|Theme:||Obeying the commands of Jesus shows our love for him. - 6th Sunday of Easter|
|Scripture:||"Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them." John 14:21 (NIV)|
How many of you have a pet? What kind of pet do you have? (Give the children a chance to answer.) When I was a child, I had a pet parakeet named Pete. I spent hours playing with Pete and even taught him to talk. He would say, "Pete's a pretty bird. Pretty boy, pretty boy." We usually left the door to Pete's cage open during the day. When I walked in the door after school, Pete would fly to me and land on my shoulder. I loved that bird! Do you know how I showed Pete that I loved him? I took care him. I made sure that his cage was kept clean. I made sure that he had plenty of food and water. One of the most important ways I showed my love was by spending time with him.
Now, if I came over to your house and watched you and your pet together, how could I tell that you love your pet? What kind of things do you do to show your love? (Give the children a chance to answer: petting, feeding, grooming, bathing, walking, etc.) It is important to remember that it isn't enough to say you love your pet. Loving isn’t something you say, it is something you show by the things you do. It is the a way you act toward someone or something.
Now, let me ask you a question. Do you love Jesus? How does Jesus know that you love him? What can you do to show Jesus that you love him? That is a hard question to answer, isn't it?
In today’s Gospel lesson, Jesus gives his disciples the answeer to that question. Jesus said, "Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them."
It isn't enough just to say we love Jesus. Instead, we have to show God our love by DOING the right things – just like you show your love to your pets and your parents and your friends.
Heavenly Father, we are quick to tell you that we love you — but we know that we need to show our love too. Help us to show our love for — just as you show your love for us. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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