Finding God on the Mountain… Children’s Message on God’s Presence in All Places
Main Objective: Mountains are pretty incredible places, and can be inspirational for Christians seeking deeper faith. The Bible contains a lot of significant stories involving mountains, and this message highlights a few of them. God often chose to meet people in special places, and made or renewed covenants there. However, mountains aren’t the only way to grow closer to God. He is everywhere! His presence is at all times and in all places, and we don’t even need special equipment to access it!
Law/Gospel Theme: Children are literal thinkers, and might often wonder how or where to “find” God, imagining that perhaps He is in the sky or church buildings. It’s helpful for them to realize that we do not need to go somewhere or do anything special to be in His presence. God is always with us! He’s not just in a cloud or on a mountain top. Because of the blood of Jesus, we have direct access to the throne room of the king, and He wants to hear from us as His beloved children.
Optional Materials: Camping gear; items needed to travel in mountains; pictures of mountains.
Bible Passage: Exodus 24:12-18 (and Matthew 17:1-9)
Message: Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs. This example uses camping gear to illustrate the topic of mountains and seeking God. You might also consider pictures of mountains or other types of “hide and seek” items.
Greet children, and introduce some camping gear (if using)…
Hello, children of God!
I am preparing for something, and I have a few items here. I want to see if you can guess what I’m getting ready for. Let’s take a look… Show several things that might be related to hiking or camping, such as a tent, sleeping bag, backpack, compass, etc. What do you think I’m getting ready to do? That’s right… I’m going camping! I just love going out to the mountains in the wilderness. It’s a great opportunity to get away from distractions. When I’m up in the mountains, I feel close to God.
Actually, God used mountains a lot in the Bible. There are several times that we read about important things happen on mountains. God made and renewed promises on mountains. For instance, He appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai and gave him the ten commandments. Moses was actually hanging out there for forty days and nights! There was a bit cloud that covered everything up, and the glory of God was powerful. God was like fire on that mountain. But it changed Moses and, through that, he brought God’s words back to the people. (If time and relevance allow, you might also mention mountains of God’s promises or covenants, such as Abraham on Mount Moriah, Noah on Mount Ararat, or Elijah on Mount Carmel).
There was another time that an important event took place on a mountain. Jesus took a few of His close disciples up to a mountain. There, He changed so that they saw God’s glory, revealed in His Son. The disciples knew that something amazing was happening. God had kept His promise to send a Messiah, and there He was! It must have been remarkable to be in God’s presence like that, seeing His covenants fulfilled.
Is God only on those mountains though? Should we climb up high and go hiking or camping to be closer to Him? Of course not! You know, all of those people in the Bible who were close to Him on mountains eventually had to come back down the mountain, too. And so do we. Going to camp or to the mountains or out in the wilderness can be wonderful, but sometime we have to come back to our lives of work or school or challenge.
That’s the great news, though…God is always with us! He’s not only present on the mountains. He had promised to be with us always, and He is. He is with us in the classrooms, in our churches, when we are sitting on the couch or doing homework, when we’re riding in a car, when we’re playing soccer…God is always there. We don’t have to do special things to find Him. Mountains are great, but God is everywhere! God loves us and wants to be near to us. Because of Jesus, we have direct access to Him all the time, anytime. We can pray and know that He cares and listens to us, always! He is not just Lord of the mountains. He’s a faithful promise keeper, and He’s the King of all creation, and should be ruler of our hearts, as well. What a mighty and powerful God we serve!
Why don’t we pray now and thank God for His presence?
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for always being with us
Help us to trust in you
No matter where we are or how we feel
You are God of the mountains
And king of all things
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” 13 So Moses rose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14 And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. Whoever has a dispute, let him go to them.”
15 Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18 Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights. -Exodus 24:12-18
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” 8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
9 And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” -Matthew 17:1-9