One Thing Leads to Another
|Theme:||The nature of sin - Proper 10 (15) B|
|Object:||A bag of potato chips|
|Scripture:||The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. Mark 6:26-27a (NIV)|
I have a bag of potato chips and I would like to share them with you. I'm not sure that I have enough to go around, so just take one chip until I make sure there are enough for everyone. (pass the chips around until each child has one)
Hmm...I think I'll have one too. (eat a chip) Would anyone like another one? You know, that's the trouble with potato chips -- if you eat one, you want another, and another, and another. In fact, there is a company that makes potato chips whose slogan is, "Bet you can't eat just one."® They know that one chip leads to another and before you know it, you have totally lost control and you have eaten the whole bag of chips.
That's the way it is with sin. Satan tempts us to do something wrong by telling us that it won't hurt anyone to do it just one time. Satan knows that if he can get us to do something once, he will be able to get us to do it again, and again, and again. Soon, we have totally lost control.
That's what happened to Herod and Herodias in our Bible story today. Herod had married Herodias and wanted John the Baptist to tell him that it was okay. John would refused to tell him it was okay, because Herodias was the wife of Herod's brother.
Herodias was very angry because John refused to give his blessing to their marriage. She wanted to kill him, but Herod was afraid to kill him because he knew that John was a holy man of God. So, instead of killing him, he had him put into prison.
On his birthday, Herod gave a big feast. He asked the daughter of Herodias to dance for him and his guests. When she danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests so much that he told her that he would give her anything she wanted.
The girl didn't know what to ask for, so she ran and asked her mother. Herodias saw her chance to get rid of John the Baptist, so she told her daughter to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. The girl hurried in to Herod and said, "I want you to give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter."
Herod was very sad, he didn't want to kill John, but he had promised the girl that he would give her anything she wanted.
It probably started out with Herod looking at his brother's wife and thinking how pretty she was. Then, one thing led to another and it ended up with murder. That's the way it is with sin -- I bet you can't commit just one!
Dear Father, when Satan tempts us, help us to remember that on sin leads to another, and another, and another. Amen.
"Bet You Can't Eat Just One" is a trademark of Frito-Lay, Inc. © Recot, Inc., 2003
Note: Some may find the story of the beheading of John the Baptist to be a bit "heavy" for small children. Even without that story, this sermon could be adapted to show how Satan tempts us.