Tongue Twisting

for Sunday, September 16, 2012
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
16th Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 19
lectionary focus: James 3:1-12
note: I don’t think I’ve linked to a youtube video before, but I want to share THIS POWERFUL LITTLE MOVIE. I think it would inspire an interesting discussion with older youth.

I enjoy football. The weather now is perfect to be outside playing football. And there are so many games to watch on tv. Those football players can do some amazing runs and jumps and throws and catches, and how do they get their bodies to do that? Well, of course they work out a lot and they practice so that they use their strength well. Those guys have these amazing muscles! They are so strong!

I was watching a game the other day and started wondering what is the strongest muscle in our bodies? Watching those football players run so fast….we could say our leg muscles are the strongest. And watching those football players throw the football so far, we could say our arm muscles are the strongest. But what about other muscles? The heart is a muscle and since it beats every moment of our lives…without a vacation ever…we could say our heart is the strongest muscle. And since we have to eat to live and we bite and chew, we could say our jaw muscles are the strongest.

But our Bible story today tells us that the strongest, most powerful muscle in our bodies is the tongue. Yes! It’s true. Let’s see your tongues. Stick them out. Can you see your own tongue? Yep.

Let’s figure this out. We don’t use our tongues to run. We don’t use our tongues to carry in the grocery bags. We don’t use our tongues to push the blood through our bodies. Our tongues are very small compared to our whole bodies. How can they be the strongest?

We use our tongues to speak. And the words of our mouths have great power. We can use our tongues to speak beautiful words that give our friends happy feelings. We can use our tongues to speak loving words that build friendships. We can use our tongues to speak wise words that solve problems and bring peace. Or we can use our tongues to speak mean words that hurt feelings and tear down our friendships and create problems.

The Bible tells us our tongue is the strongest muscle
because of the power of the spoken word.

But do our tongues speak on their own? No, we control our tongues. Just as football players choose where and when to run and throw in order to play the game well, we, too, must choose when and what to speak in order to live our lives well. We will make mistakes, we will misspeak…and we can say we are sorry. We are in charge of using this powerful muscle, of using our tongues to speak in powerful ways that are pleasing to God.

Therefore, let us show off our strong tongues by using gracious and loving words, all for the Glory of the Lord.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for my muscles.
Help me
to keep them strong.
Help me
to use them
in ways that are good.

We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

4 responses to “Tongue Twisting

  1. Thank-you for your inspiration for this week’s Children’s Time! I teach anatomy and physiology at one of my jobs, and yes, the tongue is actually the strongest muscle…so this will adapt perfectly! I also have posted the “Power of Words” video on my blog (quite some time ago) because I agree, it’s an incredibly powerful little video, and one that I might use this year with my youth. Thank-you again, I found your site today, and think I will bookmark it for future readings!
    Many blessings,
    Jenn Swanson

  2. Thank you for this children’s message and especially for the video. I’ve watched it several times just now and soar with joy each time for the divine inspiration in the message. “Seeing” or speaking in a new way is truly powerful.

I wonder what you think of this story?

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