The Rev. Dr. Deborah White
Today we are going to hear a story about a little girl who wished her life was different. Do you ever wish your life was different? (Give them a chance to answer). How about the adults out there? Do you ever wish your lives were different? (Give them a chance to answer). I think most people make that wish sometimes. Let’s find out what happens in our story to the little girl who wished his life was different (Read book “If I ruled the world”).
So that was an interesting story. What did you think? (Give them a chance to answer). What did the little girl learn about making wishes? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right! You need to be careful what you wish for because sometimes if you get it, it’s not what you expected, and it might not make you happy after all!
In the story about Jesus that we heard today, Jesus’s disciples were asking for something. Who remembers what they wished for? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. They wanted to sit beside him when he went to heaven and ruled over everything in the world. That sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. They would be very important and powerful, wouldn’t they? Just like our friend in our story! They thought they would get everything they wanted!
But Jesus told them that they did not know what they were asking- because he knew something they didn’t. He knew what would happen to him before he went to heaven. Who knows what happened to Jesus before he went to heaven? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. Jesus was crucified. He died. And that was a very hard thing. So, he asked his disciples whether they wanted to sit with him in heaven so much that they were willing to die with him so they could do it. What did they say? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. They said they were – but they didn’t really know what they were agreeing to, did they (Give them a chance to answer). The problem was that they were so busy thinking about how great it would be to be important and powerful that they weren’t listening to what Jesus was trying to tell them. And do you know what? People do that all the time. We get so busy thinking about what we think would be good for us that we stop thinking about the other people around us.
So, Jesus had to remind his disciples that if they really wanted to be the best people – to be the people that God most want to spend time with, they should do what? (Give them a chance to answer). Does anyone remember? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. They should think about other people. They should first worry about taking care of other people before trying to be important themselves. That’s what Jesus did. He put other people first – and if you want to hang out with Jesus, you need to do that too! What do you think of that? (Give them a chance to answer). Good! So, if you want to be with Jesus, instead of asking him if you can be important and famous like him, just go out there and start helping other people and pretty soon you will find that Jesus is sitting right there beside you, cheering you on! Now that’s a good thing to wish for! Do you agree? And 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).