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September 2014

Junk Food

For the 13th Sunday after Pentecost or Proper 18

(From “Saving the Ants.” Purchase book at left.)

Scripture Reference: Psalm 119:37  kid-watching-tv

Preparation:  Bring one candy bar along with a bowl of fruit to share. (Grapes make for tidy eating in church.)

Does anyone here ever eat junk food? What is junk food? Can you describe it or give some examples? (Wait for answers.) Yes, junk food is usually sweet or salty and crunchy, and we eat it just for fun. It doesn’t really make a very healthy meal, does it? If we read the nutrition label on this candy bar, we can see how healthy it is for us. (Read some of the information on the label.) The candy bar doesn’t do our body much good, even though it may taste good.

Do you think there might be any way that junk could get inside of us, other than eating it? When we look at something or listen to something, it goes into our brain, and we often remember it, don’t we? Is there anything that we watch or listen to that might be of no value?

Think about that as I read again a verse from the psalm for today. Psalm 119, verse 37 says, “Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word” (NLT). Another translation reads, “Keep me from paying attention to what is worthless; be good to me as you have promised” (TEV).

Do we sometimes pay attention to what is worthless? I can think of some television shows and movies I’ve watched that seemed to have no real value to them. They might have been fun to watch at the time, but after they were over, I thought, “That didn’t teach me anything good; that was really a waste of time.” They were like junk food for my brain.


Turn It Off

Some of the “junk food,” such as movies, television shows, or books that we take in, may not just be worthless, but harmful. If the things we watch have a lot of punching or swearing or people saying mean things in them, or if we watch movies or read books that are scary and bloody, it’s like eating junk food that has gotten moldy. If I showed you some food that was old and moldy, would you eat it? No! None of us would put that into our mouth, would we? We need to be just as careful about what we put into our mind. If there’s something yucky on television, what can we do? (Let children give suggestions. Examples given might be, “Turn the television off,” or “Leave the room,” or “Suggest something better to do.” Affirm the good suggestions.)  

I do have something with me this morning that’s very healthy and worthwhile, and you can eat it. Before you go back to your seats, help yourself to some fruit! (Pass around the fruit bowl.)

Prayer:  Help us Lord, to turn away from the harmful, evil things of this world. Help us to seek the good and helpful things that turn our thoughts toward you.

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