|Theme:||Jesus gives a new commandment — Love one another. Easter 5-C|
|Object:||A poster with pictures of zoo animals. (Click Here)|
|Scripture:||“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)|
I love to go to the zoo and see all of the animals. This morning we are going to take an imaginary trip to the zoo. I will show you a poster with some animals and see how many of the animals you can name. I will point to a picture and you will call out the name of the animal. OK, are you ready? Here is the first one.
1. What is this animal? (Point to the elephant.) Right! It is an elephant. An elephant is easy to identify, isn't it? It is one of the largest of all animals, it is gray in color, has a large trunk which it uses for eating and drinking, and it has two large tusks on each side of its trunk.
2. Here is the next one. (Point to the giraffe.) Name this animal. You are right again. It is a giraffe. That was an easy one. The giraffe is the tallest of all animals. It is so tall it can eat leaves right off a tree. It has a unique spotted pattern and it can run at speeds up to 35 MPH.
3. The next one is a funny-looking animal. Can you name it? (Point to the rhinoceros.) I can't fool you! It is a rhinoceros. How can you tell it isn't an elephant? After all, it's large and gray colored. Oh, it has a big horn on its nose. That helps you to identify him right away.
4. How about this animal, can you tell me what it is? (Point to zebra.) Correct again! It is a zebra. I thought you might think it was a horse. How did you know it was a zebra? That's right! A zebra has black and white stripes. A horse doesn't.
5. Here is the last one. (Point to the lion.) I knew you would get that one. It is a lion, the king of beasts. It looks like a big cat and the male lion has a beautiful mane around his neck.
You all did a great job identifying these zoo animals, but I have another question for you. How would someone identify you as a follower of Jesus just by looking at you? That's a difficult question, isn't it? Well, our Bible reading for today has a good answer.
One day Jesus was talking to his disciples. He knew that the day was coming when he would return to heaven, and he was trying to prepare his disciples for the day when he would no longer be with them. He wanted to leave them with something that would help them to live in such a way that other people would see them and know that they were his disciples.
"I will be with you only a little while longer," Jesus said. "Then you will look for me, but you won't find me because you cannot go where I am going. I give you a new commandment. You must love each other just as I have loved you. If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples."
Would you like for people to look at the way you live and know that you are a follower of Jesus? Well, then obey his command, "Love one another as I have loved you."
Dear Father, help us to live by the new commandment that Jesus left with his disciples. Help us to love others in the same way that Jesus loves us so that others will know that we are his disciples. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
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