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January 2013

Color Split

Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday

From “Barefoot in the Snow”

Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud
Scripture Reference: Rom. 10:12-13 & Eph. 4:4-6 

Preparation: Bring enough treats to hand out to all the children.

It’s nice to see you this morning. I notice that you are all dressed differently with clothing of different colors, styles, and sizes. I like to see the different colors people wear.

This morning, we’re going to try something. We’re going to pay close attention to the differences in the clothes you’re wearing. I would like those of you who are wearing red or yellow to sit on the right side of me and the rest of you to sit on the other side. (Try to split group evenly. Separate groups by colors or other differences in clothing.)

Now, what would you think if I only talked to the group on my right and ignored the rest of you? Would that be fair? (Turn and speak only to group on right.) You see, I’m only talking to the children on my right. When I ignore the children on my left, it makes it seem like they don’t matter. It’s not much fun to be ignored, is it? Is what I’m doing right now fair to those who are sitting on the left? (Let children on right respond.) Maybe we should ask the children over there what they think. (Turn to left group.) How does it feel to be ignored? (Let children respond.)

I brought a big bag of treats, and I think I’ll hand some out. What if I gave treats only to those on my right and didn’t give anything to the rest of you? (Hand out treats to children on right only.) Is this fair? (Discuss.)

Martin Luther King, Jr., was a Christian man and a preacher who lived during a time when unfair things were happening in this country. People were being treated differently, not because of the clothing they wore, but because of the color of the skin that they wore. If their skin was brown, they weren’t treated very well. If their skin was white, they had lots of privileges. Martin saw this happening, and he knew that it was not fair. He knew that God loves everyone equally and that no one should be ignored because of skin color.

The way we have separated or segregated our group today is not right. We need to make sure everyone is treated the same. For starters, let’s hand out treats to the group on the left. (Hand out treats to the children on left.) This is better. It seems to be fair. But now I still have you separated. Let’s all get up and find the place where you were sitting before. Let’s mix and mingle these groups so that we’re all one group again. We really are one family, after all. We are all one in Christ.

Prayer:  Lord God, help us to see others as you see them; all of them children of yours, worthy of love and respect. Gather us all into your family, Lord.

Key Words: Prejudice, Acceptance, Diversity, Tolerance

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