Sunday, April 18, 2021

4th Sunday of Easter B

4th Sunday of Easter Cycle B

Welcome children to their worship space.

Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.

Introduce yourself and your helpers.


Say:  Today is the 4th Sunday in the season of Easter.  During the Easter season we are waiting for something, just like we waited during Lent.  Does anyone remember what feast we are waiting for?  <the feast of Pentecost>   
Ask:  What is Pentecost?  <the day we celebrate the birthday of the church, the time when the Holy Spirit came forward to help all of us not that Jesus is not on earth with us>
Ask:  Does anyone remember what the symbol was for last week?  <an open Bible>  And what did it represent?  <the Word of God left for us to help us understand what God wants for his church, for his people>
Explain: So we have learned two things n the last couple of weeks that Jesus told us that he wants for us:  peace between each other and reading Scripture to understand his message.  Do you think that these are good things to have when you begin to build a church?

Introduce symbol
Say:   Today’s symbol is a lamb.  What do you know about lambs? <fluffy, farm animals, etc.>
Say:  Many of the early Christians who were learning about Jesus were shepherds.  Those are people who take care of sheep.  They took their jobs very seriously and took good care of each and every lamb.  Jesus wants us to know that we are each one very important to him.

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.

Ask:  Does anyone know what a cornerstone is?  <let the children guess>  It is a stone that has a special shape.  If you were building a house, what shape stones would you use?  <rectangular – show with your hands or have a brick-shaped object to show>  The cornerstone is a special shape that can bear the eight of the other stones.  Sometimes a cornerstone might be thrown away by a builder because it looks different than the others.

Introduce readings
We have two readings today.

Say:  Let’s light the candle to show that we are ready to listen to the Word of God.

Say: Today’s first reading is from the New Testament book of Acts. (Acts 4:8-12)  In this reading, we will hear about the special cornerstone.  This story compares Jesus, who looked and acted different than the people of his time, to the cornerstone that got thrown away.  While you listen, think of what this might mean in your life.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What do you think that the reading might mean to you in your life?  <that all of us, with all our differences, are important in the church>  Someone that you don’t think is important might have the best contribution of all.

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say: 
The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of John.  (John 10:11-16).  In this reading from the Gospel of John, we hear a parable.  Does anyone remember what a PARABLE is?  <a teaching story>  This parable is about a good shepherd, who knows each and every one of his sheep.  While you listen, see if you can figure out who the sheep represent.

Say:  Now we will stand and get ready to hear the Gospel
(hold up card)  Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Have the reader begin: “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask:  Does anyone remember the sign that we give to each other to show that there is God’s peace between us?

Say:  Let’s give each other a sign of peace.

Ask:  Who do you think the sheep are? <US!>  The story tells us that the shepherd would lay down his life for his sheep, even the sheep who don’t know him yet.

Hand out the poster cut-outs of a lamb so that the children can write their names on them for the poster.

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a lamb). 
Explain: Color this symbol of a lamb and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about how important each of us is to God’s church.

If there is time, ask questions and go over the lessons one more time to help the children remember.

Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.

Use this graphic in a small light color for the communal poster
Use this graphic for the mid-sized banner symbol

Use this graphic for the full-sized coloring sheet Offertory gift
Parent Letter

4th Sunday of Easter  B

Dear Parents,

       Today is the 4th Sunday of Easter.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Acts 4:8-12; John 10:11-16.

Symbol: sheep

To reinforce at home:
Our symbol to day was the sheep to represent the story of the Good Shepherd who lay down his life for each and every one of us.  The importance is that he did this for all of us, even those who do not yet know him.  At the time the story was told, we were some of those who did not know Jesus.
The second idea we presented was the idea of the cornerstone from the first reading.  Again, each of us with all our differences, is important to Christ’s church.  Sometimes, when we meet people who are very different from us, we forget that they are as important as we are in God’s eyes.

Activities to do at home:

*Help your child understand the ways that God cares for us by helping them to learn to care for others.  Helping them to care for siblings, plants or pets might be one way to teach them how much God cares for each of them.
*Read a book to your child that tells a story about caring for someone else like Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown or Horton Hatches an Egg by Dr. Seuss

Thank you for sharing your children!

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