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July 2013

God’s Good Gifts

Pentecost Proper 12; 10th Sunday after Pentecost

From “Scolding the Snakes”

Scripture Reference: Luke 11:11-13  Cupcake

Preparation: Hollow out the inside of a delicious-looking cupcake or roll and fill it with dirt or another inedible substance. Bring a cutting board and a butter knife.

Can you think of some really good things that you might ask your parents for? (Let children share their ideas.) Your parents give you lots of good things, don’t they? But what are some things you ask for that might not be so good for you? (Again let children list things.) If we asked our folks to let us stay up all night on a school night and watch movies, do you think they would let us? Our parents want to make sure we get rest so we stay healthy and happy and strong. How about if we asked our parents for a nice, juicy apple? Do you think they would give that to us? Of course. They would like us to have a good, healthy snack.

When Jesus was teaching his disciples about prayer, he said, “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish—do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Or course not! If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:11-13 NLT). God wants to give us good things even more than parents want to give their kids good things.

If we ask God for something that really, truly is good for us, God will give it to us. What if we ask for something that we think is good for us, but God knows it would hurt us? (Let kids respond.) What if we asked God for a million dollars, but God knew it would make us greedy and unhappy; would God give that to us? No, God wants us to be happy and to love him more than things or money.

I have a delicious-looking [cupcake] here. Would anyone want to ask me for a bite of it? (Let kids respond.) You may think you want this [cupcake]; it looks good, doesn’t it? But I’m not going to give you a piece. I know something that you don’t. Let me cut the [cupcake] open so you can see what’s inside. (Cut the cupcake open on the cutting board to reveal the inedible insides.) Do you see why I didn’t give you what you asked for? God wants us to pray to him whenever we want anything, but we have to remember to trust that God knows what is best and will give us only things that would be good for us.

Prayer:  Dear heavenly Father, thank you for being our Good Parent and for giving us everything we need.


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