|Theme:||Only Jesus can forgive sin and give us eternal life. (Epiphany 5B)|
|Object:||"Where's Waldo?" book or hidden picture puzzle. (see note following sermon)|
|Scripture:||Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!" Mark 1:36-37 (NIV)|
A few years ago, "Where's Waldo?" books (also known in some places as "Where's Wally?") were very popular. You still see them in bookstores and libraries. How many of you have seen a "Where's Waldo?" book? If you have, you know what Waldo looks like. He always wears a red and white striped ski cap and a matching sweater. Waldo has a rather goofy smile and wears thick, black-rimmed glasses. In these picture books, Waldo is always in every picture, but he is very hard to find. You can spend a lot of time looking for Waldo. Can you find Waldo in this picture? (Allow the children to look for Waldo if time permits.) Look! There he is!
Looking for Waldo can be a lot of fun, but in real life, looking for someone can much more serious. Our Bible lesson today tells about a day when a lot of people were looking for Jesus. They were looking for Jesus because they needed something that only he could give them.
Jesus had been traveling around the countryside teaching, preaching, and healing the sick. He had become very popular, and everywhere he went there were great crowds of people. They came to hear him teach about God's love and to be healed of their diseases.
One day Jesus went to visit in the home of Simon Peter. When he got there, Peter's mother-in-law was sick in bed with a fever, so they told Jesus about her right away. Jesus took her by the hand and helped her up. Immediatedly the fever left her. She was healed and went in and began to fix dinner for everyone. When the people heard that Jesus was at Peter's house, a large crowd of people began to gather outside the door. People brought their sick friends to Jesus, and he healed many people who had all different kinds of diseases.
The next morning, Jesus woke up before anyone else. He went outside to spend some time alone with his Father in prayer. Later, Peter and the other disciples went looking for Jesus. When they found him, they said, "Everyone is looking for you."
Jesus answered and said, "Let's go to the nearby towns and villages so that I can preach there also. That is why I have come." So Jesus traveled all around Galilee teaching, preaching, and healing people.
People today are still looking for Jesus. They are looking for Jesus because they need something that only he can give them — forgiveness for sin and everlasting life. Are you looking for Jesus? The Bible says "If you search for him with all your heart and soul, you can find him." (Deut. 4:29) You will find him right here in the Bible.
Dear Father, many people today are searching for Jesus. We pray that today will be the day that they find him. Amen.
Note: You could use a "Hidden Picture" puzzle instead of "Where's Waldo?" and change the sermon to fit. In the activities below is a link to a hidden picture puzzle with the puzzle solution.
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