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Cloud of Hate ; 9/11 Children’s Sermon

September 16th, 2001 (first Sunday after 9/11)

Luke 15:1-10

(The Parable of the Lost Sheep)

1 John 2:11

“But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”(NASB)

Preparation: Bring the baptismal font to the front of the church or give the children’s sermon immediately following a baptism.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells the story of a lost sheep. A shepherd with a hundred sheep has lost one, but since every sheep is important, the shepherd goes out into the darkness to find that one lost sheep, finds it and carries it home. You know who that good shepherd is, don’t you? (Let children respond.) The good shepherd is Jesus.

There are times when we are like that lost sheep. Sometimes we wander away from Jesus or don’t want to listen to him. Sometimes bad things happen that we don’t understand and this makes the world around us so dark that we feel lost and alone.

Many of you know that something very bad happened this past week and you might have seen grownups crying and praying with each other. Two big towers collapsed in a big city and it was very sad because many people were hurt and many people died. When the towers fell, a great cloud of dust rolled out into the air. It was so thick that the people inside the dust couldn’t see anything. They were suddenly lost and did not know where to go, like the lost sheep in Jesus’ story.

One of the news reports told about a man who was lost in this cloud of dust. He had gotten so much dust and dirt in his eyes that even as the air cleared, he still couldn’t see anything. He was crawling on his hands and knees when a small hand took hold of his and led him up some steps into a dark, cool building where the air was clear. The man felt water being splashed on his eyes, washing the dust away so that he could open his eyes once more and see where he was.

He saw that he was in a church and the young person who had helped him up the steps was standing in front of him. He had washed the man’s eyes with the holy water that was kept in a bowl by the door.

The dust from that terrible day stayed in New York, but there is another kind of dust that billowed out across the country. That dust is the anger and hate that some people feel because of what happened. When something bad has happened, it can make you so angry that you can hardly see straight. You might want to hurt someone else because you feel bad.

When this happens, Jesus wants to take us by the hand and lead us to the water and gently wash our eyes. He wants to wash the hate and anger out of our eyes so that we can see the world with the eyes of love again.

There was a baptism today. A child was washed with water and brought into God’s kingdom. The child was born again into a new life; one that will last forever. As you go back to your seats today, I would like you to dip one finger into the baptismal water and touch both of your eyes with the water. This is to remind you to let Jesus wash any hate or anger from your own eyes so that you can see the world the way Jesus does.

Come Lord Jesus; find us when we feel lost. Lead us to the water and wash the dust of sin and hate from our eyes.

by Ruth Gilmore © 2001 All Rights Reserved

     


 

4 comments to Cloud of Hate ; 9/11 Children’s Sermon

  • Casey Taylor

    What a fantastic kids message…I plan to incorporate this for the 10th anniversary of 9-11.

  • Thank you for the words of insight, not only for kids but adults as well. I will use it for our 9-11 sermon to commemorate the 15th year anniversary. May we NEVER forget!

    • ruth

      I appreciate your comments, Patsy. May we never forget our misguided response as well, attacking the wrong source as a misinformed retaliation. Jesus was right; violence does lead to violence. And perfect love casts out all fear. As always, love is the answer.
      Blessings on your ministry! Ruth

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