Sunday School Lesson Introduction: Don't litter your life

What a mess! Don't you hate looking out on the road as you ride by and seeing litter everywhere – cans and bottles and papers and other things that shouldn't be there? Or when you go to the park or the playground and see trash that people have thrown on the ground instead of in the wastebasket. That sure bothers me!

Litter is bad because it takes pretty things – grass and trees and beaches – and makes them dirty. Litter makes things less than they ought to be.

Did you know that sin does the same thing in your life? When we disobey God and do something we ought not do, it is like scattering litter in our lives. God wants the very best for us, and sin keeps us from being our best. It's like litter in your life and mine.

Every person has had that same experience. The Bible says, "For all have sinned" – everyone of us has disobeyed God at some time. We've all littered our lives.

Sunday School Lesson Conclusion

That's why it's so wonderful that Jesus came and gave His life for us. He reaches down to forgive us and cleanse our hearts – like sweeping away the litter from your life and my life. When we invite Jesus to control our lives, He is able to make us all that God wants us to be.

So this week, do all you can to keep that litter out of your life by doing what God wants you to do. And thank God for sending His Son to give us His forgiveness and cleansing. 

Sunday School Lesson Introduction: There's still time to join the parade!

We forget that Jesus will re-enter history the way He entered Jerusalem. There will come a time when the church – lowly, peasant-like in the eyes of the world – will stand on the foundation of the Gospel of Peace and stride in exaltation, with the Lord, into history again.

Jesus told parable after parable about a man going off into a far country and coming back for subsequent judgment. I don't have to go to the book store and read a book on the second coming to be convinced that He is going to come again. All I have to do is open the New Testament and read story after story, one parable after another, to see that Jesus indicated a time when He will return. And every eye shall see Him! The very thought of it led Paul to express a rhapsodic, lyrical hymn:

"... every knee should bow ... and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!" (Philippians 2:10-11).

When those Pharisees looked down from the temple enclosure, they saw Galileans from the north who had sat in crowds around the countryside, whose family members had been restored to wholeness by Jesus in their synagogues.

Yet there was a smaller crowd of Judeans from the south who had just witnessed a resurrection at Bethany in the family crypt of Lazarus. They had seen a man dead four days come staggering out of the tomb – his face, arms, and hands still bound in bandages. The pungent aroma of frankincense and myrrh had exuded from that tomb.

They had come from the south and from the north. They had come from Caesarea and from Transjordania. They had all gathered for Passover. It was to be the great "birthday party" of Israel. It had suddenly become the coronation of an itinerant Rabbi! They looked at each other with incredible looks of despair and said sardonically, "Look, the whole world has gone after Him. He must be killed!"

Sunday School Lesson Conclusion

Hurry, the parade is coming! Hurry, you and I have a chance to be in the parade! Hurry, He who came to be a man, who has overcome death, who can raise the dead is on His way!

The church is a continuing procession. The parade that started just outside Jerusalem continues marching through history in the form of the church. You and I are part of the parade. We meet every week to sing His praises.

If you have heard Hosanna, if you have cried out Hosannah, be you bystander or disciple, join now in the parade! Hurry!

Photo credit: Pexels/Catherine Sheila