Children's Homily for 3rd Advent, Year C, Ms. Marj tells a story (The Rev. Dr. Deborah White)

Updated: Mar 26


Today Jesus told his friends a story about taking care of a tree. Now, we are going to hear Ms. Marj tell us about how she takes care of her growing things. (Ms. Marj tells a story).

Thank you, Ms. Marj, for telling that story! It was interesting, wasn’t it? (Give them a chance to answer). So, Ms. Marj was wondering what her story might mean and I am wondering if it might have the same meaning as Jesus’s story. What do you think? What did they have in common? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. Both stories were about growing things. What else? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. Neither the tree in Jesus’s story nor Ms. Marj’s roses were growing very well in the beginning. Can you think of anything else? (Give them a chance to answer). Absolutely! Both the man in the story and Ms. Marj were frustrated and thought about just getting rid of their plant because they didn’t get anything back from it.


Who here sometimes feels frustrated? (Give them a chance to answer). Have you ever tried something, and you can’t do it and you just want to give up? (Give them a chance to answer). Or, even worse, do you just want to yell at or punch the thing that is making you frustrated? (Give them a chance to answer).


Now I want you to be honest: have you ever frustrated anyone else? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. Sometimes it’s one of us who is the one who is not giving people what they want from us and maybe, just maybe, they just want to give up on us. How would that feel? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. It would feel bad for someone to give up on us. We might ask for one more chance. Have you ever asked for another chance? (Give them a chance to answer). And did you get it? (Give them a chance to answer). Why do you think you got that second chance? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right – because the person you asked cared about you and wanted you to have the opportunity to do better. That’s how

Ms. Marj felt about her flowers. She didn’t really want to get rid of them – only for them to grow to their most beautiful. And the man didn’t want to get rid of his tree. He just wanted it to grow fruit. So they gave second chances, just like we get second chances from God, because God loves us and wants us to do better.


BUT, notice the gardener didn’t just ask for a second chance for the tree. He promised that he would change things to help it do better. Just like Ms. Marj did things to her flowers to help them grow. That’s the thing about second chances: you can’t just ask for another chance and go right on doing what you were doing, because probably nothing will change. You need to figure out how to not make the same mistake again. That’s why, in church, when we tell God that we’re sorry for the bad things we have done, we also say that we will try to do better. Who knows what that’s called? (Give them a chance to answer). It’s called repentance. Repentance means that we not only say we’re sorry, but we agree to change how we’re doing things in order to get better. Sometimes that’s hard. I mean, both the tree and Ms. Marj’s flowers had to have manure put on them to help them grow. Who know what manure is? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. Yuck! But sometimes you have to do some stuff that you think stinks so that you can be better - because it is out of manure that beautiful flowers and yummy fruits grow.

So, do you think that you are willing to ask for a second chance if you’ve done something wrong? (Give them a chance to answer). And are you willing to work hard – even getting stinky and sweaty if you have to – to change so you can be beautiful and fruitful? (Give them a chance to answer). Do you agree? (Give them a chance to answer). And what do we say in church when we agree? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right: AMEN!



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