CrossKids Devo | Found Son
Activity – How RU Doing
Draw a line on a sheet of paper. Place a 1 on the left end of the line, a 10 on the right, and a 5 in the middle. As kids arrive, ask them to pencil in their initials on the line.
Say: If your day was so awful you wish you'd slept through it, place your initials by the 1. If it was a great day and you wish you could repeat, put your initials by the 10. Place your initials anywhere on the line that shows how you feel today. Cool Game to Play Say: In our story today we'll learn how a young man wasted a lot of money in what the Bible calls "wild living." What might a person do today that we would call wild living? Suggestions might include spending money on foolish things, driving too fast, drinking too much, buying and using drugs, and getting arrested.
Say: We don't know exactly what he did with his father's money, but he managed to lose it all. Not that I want you to get good at doing the same thing, but let's practice throwing away a bit of money now.
Place a wastebasket 10 feet from the children. Place a towel inside the basket to dull the sound of coins landing. Toss coins, one at a time, toward the basket. Older children can flip their coins--it adds even more challenge.
As they toss the coins, tell them to call out what they'd buy with each coin if it was worth $100. Because children don't know what most things cost, be prepared for interesting answers!
When children have finished, have them help you collect stray coins and drop them in the wastebasket. Then ask children to stand in a circle around the basket. Say: Suppose this wasn't your money to waste but belonged to your parents. How happy do you think they'd be to see you when you came home and announced you'd thrown away $500?
Allow children to respond. Then say: That's what happened to a young man in a story Jesus told. He took his father's money and threw it away by making really bad choices. Then he wanted to come home again. Let's find out what happened to him!
Alert #1: If you have lots of younger kids, simply place the wastebasket closer.
Alert #2: Invite older children to toss their coins from a greater distance.
Bible Time – Found Son – Luke 15:11-32 Gather children in a circle and place the oven mitt in the middle of the circle. Explain that oven mitts are used to handle very hot things--and today that hot thing is anger.
Say: As we read a story that Jesus told, we'll decide as a group who has the right to be angry. That person will wear this oven mitt.
Assign three roles: father, younger son, and older son. Everyone else will play the part of the pigs. Very few children? No problem! Take on the role of older son yourself and assign just the father and younger son roles.
Invite the kids playing the role of the pigs to practice their sound effects a few times. Then ask for silence and begin reading. Read Luke 15:11, 12 Say: Money wasn't handed out to sons until fathers died. The younger son is saying, "I wish you were dead so I could get my money." Who has a right to be angry here? (Father--let the father put on the mitt.)
Read verses 13-15
Does the son have a right to be angry about running out of money? (No--so keep the mitt on the father.)
Read verse 16
Do the pigs have the right to be angry about having only crummy food? (No--but don't put it to a vote!)
Read verses 17-24
What did the father do with his right to be angry? (He gave it up--so have the father take off the mitt and place it on the floor.)
Read verses 25-32
Does the older son have the right to be angry? (No. He'll receive what's due him, as promised. He doesn't get to wear the mitt!)
Say: In this story there were plenty of mistakes made. And yet the only one who had a right to be angry was the father--and he chose to forgive his younger son. As a large group discuss:
In what ways are we like the younger son?
In what ways are we like the older son?
In what ways, if any, are we like the father?
Say: When we forgive we give up the right to be angry. We choose to be happy even when life isn't fair. We let go of our hurt feelings. It's easier when people like the younger son ask for forgiveness, but it's our choice. We can forgive others even when they don't deserve it. That's what God has done with us. We don't deserve it, but God is forgiving