Preface for Pastors & Parents
This Children’s sermon on Mark 1:21-28 matches up with the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany. I didn’t get to write it last week because my time was consumed by opening week rehearsals for a play at Cider Mill Stage in Endicott, New York.
It went really well. (Thanks for asking!) Here’s a review from the Broom County Arts Council site if you don’t believe me. As I write, you have 3 more chances to see it this weekend, so if you can make it to Upstate New York’s Southern Tier, click on over to the Cider Mill Stage and get some tickets!
Life is allowing a bit more room for writing just now, so I’m posting this in addition to the one I wrote for this Sunday. It’s a bit shorter than usual. I suspect that’s a good thing!
The Revised Common Lectionary is taking us through Mark 1-2 right now, giving us a window into the busy and surprising days of Jesus’ early ministry.
In worship we encounter each text at a distance from the others, but I highly recommend a slow meditative journey through these stories. Mark shows Jesus doing such amazing things that he can’t avoid fame.
And then, everybody wants what he offers: not just wisdom but healing of all kinds of maladies, whether of body or spirit. They come in droves and he can’t find a moment’s peace. He’s clearly overwhelmed, which explains a lot of things. Like when he begs people not to tell anybody about what he’s done for them. And like his flights to solitude and prayer.
But that’s all context. Here we go with a children’s sermon on Mark 1:21-28.
A Children’s Sermon on Mark 1:21-28
Good morning kids! I’m so glad to see you here in worship today. Thanks for coming up to hear the children’s sermon.
Ever since Christmas, the Gospel stories we read in worship have told us, step by step, about the early days of Jesus’ grown-up ministry.
- He went out to the River Jordan to be baptized.
- Then he went to the wilderness to pray and prepare.
- After that he started calling people to follow him, as he taught about the Kingdom of God. The first were Peter, Andrew, James, and John.
Preaching in Capernaum
One day Jesus and his new friends came to the town where Peter and Andrew lived. They went together to the synagogue. The synagogue was where God’s people came to pray, to study the Bible, and to learn God’s ways.
Jesus began to teach the people in the synagogue. As he taught, more and more people gathered ’round to listen.
“Did you hear what Rabbi Jesus said?” asked one.
“Yeah,” said another. “It sounds different than our usual rabbi!”
“I know!” said the first. “Usually our rabbis say ‘the Bible says—’ or ‘Moses commanded—’. But this Jesus tells us what he thinks. He says ‘Truly truly I tell you—.’”
“Right!” said the other one. “And usually our rabbis say ‘Long ago, Rabbi So-and-So said this and that. But then Rabbi Such-and-Such said this other thing.’ They quote everybody from the past. But this Jesus says ‘You’ve heard people say blah blah blah. But I say to you—.’ “
“This is a whole new thing,” said the first. “It’s like this Jesus actually has authority!”
A Troubled Man
After Jesus had been teaching a while, a man wandered in from the street. Everybody in town knew this man. He had some really big problems. And so he caused really big trouble.
This man had problems deep inside, in his spirit. He said the strangest things. No one knew why he said and did such awful things. They said his spirit was dirty–like a dirty spirit had come inside him, and taken over.
Well, this man with the dirty spirit came up to Jesus, and he tried to start an argument.
“I know who you are!” shouted the way. “You’re Jesus! You’re from Nazareth! Why did you come here? Did you come to kill us? Oh sure! You’re God’s ‘holy one’ and you’re going to ruin everything!”
But Jesus stood up and said “Stop it! There’s a dirty spirit inside you and it doesn’t belong there. Come out, dirty spirit!”
And all of a sudden, the man was a normal person again. He stopped saying crazy awful things. The dirty spirit was gone.
Well, the people in the synagogue really had something to talk about then. They talked to each other. They told their families. And they told their neighbors.
“Who is this guy who can command a dirty spirit and make it go away?” they asked.
“How did this Jesus get such authority?” they wondered.
Soon everybody far and wide had heard of Jesus—that Jesus taught in a new way and could drive away dirty spirits.
I wonder what that man’s life was like after Jesus drove away the dirty spirit?
I wonder how people felt inside about Jesus’ new way of teaching about the kingdom of God?
I wonder what you would feel if you heard and saw Jesus teaching with authority?
You are, of course, free to use this children’s sermon, or adapt it as you find most useful. But, if you use it, please do one (or more!) of the following.
- You can let me know that you are using it, either in the comments below, or using the contact form above.
- You can put a little notice in your church bulletin that your children’s sermon is adapted from one published on GaryNealHansen.com.
- You can support my work over on Patreon. (Just $1 per month brings my children’s sermons straight to your inbox about two minutes after they go live. And every little bit keeps me going…)