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Children's Homily for 19 Pentecost, Year C, October 19, 2022: Please be Persistent (Rev. Deb)

Have any of you ever wanted something REALLY badly? (Give them a chance to answer). Tell me what it was and why you wanted it so much. (Give them a chance to answer). What were some of the things you did to get what you wanted? (Give them a chance to answer).

I am going to read you a story about someone who wanted something very much but had no idea how to get it. Are you ready? (Give them a chance to answer). (Read, “May I Please Have a Cookie” by Jennifer Morris). What did you think of that story? (Give them a chance to answer). What was thing that Alfie had to do to finally get a cookie? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. He had to ask nicely and say “please.” Who taught you how to say, “please.” (Give them a chance to answer). And WHY do we need to say “please”? (Give them a chance to answer).

Now, I am sure your parents would be delighted if I told you that Jesus also wants you to say “please” (which he does) and stopped talking - but saying “please” is only part of what we have to do when we really, really want something. Who knows another way of asking for something you really want? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. We PRAY. Today we heard a story that Jesus told to his disciples about praying. Does anyone remember it? (Give them a chance to answer). Jesus said a woman went to a judge to ask for help. Do you know what a judge does? (Give them a chance to answer). A judge is supposed to help people to decide and to do what is fair.

In Jesus’s story, the woman told the judge that there was a woman who was being cheated, and she told the judge about it. But the judge was not fair. He only helped people who believed what he believed and who would help him - and the widow was not one of those people - so at first, he wouldn’t help her at all. But the woman wouldn’t give up because she knew what was right. So, finally the judge did was right, just because the woman kept nagging at him until he did it.

That’s called persistence. Persisting is when you keep trying and trying to do something, even when it’s hard. God asks us to be persistent in working for love and justice and peace in the world, because God loves us and wants to take care of us and for us to take care of each other. What we have to remember is that we don’t always know what is best for us even though we think we do. Only God does.

That’s why sometimes we accidentally ask God for the wrong things or ask at the wrong time - so we don’t get what we are asking for - and then we get mad at God. Do you ever get mad at God? (Give them a chance to answer). It’s okay to get mad at God sometimes. God can take it and God will not stop loving you – even when you get mad at God. Okay?

So, one of the times many people get mad at God is when they don’t get what they pray for – and then they give up on God. But when we keep talking to God about what we want – we keep praying – and we keep thinking about what is the right thing to ask for, God always answers (even if you forget to say “please”).

So, when you really want something, talk to God about it. And if you don’t get it right away, go back and talk to God some more so you can figure out what is the right thing to ask for. And THEN ask God with your whole heart, saying “please” with all your might - and, when it’s the right thing at the right time, God will give it to you. Can you try to do that? (Give them a chance to answer). Do you agree? (Give them a chance to answer). Excellent! So, what do we say in church when we agree? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right: AMEN. Let’s say it together. (AMEN).

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