Category Archives: Children’s Sabbath

Justice Through Chocolate

fair-trade-logo1for Sunday, October 20, 2013
Children’s Sabbath (see Children’s Defense Fund)
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
22nd Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 24
Year C
lectionary focus: Luke 18:1-8
prop: Fair Trade chocolates.
For more information see Tsh Oxenreider; Her post includes the video “The Dark Side of Chocolate” that would be appropriate for adult Sunday School.
To find Fair Trade or Short Supply Chain chocolates, check your local stores or find here, here, here, and here.


When I was a kid, one Mother’s Day, I asked my grandmother, “When is Kid’s Day?” My grandmother laughed and replied, “Every day is Kid’s Day!”

I remembered this conversation when I learned that this weekend in the church is called Children’s Sabbath. At first, I was like you are right now…my eyebrows came together and I said, “Huh?” Children’s Sabbath means this Sunday we celebrate children and the blessing that you guys are, and we remind ourselves to work for justice and make all children safe and supported.

But don’t think that you get to sit back and do nothing because you are kids. As kids, you too can work for justice…work to do the right thing and make children safe and supported. Let me suggest a project for you: CHOCOLATE. Yummmmm. I really like chocolate. It is my favorite treat to eat. Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, the seeds from the cacao tree. These trees grow near the equator where they get their needed amount of heat, sun, and rain. Most of the cacao tree farms are in countries in western Africa way far from here. The laws in those countries are different from our laws, and because of that, many of the workers on these cacao farms are children. Whoa. Wait a minute. Children like you guys? Working? Instead of going to school? Yes. The farm owners use children because they don’t have to pay them very much. This makes the farm owners richer. But it makes the children poorer…their bodies get tired doing the long, hard work and their minds don’t grow and learn all the smart things schools teach us. So this is how we get most of our chocolate? Our special treat is made from some other child’s hard life.

Now what can we do? How can we–on the other side of the world from this–work for justice? How can you as children make those children’s lives better? We can pay attention to the chocolate that we buy. We can buy chocolate that is labeled Fair Trade. Fair Trade means the chocolate comes from a farm where children do not work. Fair Trade means that the adults who work at the farm are paid a fair price for their work. Fair Trade means that the farm is inspected to see that it is a safe place for the grown ups who work there. Fair Trade means that the grown ups who work there can send their children to school and let their children be children. Supporting Fair Trade is how we can work for justice and make children safe and supported.

Now Fair Trade chocolate costs a bit more money for us to buy. But since chocolate is a special treat for us, doesn’t it seem worth the extra cost to make sure we are helping and not hurting other children when we buy chocolate? I think Jesus would think so.

In our Bible Story today, Jesus talks about justice. Jesus says that justice goes beyond just saying something is wrong or right. Justice is about making the wrong into right. And like we have said before, every little bit of right does make a difference in the world. Even as kids, you can make things right. You can help make every day Kid’s Day…for you and for kids way on the other side of the world! When you enjoy a special chocolate treat, you can know that you have helped make another kid’s life sweet, too.

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 the children of the world.
Help me
to help other children
be safe and supported.
Help me
to find ways
to share Your love.

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