To show the children that each one of us matters as individuals.
You will need:
- A selection of hats or costumes for different jobs, eg a white coat (doctor), police helmet, tweed hat (farmer), book (teacher), clock (for someone who does not have a job but has time to fill), teddy bear (child), dustbin liner (refuse collector), duster (cleaner or someone who does housework)
- You may want to have some pictures for the story at the end
Familiarise yourself with stories from the gospels which show that all sorts of people mattered to Jesus. (See example in Story.)
- Ask the children who they think is the most important person in the room. (They will probably name the head teacher.)
- Invite some children up to the front to wear or hold the costumes and props.
- Talk to the children about the different jobs these people do.
- Ask who they think is the most important, and why.
- We sometimes think that some people are more important than others because of the jobs they do. When Jesus lived on earth as a man he thought that everyone was important. He had time for rich people and poor, for people who were ill and those who were well, for the old and young, for those with jobs and those that begged on the streets. Everyone mattered to Jesus.
Go on to tell short narratives from the gospels which illustrate this, for example:
Jesus had time for everyone. He had meals with rich people like Zacchaeus, the tax collector, who was rich because he cheated people. Jesus went to his house and, because Jesus became his friend, Zacchaeus gave away the money he had stolen.
But Jesus also saw a very poor lady put all the money that she had in an offering box at the temple, and he praised her for doing that. Jesus spent a lot of time making ill people better, like the man whose hand wouldn’t work, or people who were blind. But he also spent a lot of time listening and talking with people about God, like the 5,000 people who went to hear him one day.
Jesus helped an old lady who was his friend’s mother, when she was ill, and he did the same for a twelve-year-old girl who was dying, when her father came to ask for help.
Jesus talked to people as they were working, like Peter and Andrew the fishermen, and he stopped to talk to people who had no job, like Bartimaeus, who was blind and had to beg for money.
Everyone mattered to Jesus!
Tell the children that today, everyone still matters to Jesus. Jesus cares about each and every one of us here, and about each and every person in the world.
Time to reflect
- Encourage the children to be still and close their eyes.
- Ask them to think about how each person is important to Jesus, no matter what age they are, how they look, what they can or can’t do.
Invite the children to join in the following prayer or a similar one by saying ‘Amen’ at the end:
Dear Jesus, thank you that you had time for everyone, for poor and rich, for sick and well, for young and old alike. Thank you too that we all matter to you today and that you love each and every one of us. Amen.