Children's Homily for September 18, 2002: Put your money where your mouth is-The Rev. Dr. Deb White


Today we are going to talk about MONEY. What can you guys tell me about money? (Give them a chance to answer). Good. You can use it to buy things. What else? (Give them a chance to answer). So, today we heard Jesus tell a story about money.


Jesus’s story is about a man and his manager. Do you know what a manager is? (Give them a chance to answer). Good answer. So, Ms. Marj, and Ms. Amelia and Bishop Marc are kind of my managers. Anyway, the man heard that the manager was not doing a good job, so he decided to fire him. Who knows what getting fired is? (Give them a chance to answer). Good.


Now, there were lots of people who had borrowed money from the man and the manager knew it. So, the manager went to those people and told them that they didn’t have to pay back all the money they owed the manager. Why do you think he did that? (Give them a chance to answer). Hmm, interesting. Well, Jesus said it was because he wanted to make sure that they would all be his friends after he got fired so that if he ran out of money, they would help him. Clever, huh? The man figured that that way he would have friends on earth and all the stuff they have to offer.


Now tell me, do you know any sayings about money? (Give them a chance to answer). How about “money makes the world go around”? (Give them a chance to answer). Do you know, “put your money where your mouth is”? (Give them a chance to answer). There are a lot of sayings about money in our country because people in our country think a lot about money. Do you know what an influencer is? (Give them a chance to answer). Many people decide whether or not we like someone because of how much money they have.


Let’s try an experiment with money. (Pull out Monopoly money). Now, I am going to give $10 to anyone who gets this right. Pretend you got two cookies to bring to your next-door neighbor. This is your favorite kind of cookie, and it smells so good! You are told that after you come back from your neighbor’s and eat some lunch, then you’d get to have four cookies, but you’re hungry right now. When I say “Go,” if you think the right choice is to eat one cookie on the way to your neighbor’s—he would never know—go to this side of me (Point to one side). If you think the right choice is to bring both the cookies to your neighbor and return home for lunch, go to this side. (Point to the opposite side). Go! (Pause and allow kids to make their choice.) Good. Why did you choose the side you did? (Give them a chance to answer).


Okay. Good. So here is $10 for all of you that got it right. (Distribute money). Now, you’ve got promised cookies AND money – and you’ve been honest and done what you are told. But there’s more. In fact, this is the tricky part. What are you going to do with that money? (Give them a chance to answer). You can use the money to buy things, or to trade for things, OR to make friends, like the manager did, right? (Give them a chance to answer). OR you can use the money to help people whether or not they are your friends. That may seem harder, but Jesus says that if you do it, you will be friends with God - and God will give you all the things God has to offer. What things are those? (Give them a chance to answer). So, I want you to think again about what you could do with your money – and while you are thinking, I want the grown-ups to think too.


Before we make our choices, let’s think about what Jesus was saying in this story. He wasn’t saying it was bad to have money or to give money to your friends. He was saying it was bad to love money more than God. So, what do you think God would want us to do with our money? (Give them a chance to answer). So, children tell me what you will do with your money. (Give them a chance to answer). Good – and I will be excited to hear what the grown-ups did with their money. So, can we try to love God more than money? (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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