A child reads the worship bulletin with a smile during the 9am service at Trinity Church

3 Ways Into Sunday’s Stories for Children: Following Jesus to Green Pastures

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Do or did you have a safety gate anywhere in your home? Pets and children both dislike and will try to defeat the gate, even if they don’t know what’s on the other side. Almost no one likes to feel confined.

We use gates to keep our children and pets safe, which is an act of love. Jesus said, “I am the gate,” right before he said, “I am the good shepherd.” He didn’t say that he was the gatekeeper, or the gate installer. Gates almost always open/close both ways.

When we love one another, we are following Jesus into the green pastures, the abundant life. When we seek God’s nearness, we find it. And we can do this on either side of the gate, in everything we do.

Print, fold, read, and color the story booklet.

A cartoon line drawing of Jesus pointing to a gate, sharing the parables in John 10

1. Sing and Dance

Sing and dance along to this reggae version of Psalm 23 with Buju Banton And Morgan Heritage.

2. Play and Pray

Play Love Everything. With your prayer beads, with your hands, or with your thoughts, bless or thank God for the little things — things that might seem insignificant to most people — like, “Thank you for my big toe, bless my pillow, bless that fire hydrant, thank you for the sidewalk…”

Pray: Dear God of green fields and still waters, lead us toward all that is beautiful and good. Teach us to listen to your voice so we may follow you like sheep entering safe pasture. Amen.

3. Create

Create a treasure map. It can look like a map, or it can be a list, a collage, or a doodle. Include an abundance of things, people, ideas, and feelings that you value most. After you’ve added all you can think of, go over each item and circle the ones you already have with one color and underline the ones you seek, or aspire to, with another color.  

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