for Sunday, January 15, 2012
Second Sunday after Epiphany
Race Relations Sunday
lectionary focus: 1 Samuel 3: 1-10 (11-20)
Note: This Sunday’s sermon was hard for me. Our church celebrates Race Relations Sunday, and I love the Gospel verse, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1: 46) But I just didn’t feel inspired. I find race issues difficult to discuss with young children because at their age, race is not complicated. Why introduce doubt? Why tell them some people don’t see diversity as the norm? Yes, as the children get older the problems must be discussed, but I hope by then it is just historical and that this generation will have no race issues. Therefore, I have chosen to focus on the Old Testament lesson, a story that prominently features a young child…and since there are not many times that young children speak in the Bible, this too is a big opportunity.
This is Kia. Kia is 4 years old. She likes to think of herself as a big girl. She likes to do it by herself. She doesn’t want any help at all. One day Kia heard a Bible story about a young boy, a boy named Samuel who heard God call him. And Samuel replied, “Here I am God. How can I help you?” Kia thought that was crazy! God need help? God doesn’t need our help. Kia’s right. God doesn’t need our help. But God wants our help. How can we help God? By helping each other. God created us to live in community and He wants us to do that well by helping each other. But like Kia most people don’t want to ask for help. They don’t want to be seen as weak, as babies, they want to be big and strong and do it by themselves. And anyway, Kia thought, what can she do to help others? She is just a kid. Then Kia thought about the boy Samuel in the Bible story. So Kia started asking people how she could help them before they had to ask for help. She went and asked her mom how she could help her; she went and asked her dad how she could help him. Other people saw her do this and they started asking others how they could help without waiting, without making others ask for help. Here I am. How can I help? You are never too young to help, and you are never too early to offer your help.
Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)
for those who help me.
to help others.
We are not Christians alone. My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.