Children’s Homily for January 19, 2020: God is calling! (The Rev. Dr. Deborah White)

Updated: Aug 5

Listen Here:


(Start with phone ringing). Oh no! Someone’s calling on my phone! Who would call me during church? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). (Sound of ringing. Look at children’s phone). Oh my goodness! Now that phone is ringing. Who could it be? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). Maybe it’s GOD. Could God be calling us? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). Do you think God calls us on the phone? (Give them a chance to answer and respond).Well, I would be pretty surprised to hear from God that way myself, but I wouldn’t rule it out.


Because here’s the thing: God does call us. What do you think about that? (Give them a chance to answer). It says so in today’s readings from the Bible. Who knows who Isaiah was? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). That’s right. Isaiah was in the Bible. He was a prophet. Who knows what a prophet is? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). A prophet is someone who speaks for God. Isaiah was one of God’s prophets a long time ago and in today’s story about him, he said that he was called by God before he was even born. What do you think of that? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). I know it might seem strange, but God knows us all just as well as we know ourselves, and God tries to talk to us all the time. How many of you have ever talked to God? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). What do we call it when we talk to God? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). That’s right – we call it praying! What kinds of things do we say when we talk to God? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). Good. That’s right. What else? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). How many of you take time every day to listen to God? (Give them a chance to answer and respond).


Now, how many of you have ever heard God talking back to you? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). That’s good because it’s kind of unusual for people to hear God’s voice talking to them the way we talk to each other, especially as you get older, but there are other ways you can hear from God. Who can think of some? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). Good. Sometimes God gives you a really strong feeling that it’s important to do something. Sometimes God sends someone your way who needs help and that’s God’s way of telling you that you need to help them. Most often, God talks to us through other people – people who are living and people who lived a long time ago, like Isaiah and John the Baptist. Who knows who John the Baptist is? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). He was a prophet like Isaiah – so he spoke for God – and he told his friends that Jesus was “The Lamb of God” – God’s son. When John the Baptist said that, it made John’s friends Andrew and Peter follow Jesus because when they heard it they knew Jesus was the right person to listen to.


Sometimes it’s hard to know who to listen to. Who are some of the people you listen to? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). Good. And how do you know that they are good people to listen to? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). Yes, your parents are good people to listen to, and they can help you to know who are other good people to listen to. Here are two really good ways to know whether someone might have something to tell you from God. The first one is that the people you already know and love and who are safe people to listen to tell you that it’s okay. That’s what happened with John the Baptist’s friends. And that’s why we have church – because all of the people here – this community of God – are here because they want to do the right thing like you do, and we figure out the right things to listen to and do together.


An even better way to know whether someone is saying something for God is whether it hurts or helps someone. God only asks us to do things that will help other people, so if someone tells you they are talking for God and then they ask you to do something mean or hurtful to someone else, then you know that’s not a message from God. Okay? (Give them a chance to answer and respond).


Now, here’s the most important part: when you get a call from God – no matter how you get it, you need to try to do what God asks you to do. Doing what God wants you to do is called answering God’s call for you. So, do you think that you would be willing to listen for God every day and, when you think you know what God wants and you check it out with your safe people, you can try to do that? (Give them a chance to answer and respond).You agree to try to answer God’s call for you? (Give them a chance to answer and respond). All right then, what do we say in church when we agree to do something together? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. We say “amen.” AMEN.

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