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The Blame Game

Pentecost Proper 5

From “Sitting on the Rainbow”

Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud

Scripture Reference: Gen. 3:8-15

Preparation: Bring a jar with enough cookies to distribute to the children at the end of your talk. (Optional) You might bring a giant foam hand with one pointing finger.

Would you like to play a game this morning? It’s a kind of game that all of us have played before. It’s called the “Blame Game.” Let’s pretend someone has stolen a cookie from my cookie jar. I will ask the first child on my right if he or she took the cookie. That person will say, “I didn’t do it. He did it,” and point to the next person. The next person will say, “Not me. She did it,” and point to the next person. This will continue until the pointing comes all the way back to me. (You may let the children point with the giant foam hand, passing it around as they go.)

Have any of you played this game before? How many of you have gotten into a fight with a sibling or a friend at school and then tried to blame the fight on the other person? (Children may share.) I know I’ve blamed others before, and I’ve been blamed, too. Did you know that the “Blame Game” is very old? It goes way back in history to the very first people God created, way back to Adam and Eve.

God created Adam and Eve and placed them in a beautiful garden. The garden was full of good and beautiful things, and they were allowed to pick and eat almost anything they liked. There was only one rule; they could not touch the tree in the middle of the garden or eat any of its fruit. Along came the devil in the form of a serpent, and tempted Eve to try one of the fruits God had forbidden them to eat. Eve ate some of the fruit and offered it to Adam, and he ate some of it, too.

Did they both know it was wrong to do? Did they both know better than to eat from that tree? (Let children answer.) They both knew it was wrong, but they disobeyed. And then, when God caught them, Eve blamed the serpent. Adam blamed Eve, and he even blamed God. “But it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit” (Gen 3:12 NLT, author’s emphasis).

The problem is, nobody wins in the “Blame Game.” If you’ve done something wrong, you eventually have to admit it. And after you admit that you have done wrong, after you confess your sins to God, God will do something amazing. God will forgive your sins and erase the wrong that you have done. Blaming gets us nowhere, but asking God for forgiveness brings us peace and life.

Now, because nobody really did steal my cookies, I have plenty to share with everyone. Help yourself to a cookie before you go. (Pass the cookies around.)

Forgive us, Lord God, for the times when we disobey. Help us to not blame others but instead to go to you and ask your forgiveness.

 

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