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Ready for the Knock

Pentecost Proper 14; 12th Sunday after Pentecost

From “Scolding the Snakes”

Scripture Reference: Luke 12:35-39  jesus-knocking-the-door

Preparation: Bring small birthday candles to hand out. Arrange for someone to knock loudly on a door when you give the signal (to the pastor’s office, to the sacristy, anywhere where the children will be able to hear it during the sermon).

I’d like to read part of today’s Gospel reading to you. It’s from Luke, chapter 12: “Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks” (vv. 35-36 RSV). Do you know what that means? First of all, “Let your loins be girded” means to get your long robes out of the way—to put a belt around them to hold them up so that you can run fast. To us today, this would mean to get dressed and be ready to go somewhere at a minute’s notice. Second, “let your lamps be burning” means something, too. In Jesus’ day, people used oil lamps that had a flame, sort of like a candle. The lamps should be ready to give light so the people can see to go outside in the dark. Then the Bible says to be like people who are waiting for someone special to arrive. In other words, Jesus is telling his listeners to be all ready to go and to wait for that special person—the master—to come.

Who do you think this verse is talking about? Who is the Master that we should all get ready for? (Let children respond.) These verses are talking about Jesus. He’s coming back someday to take us all with him to heaven. Does anyone know the exact day or time when he will return? (Someone may offer an answer.) Nobody knows for sure. The Bible just tells us always to be ready. How can we be ready for Jesus to come again? What kinds of things should we be doing? (Listen to responses.) Helping our parents, praying, sharing, learning about God, singing praises, telling others about Jesus.

If Jesus suddenly showed up at your house and knocked on your door, what would you do? You’d jump up and open the door, right? Well, I brought some tiny lamps with me today. These little candles can be our lamps—even though they’re not lit—and we’ll pretend that we’re waiting for Jesus to knock on that door. (Point to nearby door.) I want everyone to hold onto your candles and close your eyes. When you hear a knock, open your eyes, run to the door, and pretend to let Jesus in. Let’s try it. (Give signal for knock. Let children run to open the door.)

Good. It looked like all of you were ready. I know we’ll also be ready when Jesus really does return. Thanks for coming up this morning. You can all take your candles and go back to your seats now.

Prayer:  Jesus, keep us always ready for the happy time when you come back.

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