Sermon

Joseph Forgives His Brothers

Family Reunion

Theme

God wants us to forgive others.

Object

Bible; one lemon slice in a Dixie cup per child; one lemon slice sprinkled with sugar in a Dixie cup per child; plastic spoons; hand wipes

Scripture

Genesis 45:1-15

Give each child both kinds of lemon slices in cups.

In today’s Bible lesson, Joseph had a choice. He could choose to punish his brothers for what they had done to him, or he could forgive them and reunite with them. Joseph chose forgiveness, and God wants us to forgive others, too.

Read aloud Genesis 45:4-7.

I’d like a few of you to share about a time that someone wronged you and you got angry about it. (Allow time.)  

Those things hurt us. We have to make choices every day about whether to forgive people. Let’s see what it’s like when we choose to forgive others.

Have kids take the cup with the plain lemon and take a bite of the lemon.

What does that taste like? (Allow kids to answer.)

Think about a time that you forgave someone.

Have kids take the cup with the sugar-coated lemon and take a bite of the lemon.

What does that taste like? (Allow kids to answer.)

How is the bitter lemon like or unlike not forgiving others? How did the sugar change the taste of the lemon? How does forgiveness change our relationships to be sweeter?

The first lemon was bitter like the bitterness we feel when we don’t forgive. The second lemon was sweet and tasty like the sweetness we feel when we forgive others. God chooses to forgive us when we ask, and Joseph forgave his brothers for the horrible things they did. God wants us to follow Joseph’s example of sweet forgiveness and forgive others.

God, thank You for forgiving us. Please help us remember Joseph and find the strength to forgive people who wrong us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Activities + Resources

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