Good morning, girls and boys. I brought a book to share today. It’s called The Black Rabbit, by Philippa Leathers. Someone may have read it to you when you were really little, but it’s a very wise book. I’m going to read it really quickly, but there’s a copy in the children’s Gathering Room you can see if you want to read it yourself.

(Read the book. It’s short.)

I wonder if you’ve ever been afraid of something or someone and the more you think about it, the bigger it gets in your mind. Rabbit was having a beautiful day until he saw the big black rabbit he had never noticed before, and it seemed to follow him around! What was it? (Allow for response.) Yes, it was just his shadow, but the more he looked for it, the scarier it seemed! The good thing was that it frightened someone else too, right? (Yes, it frightened the wolf.) Finally Rabbit saw it for what it really was, without fear, and he knew he was okay.

Our fears can turn something that really isn’t so scary into something much worse than it actually is.

But being a follower of God means being brave enough to face what scares you, knowing that God is there to face it with you. It means saying, “Fear, you are not the boss of me! God is the boss of me!” Do you remember the Bible verse we learned at VBS recently? “Be strong and be brave. Don’t be afraid for God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9) With God beside us, we can know that no matter what we face, we will be okay.

Let’s pray. “Dear God, thank you for walking beside us with every step we take. When we’re afraid, help us remember that you are there, so we don’t have to let fear take over. We love you, God. Amen.”