|Theme:||Don't worry, put your trust in God. 8th Sunday after the Epipnany Yr. A|
|Object:||A small, flat, smooth stone and a bouquet of flowers. (Enough flowers for each child to have one.)|
|Scripture:||"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear." Matthew 6:25a (NIV)|
Look at this stone I have. It is a small, flat stone that fits into my hand in such a way that I can rub it with my thumb. Some people carry a stone like this with them all the time. They call it a "worry stone." When they start to worry about something, they just reach into their pocket or purse, take out the stone, and rub it with their thumb. They believe that rubbing the smooth surface of the stone gives them a peaceful feeling and helps them to stop worrying. Isn't that silly? How could rubbing on a stone take away your worries?
What are some of the things that people worry about? Well, some might worry about whether they will have enough money to buy food and clothing for themselves and their family. Food and clothing are very important. In fact, they are things which we must have, but does worrying about it help us to get the food and clothing that we need?
One day a large group of people was gathered around Jesus on a hillside and he began to teach them. "Don't worry about whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear," he said. "There are more important things in life than food and clothes." Then he went on to teach them a lesson about worry.
"Look at the birds in the air," Jesus said. "They don't worry where their next meal is coming from. They don't store up grain in barns. And yet, the Heavenly Father takes care of them. Surely you are worth more to him than a bird."
"And why worry about your clothing?" Jesus continued. "Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, and yet Solomon in all his glory wasn't dressed as beautifully as they are. If God cares so wonderfully for these wildflowers, surely he will take care of you. Why do you show your lack of faith by worrying about these things?"
Does this mean that we can sit around and wait for food and clothes to drop from the sky? No. God provides food for the birds, but he doesn't throw it into their nest. It is up to them to go out and gather their food. God provides clothing for us by giving us jobs so that we will have the money to buy clothes. Sometimes God provides clothes through friends and family who give us clothes. We need to have faith that God will provide, but we do have to do our part as well. Just remember -- our part does not include worry!
This morning I not only brought a worry stone, I also brought a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I want each of you to have one of the flowers. As you look at the flower, remember that you are more important to God than the most beautiful flower. If he cares for the flowers, he surely cares for you!
Father, we thank you that you provide our every need. Help us not to worry, but to have faith. Amen.
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