This children’s sermon was given October 11, 2020, during our global pandemic, so it was experienced at the Peace Center and virtually rather than by children in our sanctuary. I’m posting it here in hopes that it can be helpful to someone.

Good morning girls and boys! Would you wave at me so I can see you? There you are! I’m so glad you’re here and here watching us online! I have a question for you. How many of you have a counselor at your school?

Counselors do important things: come to your class to teach about self-control and peace when we disagree.  Help when hard things come, when you have friend trouble or are feeling sad.

Did you know you have your very own counselor who is there whenever you call? It’s God’s spirit, and God’s spirit is always there in your heart and mind. The more we pay attention to God- the more we think about God, talk to God and listen to God, – the more we can feel and hear God’s Spirit guiding us. And the more God’s Spirit can grow good things in us. Things like what we call the fruits of the spirit.

I heard you‘ve been talking about it in Music and Missions. Do you remember what the fruits are that God’s spirit helps grow in us? If you can name some of them, whisper them to an adult near you.

The fruits of the spirit include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These things are all easy to say, but sometimes they’re hard to do. But our counselor, God’s spirit, can help grow them stronger, just like in the Bible.

I brought some items in my bag that might help us remember stories in which God’s spirit helped people grow in these fruits.

  1. Remember this little money bag? It reminds me of the story when Jesus takes disciples to temple. Rich people are putting in lots of money- sounds like this. But along comes a poor widow who puts in 2 small coins. Jesus said she gave more than anyone else. God’s spirit helped her be the most generous.
  2.  See this rock? It reminds me of when Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days to discover more of who he was before he started his work. He heard a voice tempting him to change a rock into bread. He showed self-control.
  3.  Remember this coat? Who does this remind you of? Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him and sold him into slavery. Years later, when Joseph had helped Pharaoh understand dreams and Pharaoh put him in charge of things, the brothers came back and didn’t recognize him. God’s spirit gave him the peace and love to forgive his brothers and be close to them again.

I’m so glad we have our very own counselor. I want to make sure that every day I’m taking time to pay attention to God–thinking about God, praying, and listening for what God may be saying to me, so all those good things can grow.

Let’s pray: Dear God, thank you for your spirit, your counselor, living in us. Help us pay attention to you every day. We love you, God. Amen.