This children’s sermon was written to accompany a sermon based on Luke 16: 19-31, the story Jesus tells the Pharisees about Lazarus, the poor man covered with sores who stays outside the rich man’s gate, hoping to eat the crumbs off his table, and what happens when they both die. Instead of sharing the whole story with the children, I focused on the first part and how it applies to us today.
Good morning! Today I brought something in my bag that you might recognize if you came to either week of our Missions Blasts. What is it? Yes these are blindfolds. We used them in games and they were really fun. One of the games we played was called the Good Shepherd. If you got to be the good shepherd, you got to stand in the middle of the circle of kids who were pretending to be sheep, and put on a blindfold. Then I’d point to one child- one sheep- and that child would baaa, and the good shepherd would guess who was the sheep. (Because the Good shepherd- like Jesus- knows all his sheep.)
These are good blindfolds because not only are they fun to look at, they really work. If you put them on you can’t see anything! All kinds of things could happen and you’d be clueless as to what was going on unless you had really good other senses to figure it out.
In today’s scripture, Jesus tells a story about a man who acted as if he had a blindfold on! He said that there once was a really rich man who wore the BEST clothes and ate big feasts every day! But out by the gate to his house there was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who wished and longed just to eat the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs would bother him, licking his sores. But the rich man did nothing. Though he knew the man was there, suffering, it was like he was wearing a blindfold. He choose to do nothing.
Sometimes people do the same thing in life. Sometimes we all do. We act as if we can’t see the suffering of people around us and far from us- like the kid who people make fun of or the one who is left out. We choose to do nothing. But Jesus knows every one of us, every sheep. He knows the sound of our cries. And he calls us to take off our blindfold and do SOMETHING to those who are hurting among us. It’s hard to look at people suffering. Maybe because we know that as Christians God calls us to look, to see, to pray, and then DO SOMETHING! It’s easier to pretend that we don’t see, to put on our blindfolds. But Jesus says LOOK! SEE MY SHEEP! I KNOW THEIR NAMES. FEED THEM. HELP THEM. If we really want to be like Jesus, we put the blindfolds away.
Let’s pray: Dear God, we do want to be like Jesus. Help us not ignore people who are suffering. Help us find a way to help them. We love you God. Amen.