Today we heard a story about Jesus when he says something very, very important to his friends. In fact, this story is pretty much the most important thing that Jesus ever tells his followers to do. Who can tell me what it is? (Give them a chance to answer). Yes. That’s right. (Listen to their answers and respond). Good job. So, the core of all those things that Jesus says – what I like to call “the bottom line” – is that you should act toward other people the way you would like them to act toward you. Have you heard that before? (Give them a chance to answer). Now, here’s something you may not know. That saying is so important that Jesus is not the only person that said it. In fact, I have a story about that saying. Do you want to hear it? (Give them a chance to answer). Okay. Listen. (Read, “The Golden Rule” by Ilene Cooper and Gabi Swiatkowska up to the middle).
Of course, trying to live by the Golden Rule is very, very hard – because, let’s be honest, we all think much more about how we think other people should treat us nicely than how we should treat others – isn’t that right grown-ups? I mean, if someone takes something from you, what do you want to do? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. You sure don’t want to give them something else of yours. And if someone hurts you, it’s really hard not to want to hurt them back, isn’t it? (Give them a chance to answer). But that’s what Jesus wants us to try to do. So, let’s go back to our book and see if the little boy’s grandfather has any ideas that will help us figure out how we might try to do that. Okay? (Give them a chance to answer and then finish reading “The Golden Rule”).
So, what do you think? Does that make sense? (Give them a chance to answer). Try to imagine what might be going on for that other person – like maybe they took your lunch because they didn’t get any breakfast that morning- and maybe it will be easier not to get mad – and maybe you will even want to try to get them more food. Can anyone think of another example? (Give them a chance to answer). Good. So, are you ready to go out and try to live by the Golden Rule (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!