Needed: Lip balm
Hold up a stick of lip balm, and ask the children if they have ever used it. Put some on your lips, and say that the balm in the tube is very soothing when your lips are dry and chapped. Tell them that balms have been around for a long time, and the prophet Isaiah speaks of a "balm in Gilead," which came from the gum of a bush in Gilead and was used by people to cure their illnesses (Jeremiah 8:22). Then ask them if a balm can cure all the problems we might have. Shake your head no, and say that some of our illnesses require more than balm, such as when we are feeling guilty or discouraged or lonely. Explain that when we feel these inner pains, we can come to church and receive the forgiveness of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the love and friendship of Jesus. Ask the children to hold hands with you in a circle, and ask them to tell you how it feels to be close to one another in church. Invite them to close their eyes and pray together, as you say, "Healing God, come into our circle today and help us to feel better inside. Forgive the mistakes we have made, fill us with the gift of your Holy Spirit, and touch us with the love of your Son Jesus. We thank you for your healing and help, which is so much better than any balm. Amen.
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