Today, I need a helper. (Select a volunteer.) Thank you. I’m going to whisper a phrase in your ear, and I’d like you to act it out. Then, I want all of you to guess the word.
(Whisper, “Walk like you’re angry.” Allow the helper to do so.) Who can guess the word? (Let individuals in the group guess.) That’s right! The word was angry.
Let’s do it again. (Whisper, “Walk like you’re sad.” Allow the helper to do so.) What word is it this time? (Allow volunteers to respond.) Good job! Yes, the word was sad.
Here is one last word. (Whisper, “Walk like you’re happy.” Allow the helper to do so.) Who can guess this word? (Allow volunteers to respond.) Awesome! Yes, the word was happy.
(Thank the volunteer for helping and have him/her sit back down.)
Getting to the Heart
You were all wonderful at playing that game! Right away, you could tell how (name the volunteer) was feeling by looking at how (he/she) walked.
Now, here’s a tough one. If I asked you to “walk in love,” how would you do that? You might walk holding hands or doing some mushy, lovey-dovey things, right? (Allow children to laugh or say “eww” as they think about these signs of affection.)
Don’t worry. I’m talking about a different way to “walk in love.” The Bible can give us some help with this one. Listen to this verse from Ephesians. (Read Ephesians 5:2 from your Bible.)
Did you hear that? Jesus “walked in love.” Jesus’ love was not a mushy, gooey, lovey-dovey love. Jesus’ love was strong. It’s the strongest thing I know! Jesus love was so strong that he walked all the way to the cross! He let wicked people nail him to that cross. He died on that cross to take all of our sins away. Then, Jesus rose from the dead to show his power over death. Jesus’ love is powerful! Jesus walked in love, and he still walks in love.
How about us? Do we walk in love? Well, think about this. Have you ever hit your brother or sister or friend? (Wait for response.) Hitting others isn’t walking in love, is it? In fact, hitting people is a sin.
What about this one? Have you ever said something mean about your friend? (Wait for response.) That’s not “walking in love” either, is it? Saying nasty things makes people feel sad, and it’s a sin, too.
We all sin in these ways—and in lots more ways. But do you know what? Our sins don’t change Jesus’ love for us. He loves you just as much right now as he did on the day he walked in love to the cross to die for your sins. We can say, “Dear Jesus, I’m sorry that I disobeyed my dad. I’m sorry I hurt my friend. Please forgive me.” And Jesus will! He always will! He will help us ask other people to forgive us, too. And he will help us walk in love when others ask us to forgive them.
Because Jesus walked in love, because he forgives us, we can walk in love, forgiving and helping others, too.
Taking It Home (Valentine’s Day)
This is the (week, day, time of year) that we celebrate Valentine’s Day. On Valentine’s Day, we hear all about love. Mostly, this is mushy, gushy, romantic love, isn’t it? But this Valentine’s Day, we can focus instead on how much Jesus loves us. Because he loves and forgives us, we get to love and forgive others! We get to walk in love.
To remind us to do that, we’re going to make signs to hang up at home. These signs will remind us that Jesus loves and forgives us, so we get to love others and forgive them, too.
Poster Activity: Have each child trace around his/her foot seven times with a crayon. On each footprint, they are to write one word from the first phrase in Ephesians 5:2. Read the words in unison several times as the children work on the posters.