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August 2013

Give It Away

Pentecost Proper 17; 15th Sunday after Pentecost

Scripture Reference: Heb. 13:5, 16

From “Scolding the Snakes”   

Preparation: Bring pennies to hand out to each child.  Kid_kissing_dollar

Can anyone tell me something that you really love? What do you love? (Let children offer responses.) Name the people in your life whom you love. (Kids answer.) Because you love those people, how do you act toward them, and what do you do for them? (Discuss with children.) It’s good to love people isn’t it? God blesses us with many wonderful people to love.

I have here a penny. This is my penny. And I have one penny for each of you. (Hold out other pennies and hand one to each child.) Now if I told you that I really loved this penny, and that I had a special place for it to sit at my house, and that I held my penny every day and sang to it and kissed it, what would you think about that? (Kids may respond.) That would be pretty weird, wouldn’t it? I shouldn’t be spending my love on a penny.

This morning’s Bible reading from Hebrews talks about that sort of foolish love: “Keep your lives free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for [God] has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’” (Heb. 13:5 NRSV). And it also says, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (v. 16 NRSV).

In other words, the Bible says, “Don’t love money,” and “Share what you have.” Do you think that’s hard to do sometimes? (Let children talk about times when it was hard to share something they had.) It can be hard to share, especially if you only have one of something—like one penny or one dollar or one best friend, can’t it?

But do you know what? When we love Jesus and when we love other people so much that we want to share just to make them happy—we feel happier, too. And we feel richer than we did before!

You can go back to your seats now, but I want you to do something that might be difficult. On your way back to your seat, give your penny to someone else. Give that penny away, and I know that you will get lots of smiles in return. And then see if you don’t feel better.

Prayer:  Jesus, help us to love you most of all, and help us to share what you have given us with people whom we love and you love.

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