This children’s sermon was written to accompany a sermon based on the story from Acts 16 in which Paul talks with Lydia, the seller of purple cloth. I found the main idea of blessing listening ears in Carolyn Browns blogpost about this scripture, here. She’s a great source for speaking with children about scripture. Thank you, Carolyn!

Good morning girls and boys. I have a question for you. Are you a good listener? I wonder if you’ve ever had to ask someone to listen to you- or if anyone has ever had to ask you to listen.

In today’s scripture there are several people who listen and their listening turned out to be really important! I’m going to tell you the story, and as I do, I bet you can figure out who’s doing the listening. When you hear that someone is listening, point to your ear like this.

Paul went to sleep and he had a dream of a man in Macedonia begging Paul to come help them- to preach to him. Paul listened to the man, and when he woke up he realized that this wasn’t a crazy dream- that the dream was actually God telling him to go and he listened. So he and his friends got in a boat and went!

When he got there and it was the sabbath, he went to a river to pray– to talk to and listen to God. But there were women there, and so we told them about Jesus, and they listened. One was Lydia, a lady who sold purple cloth. God opened her heart to really hear who he was. She and her family were baptized and she said, if you think I’m enough of a believer, come and stay at my house. They heard her, and so Paul and his friends did just that!

I wonder who were the listeners?
I wonder if you think Paul expected to hear from God? Or if Lydia expected to change her life when she went to the river?

Listening is so important! When we really listen to whatever is around us- dreams,  other people, we sometimes get a chance to know what God wants us to do!

I’d like to give you a blessing, put my hands on each of your ears and ask God to help you be a good listener like Paul and Lydia- but that would take too long. So I’m going to ask you to help me. If you would like to, let someone sitting close to you put their hands on your ears- either both hands or one hand. Or if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can put your own hands on your ears like this.

“Blessings on your listening ears. May God help you listen to dreams and ideas that God sends us in all sorts of ways –and may God help you figure out what to do with them.”

Let’s pray: Dear God, thank you for speaking to us in all sorts of ways. Help us listen to those around us, even in unexpected places for messages from you. We love you, God. Amen.



*Many thanks to Shai Barzilay for his flickr photo shared here, through Creative Commons.