Every child need to learn what it means to rest in Jesus -- especially with the hectic pace of life taking over childhood. Download this free Labor Day children’s sermon and watch our teaching example video below.
Video Teaching Example: Children’s Sermon for Labor Day
Main Objective: In our culture, we thrive on perpetual momentum, constantly keeping busy and trying to “work” and accomplish as much as possible. Unfortunately, this sometimes even rubs off on kids, who are bustled from one practice to another and feel the weight of performance. This message seeks to communicate the importance of rest. Whether the occasion is Labor Day, back to school, or just taking a break in general, it’s essential to pause and appreciate God’s commandment to periodically cease our labor.
Law/Gospel Theme: Under the weight of the law, we are tempted to be always doing, achieving, trying to reach something. The blessing and beauty of the Gospel reminds us that we do not have to be always busy or working nonstop. God has not made us human “doings” but human “beings.” His grace already covers anything we might need. He allows us to rest in His peace.
Object Lesson Props: Calendar or day planner, phone, clock (optional)
Bible Passage: Various verses referenced (see below)
Bonus Ideas: Some more inspiration for your teaching
- video example of this message or browse all object lessons
- Labor Day Sunday School Lesson
- Compare our new lesson on Rest & Sabbath for Labor Day
- lesson about work and rest from Children’s Ministry Magazine
- Keep the Sabbath coloring page from our 10 Commandments Coloring Book
Labor Day Object Lesson on Work & Rest
Greet students, in a somewhat flustered or “busied” manner
Hello friends! So, I have something I want to share with you today, but first I have a question…has anyone done anything special this week? Anything important? I mean, have you made a serious contribution to society, or maybe earned an award, or finished a lot of special assignments? Anybody? Well, here’s what I want to show you (take out planner/calendar, packed full of writing and tasks):
This is my planner. You see, in it I have all of the essential dates and things I need to remember. As you can see, I am extremely busy. In fact, I have a lot of important tasks on here, and I have to have them written down, or I might forget them and miss something. Plus, it’s fun to see what I’ve accomplished and check off my boxes as I do things. See, here’s my meeting, and there’s my job, and here’s my gym appointment, and over here is the run club…oh look! I even have things spilling over into the next months.
Look at September already…oh, and on this day (point to date) we have “Labor Day.” That means a lot of places are closed, because a long time ago in America, some people got together and decided we needed to honor workers. They arranged a special holiday to celebrate people who work hard, and on Labor Day we can take a day off. But I happen to think that day off might be a great opportunity to catch up on some extra work!
Let’s see what I can check off my list…
(have a phone alarm or friend call arranged ahead of time, so that a phone goes off. Or you can just pretend that the phone is going off in a pocket. Have a “conversation” to emphasize your busy-ness).
Hello? Oh, hi there! Yes, I know it’s been awhile since we got to hang out….yes, I know. I have just been sooooo busy…hmm, let me peek at my calendar here. Wow, there’s a lot going on. Well, let’s see….maybe I could meet up on October—no, wait, I’m leading a Sabbath seminar then. Ummm, how about….well, we might need to wait until Thanksgiving. Or, let’s see, I could squeeze you in, how about November 15th? Probably around 9-9:30. We can grab some coffee. I’ll have my work with me, just in case…Okay, great. See you then. Thanks, Mom! Love you! (“hang up”)
So, that would not be a kind way to treat my mom, would it? In case you didn’t notice, that was a joke. But sometimes we do get a little too busy, don’t we? See, we get so caught up in tasks and being busy and looking important and doing things, and sometimes we miss what is truly important in our lives!
We think if we are busier than others that will make us special somehow. We think we need to be on the go and doing things all the time. But you know what? The Bible tells us otherwise.
In fact, God commands us to sometimes take a break and rest. In fact, He took a day off! After making the world and everything in it, God took the seventh day and rested. Now, God did not need to rest necessarily, but wanted to set an example for us. We need to take time to pause and re-charge. In the Psalms, God says to “be still and know that I am God.”
He wants us to be still and just chill! God did not make us to be always working. We don’t have to do anything or achieve anything to be acceptable in His eyes. God loves us just the way we are, because that is how He made us!
Jesus promised to help us carry our work load, and not to worry about this world. Jesus also told us not to think too highly of ourselves. Life is not a race to see who can do the most things. In order to be great in God’s eyes, we need humility, thinking less of ourselves.
When we let ourselves rest, we recognize that God is in control. He will take care of what we need. We are human, and cannot do everything on our own power.
Taking rest reminds us that we are dependent on God for everything. He has already given us all we need, and we can pause and enjoy His presence. So whether it is Labor Day or any day, don’t forget to take a break!
Children’s Prayer Moment
(Have kids repeat each line, if desired)
Thank you for all of your blessings
Thank you for the stories of the Bible.
Help us remember to rest in You
And be more aware of your presence
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
Thank you for Jesus
In His name, Amen!
Bible Verses for this Object Lesson
And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from all His work of creation. ~ Genesis 2:3
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. -Exodus 20:8-10
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!” -Psalm 46:10
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles
himself will be exalted. -Luke 14:11