Easter in Year A. It takes place before the resurrection, on Maundy Thursday to be precise. It was back in that Upper Room where Jesus taught so many important things.
I expect that this, and other parts of the “Upper Room Discourses,” are read in Easter season because they make promises and demands that are really for the post-resurrection Church. That is most obviously the case in sections like this one where he is calming their worries over his coming death by promising that he and the Spirit will be with them after Easter.
But of course the text lacks narrative, so in my children’s sermon on John 14:15-21 I’ll have to supply one.
(And if you are looking for the Monday Meditation on this passage, you can find it here.)
A Children’s Sermon on John 14:15-21
Good morning kids! I’m so happy to see you in worship today. Thanks for coming up to hear the children’s sermon.
Today’s story about Jesus comes from the night when he had his very last supper with his friends. That’s when he gave them the very special meal, the Lord’s Supper, that we celebrate some Sundays here in our church.
You know: He gave them each a bite of bread and said, “This bread is my very own body.”
Then he gave each one a sip of wine and told them, “This cup is my very own blood.”
Christians all over the world celebrate that special meal to remember Jesus, to be close to him, and to thank him.
But Jesus’ friends were also very worried that night. And as they talked with him after dinner, their conversation went something like this.
Peter was almost always first to speak up.
“Jesus,” he said, “You know, all this talk about your body and your blood has me worried.”
“Oh, Peter,” said Jesus gently, “I’m sorry you are worried. It is true, though: some scary things are going to happen.”
“Scary things?” said Peter. “What kind of scary things?”
“It’s what I’ve been telling you all evening,” Jesus said. “Actually I’ve been telling you for a long time. Late tonight I’ll be arrested. Tomorrow I’ll be killed.”
“No way!” said Peter bravely. “We’ll protect you! We won’t let anything bad happen to you!”
“Thanks, Peter, but you can’t stop it,” said Jesus. “In fact, before the night is over all of you will say you don’t even know me.”
“No way!” they all said, “Not me!”
Trying to Comfort Them
“I know it’s scary,” said Jesus. “But it’s also really important. And I want you to know that it’s going to get better. It’s going to be okay. Really.”
Mary was starting to cry. “How can it possibly get better if you’re gone! It’s never going to be okay!”
“No, really,” said Jesus. “It’s hard to explain, but after I die you’re all going to see me alive again.”
“I don’t believe that for a minute.” said Thomas.
“But it’s true,” said Jesus. “Plus I’m going to send you the Holy Spirit.”
“What’s that?” asked Thomas.
“The Holy Spirit is God,” said Jesus, “but right here with you — forever and for always.”
“Well,” said Mary, “that does sound pretty good. But still, it’s never going to be the same!” And she started crying again.
“No,” said Jesus. “Nothing ever is the same. God makes everything different, always.”
How It Works
“So how will we get this Holy Spirit,” asked Peter. “How will we get to where things are okay again?”
“Just love me,” said Jesus. “That’s what matters”
“Oh,” said Peter. “Well, I do love you. In fact, I think I love you more than anybody! I left my fishing boat to follow you.”
“Wait,” said Matthew, “I love him as much as you. I left my tax collecting business to follow you.”
“No, wait!” said Mary. “I love him more! I poured expensive perfume on his feet and wiped them with my own hair!”
“You guys,” said John, “everyone knows I’m the one Jesus really loves. So I love him more than you.”
“Okay, cool it,” said Jesus, “I’m not saying you have to love me more than anybody else. I’m saying you need love that’s real.”
”What’s that mean?” asked Peter. “How are we supposed to know if we really truly love you?”
“Do what I’ve commanded,” said Jesus. “That’s how we’ll both know. If you really love me, you’ll do what I’ve taught you!”
“Wait,” said Peter “We’ve been with you for three years. You’ve taught so many things. What if I forget something?”
“Don’t worry,” said Matthew. “I’ve been taking notes.”
“Me too,” said John.
“Look,” said Jesus. “Just remember the basics. Love God with all your heart. And love the people around you. That’s everything, really.”
I wonder how Jesus’ friends got through those next few days, knowing Jesus would die?
I wonder if it helped, knowing they would see Jesus again and have the Holy Spirit?
I wonder if it seems hard or easy that love means doing what Jesus taught us?
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