Choose Life

Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

From “Saving the Ants” (Download book at left!) 

Scripture Reference: Deut. 30:15-20 “See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil.”

Preparation: Bring two signs, one with the word “Life” and the other with the word “Death” written in large letters or another visual depicting death vs. life.  Life_vs_DeathFlower

A long time ago, God’s chosen people, the Israelites, were traveling without a homeland. After forty long years of wandering through the wilderness and waiting, they were finally ready to enter the promised land. Moses was not able to go with them, so he had a serious talk with them before he left.

The Israelites were like children to Moses. He had been leading them and trying to give them everything they needed for so many years, it was as if he was their own father. But he finally had to say goodbye to them. Moses wanted them to be safe even if he couldn’t be with them any longer, so he gave them a lecture. When all of you get older, you might hear the same sort of talk from your folks when you’re ready to go live on your own or travel off to college.

Moses set two choices before the Israelites and told them that they must decide which path they wanted to take. Moses said, “See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil.” Life or death; seems like a pretty easy choice to make. I brought along a couple of signs to remind you of the two choices. (Hand “Life” sign to your right and have a child hold it up; hand “Death” sign to your left.) Some of the choices that go along with “Life” are obeying and loving the Lord and keeping his commandments. Some of the choices that go along with “Death” are turning away from God and making other things more important in your life than God.

Well, that’s an obvious choice, right? How many of you would choose life? Raise your hand. How many would choose death? It’s easy to decide to take the right path when it’s labeled so clearly like this, but really life is made up of many little choices. (Give relevant examples here. Some examples follow.) Imagine that your mom or dad has just told you that you have to do the dishes or clean up your room. Suddenly, the doorbell rings, and it’s your best friend. And your friend has a new toy that he wants to show you or a new video game that she wants to play with you. It would be very tempting to run off and play with them and forget about your job, but that would be disobeying your folks and that’s a step down the wrong path. It may seem like a little thing, but little things lead to big things.

Choosing to obey your parents is like choosing life; choosing to disobey is like choosing death. We make lots of little choices every day, and with Jesus’ help, we can make the right choice and choose life.

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, help us to make the right choices and to follow your will for our lives. 

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