Children's Sermon by guest writer Mary Stoneback who serves Ascension Lutheran church in Colorado Springs, CO. Thank you Mary!
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Scripture: Mark 10:35-45
Faith+Gather: Gather the children together. Ask, Have you ever asked your parents for something and they said “no?” Maybe you asked for a new bike, a new outfit or maybe a chocolate chip cookie? Was it hard to understand why they said no?
Faith+Share: Today in Mark’s Gospel reading, two of Jesus’ disciples, James and John, asked Jesus for something very big. They asked Jesus to have a special place at Jesus’ right and left side when the disciples think he will be made king, to be his special assistants. What exactly are they asking for? It’s a little different than asking for a bike, an outfit or a cookie.
Well, the Disciples didn’t really know what they were asking for either and Jesus let them know this. In Jesus’ time, the Jewish people were made slaves, living under the rule of a bad Roman king and they desperately wanted to be freed from the meanness they experienced. The prophets in the Old Testament had told people about God’s plan for a new kind of Kingdom, the Messiah’s Kingdom. Jesus was their hope for a new future but it wasn’t the kind of kingdom they expected. Jesus’ kingdom didn’t have thrones and palaces like that of Rome. Instead, it was in the hearts of Jesus’ followers. And that’s not very easy to understand.
Jesus knew that James and John were willing and would experience really hard times because they were His followers but Jesus said, “no” to their request to sit to the right and left of Him when Jesus goes back to heaven because it wasn’t for Jesus to grant that request. Jesus knew what was best for them.
Just like James and John, we don’t have to fear asking God for anything. He hears us when we pray but the answer may not always be yes. God wants to give us what is best for us, not only what we want. Sometimes it may be really hard to hear “no” even if we ask for a cookie right after brushing out teeth but God says “no” sometimes for our own good, even when we don’t always understand why.
Faith+Prayer: Dear God, thank you that we can talk with you like a parent or friend. We can ask you for help, for understanding and for the desires on our hearts. Thank you for listening to our prayers. Help us trust you, even when your answer is “no”.
Faith+Blessing: Gracious God (pause) Help us to see you in our lives this week.
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Guest Writer: Mary Stoneback, Ascension Lutheran, Colorado Springs