Pentecost Proper 10
From “Sitting on the Rainbow”
Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud
Preparation (optional): You may bring paper and a marker to write down some careers that the children list during the sermon.
What do you want to be when you grow up? (Let the children respond; you may write their ideas on the paper.)
Our ideas about what we want to do or be probably will change as we get older; but they may not. Some people decide at a very young age what they want to do as an adult, and that desire stays with them. They end up doing the very thing they had always planned on doing.
The Old Testament lesson today is from the book of Amos. Do you know what job Amos had? He was a herdsman and took care of cows all day. He made sure they had enough water and food, and he protected them from wild animals. He also was a tree trimmer. If there was a big tree growing next to somebody’s house with a big branch hanging right over the roof, he might be asked to trim that branch back so that it wouldn’t fall on the house and smash the roof. Do you think that’s a job that you’d like to do?
Amos worked as a herdsman and a tree trimmer, but God had other plans for him. One day, God told Amos to go and speak God’s messages to the people of Israel—to be a prophet. This was not Amos’s idea. He never dreamed of being a prophet. A prophet told the people what God wanted them to do and how to live. It was a very important job. I’m sure that when Amos was standing out in the field with his cows he had no idea that one day he would be a prophet.
Amos had probably gotten used to being a herdsman and a tree trimmer. He might have been nervous about taking on the job of speaking God’s words to the people. What if the people didn’t listen and laughed at him? But God didn’t let Amos down. He taught Amos what to say. God was with Amos the entire time, and Amos was a good prophet.
It’s okay to make plans for our lives and to start thinking what we’d like to do when we get older. In fact, it’s a very good thing. But sometimes, suddenly, God will change our plans. This change may be surprising; it may make us nervous or even scared. But you know, God’s plans for us are always for good. And whatever it is God has for us to do, he will also show us how to do it and make us strong enough to do it.
No one can know for absolute certain what they’re going to do when they grow up. But I know one thing for sure. Each one of you always will be a child of God. Even when you’re all grown up, you’ll still be a child of God. That will never change. And that is a very, very good thing to be.
Prayer: Dear God, as we grow up, help us decide what jobs we will have. Help us to learn your will for our lives. Thank you that we will always be your children.