|Theme:||The Holy Spirit is our comforter. (Sixth Sunday of Easter)|
|Object:||A Teddy Bear or security blanket|
|Scripture:||And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. John 14:16 (NIV)|
This morning I brought my Teddy Bear. A lot of children have a Teddy Bear or some other stuffed toy that they like to hold close when they are afraid, sick, or upset. Some people may have a favorite blanket called a "security blanket" that they like to snuggle up to when they need some comfort. Have you ever had a favorite cuddly toy or a security blanket? Did it ever help you to feel better when you were afraid or when you were sick?
Some of you may be embarrassed to admit that you have a security blanket or that you ever had one. Well, there is no reason to be embarrassed. Did you know that studies have shown that more than half of all children become attached to a Teddy Bear, a favorite blanket, or some other object that helps to comfort them whenever they are afraid, sick, or upset? Even scientific studies have proven what kids have known for a long time. A Teddy Bear or a security blanket can give great comfort -- especially at bedtime, when you are sick, or when you are separated from your parents.
Jesus understood that we all need help in times of trouble. When he was here on earth, he was a source of help and comfort to his disciples. When he was preparing to return to heaven, he knew that there would be times when disciples would need help and comfort and that he would not be there to give it to them. He told the disciples that he would ask his Father to send them another comforter who would stay with them forever. That is exactly what he did. He asked the Father, and he sent the Holy Spirit. God's Holy Spirit is with us in times of trouble. He is there to comfort and to guide us.
I don't know about you, but I am glad that Jesus asked God to send His Holy Spirit to comfort me when I am afraid or sick. My Teddy Bear may get lost, or become ragged and torn, but Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be with us forever.
We may outgrow our need for a Teddy Bear or a security blanket -- at least, we don't carry it around with us all the time -- but we never outgrow the need for the comfort and guidance of God's Holy Spirit.
Dear Father, we thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to be our comfort and our guide. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Project Linus: Are you familiar with Project Linus? Project Linus is a non-profit organization that makes and distributes "security blankets" to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. Perhaps you would like to get your children or youth group involved in a quilting project to provide comfort to children in need. It is a great way to involve them in service to others. For more information, visit the Project Linus web site. (http://www.projectlinus.org)
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