A children's choir sings during Family Service in the Parish Hall

3 Ways Into Sunday’s Stories for Children: Ordinary People Like Us

The Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost

This long season after Pentecost, also called Ordinary Time, continues for another month. This week, we hear a story that some children might remember. It’s the story of Zacchaeus, who a lot of people didn’t like because of his behavior. But Zacchaeus and Jesus sought and found each other, and they both reminded everyone that we are all more than our worst, and best, behavior. We are God’s beloved; we are all worthy of love.

In Godly Play this Sunday, we will hear the story of The Great Family. Abraham is the father and ancestor of our faith, of our great family, including Jesus and all of the people after — including Zacchaeus, all of the saints, and all of the ordinary people, like us!

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

A line drawing of Jesus waving to Zacchaeus perched up in a tree

1. Sing and Dance

Sing “Pentecost Doxology” by Roger Lynn to the traditional tune.

Praise God whose breath fills all the earth
Whose love reveals our sacred worth
Whose Spirit forms one family
Whose grace brings peace and harmony. Amen.

Can you make up some movements to go with the words? Share them at Children’s Time or at home with your family.

2. Play and Pray

Pray: Dear God, who loves Zacchaeus and all the people in the crowd, help us to look past our assumptions in order to see who people truly are. When we are misunderstood, help us find people who will welcome us with love. Amen.  

And pray or sing “The Pentecost Doxology” at family mealtimes.

3. Create

Create a Seen and Unseen Heart. Draw or cut out a large heart. Draw lines like our Godly Play’s Ten Best Ways heart. On one side, write or draw a picture of things people see in you. On the other side, write or draw a picture of things people don’t see in you. In the bottom section, write “God loves ALL of me!”

A drawing of a heart divided into three sections: Love God, Love People, God Loves You

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