This week we will consider the word HYPOCRITE from Matthew 7:1-5. This can be a difficult word to define with children, since they don’t hear it often. Try this: a hypocrite is a person who says one thing and does another, or a person who does not practice what they preach. Jesus uses this word to describe someone who judges others before examining their own failures, when he says, “why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? You hypocrite….” Here are some ideas to explore with your child before, during, and after worship.
- Have you found the new addition to the worship bags? Look for a Worship Word sheet for your child to use. Fill in the worship word at the top (hypocrite) and add the date and your child’s name. Below is space for your child to draw something he or she hears today in the sermon, in the music, or in a prayer.This could be an interesting Sunday for them to try and draw what they hear during the New Testament lesson. How will they draw a speck in someone’s eye, and a log in another eye? How will you explain what that means with them later?
- Below the drawing space, your child is invited to make tally marks every time they hear the word “hypocrite.”
- On the back is a blank page for your child to make some worship art. Encourage them to draw something related to worship as a gift to God.
Before or after worship…..
- Talk with your child about judging others. Why is it easier to notice what is wrong with other people, than it is to see where we go wrong ourselves? What examples from your family life can you think of and talk about? Where do you as a parent have trouble with this? Confession is good for the soul!
- Explore this idea from Carolyn Brown as a way of talking about the difference between what we say and do in worship, and what we say and do outside of worship.
…..Talk about matching what we read, say and pray in worship with what we do and say every day. Holding the worship activity in one hand and the everyday activity in the other hand, lay out specific examples such as…
- Singing songs of love (quote a song you have sung today),then teasing and pestering our brother in the car on the way home from church.
- Talking about being fair, then tricking your little sister to get most of her gummy bears.
- Telling God in church that we are Jesus’ follower,then letting a friend talk us into doing something we know is wrong.
Point out that it is easier to sing and talk about being fair and kind and following Jesus than it is to actually be fair and kind and follow Jesus. Sometimes though just singing and hearing and praying together makes doing it a little easier.
Perhaps there are specks and logs you and your child can gently take out of each others’ eyes this week.
Kind of silly, but here’s a short video to illustrate the point. (No endorsement for any of their other videos….I just watched this one.)