Stairway to Heaven
THEME: The story of Jacob's dream about a ladder.
OBJECTS: A Jacob's Ladder toy or a paper Jacob's Ladder chain. (See note at the bottom of the sermon.)
SCRIPTURE: He had a dream in which he saw a stairway [ ladder ] resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. Genesis 28:12 [NIV]
I have something really amazing to show you this morning. This is an wonderful little toy called a Jacob's Ladder. It is a toy that has been around for a many, many years. Watch and see what it does. (demonstrate) I told you it was amazing! Now this looks really complicated and I must confess that I don't understand exactly how it works, but it is so simple to make that you could even make one yourself with a little help from your parents.
Do you remember what I told you this toy is called? That's right! Jacob's ladder. The toy got it's name from a story in the Bible about a man named Jacob who had a dream about a ladder that reached up to heaven. Do you know that story? Well, let me tell it to you.
Jacob started on a long journey to a town called Haran. When he reached a certain place he stopped to spend the night. He took a large stone and rested his head on it and went to sleep. As he slept, Jacob had a dream. In his dream there was a ladder that reached from the ground all the way up to heaven. There were angels running up and down the ladder. He looked and saw God himself standing at the top of the ladder. God spoke to Jacob and told him that he was going to bless him and his people and that he would watch over him and keep him wherever he went. When Jacob woke up he said, "Surely the Lord is in this place." Then he took the stone he had used for a pillow and poured oil on it. He named the place Bethel, which means the house of the Lord.
This is a wonderful story of how God blessed Jacob, but it is much more than that. It is also a picture of what Jesus has done for you and me. Jesus came down to earth to make a way for you and me to get to heaven. Jesus is the way, the only way, for us to get to heaven.
Dear Jesus, thank you for providing a way for us to get to heaven. If there are some here today who have not found the way, we pray that they will find it today. Amen.
Note: The following links will take you to a page with instructions for making the "objects" for this sermon. Either of these objects would also make a good craft activity for the children. It would require a lot of preparation to make the ladder toy, but would be well worth it. Perhaps there is someone in your congregation with a gift of woodworking who could help.
Instructions for making the Jacob's Ladder Toy.
Instructions for making the Jacob's Ladder Paper Chain.
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