Children’s Sermon

John 13:31-35

Can You Name It?

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John 13:31-35

Can You Name It?

By Lois Parker Edstrom

Objects suggested: Pictures of birds. A bird-watcher’s book. (If there is a bird-watcher in your congregation ask them to help with the lesson.)

Pictures of birds available at:

Birds seem to be everywhere and learning to identify them is a fun activity. When you are trying to name a bird think about where that bird lives. Some birds, such as seagulls, stay near the shore; others, such as owls, like to be in the forest. Different types of birds live near rivers, lakes, swamps, deserts, and cities. Can you think of examples?

Next notice the size of the bird. Birds can be as small as hummingbirds and as large as herons and eagles. Let’s look at some pictures.

Then, think about how the bird behaves. It is running along the shore, feeding from flowers, hiding in bushes, flying alone or as a part of a group? All of these behaviors are clues as to what kind of bird you have spotted. (Pictures can, once again, be used to illustrate behaviors.)

You can learn to recognize a bird by the sound it makes. Ducks quack. Pigeons and doves coos. Some birds whistle or warble and others sing beautiful songs.

The shape of a bird, the type of bill it has, what its feet look like, and the color and patterns on the feathers will also help you name a bird. Do you have a favorite bird you could tell us about? (This last question, time permitting.)

There are many ways to identify a bird. Jesus talks to us in the Bible about how to identify Christians and it’s quite simple. He was talking with his disciples and he said,“A new commandment I give to you, that you also love one another” (13:34). “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (13:35).

Just as we can identify birds by their behavior and the sounds they make, we can also identify a Christian by his or her loving behavior and kind words. Another clue is that Christians are found in churches all over the world.

So, the way to spot a Christian is to look for a person who loves others as Jesus loves us.

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible

Copyright 2008, Richard Niell Donovan