Children’s Sermon meant for all ages. Annual Meeting Sunday. Epiphany 3.
(These are notes to the sermon, not full text.) I’m sitting because I just had my foot operated on… so I can’t stand for long… But it’s like what Jesus did… Jesus Sat to teach.
In the story we just heard, Jesus came into the synagogue, the place of worship, stood up to read, then “he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down.” and that’s when he began to teach them.
That’s the way the Rabbis, the Jewish teachers, did it… and many people called Jesus “Rabbi”… Just like rabbis had disciples, learners, followers, Jesus did too.
Today, that’s what the leader of a Jewish synagogue is called. A Rabbi… My friend Rabbi Ahuva Zaches is the leader of the Or Ami Synagogue just down the street.
So today, I’m going to be your Rabbi and sit to teach.
Do you remember what it was that Jesus was teaching to the people? He read from Isaiah and he said, “This has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Meaning, What Isaiah Prophesied about was what Jesus was up to right then.
What did Jesus read from the Scroll? (Anyone remember?)
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
In other words, Jesus said that Isaiah’s prophesy was fulfilled by him, Jesus. And that he, Jesus, had come has o bring good news to the poor.—to relieve their suffering and give them dignity.
To help people get free from whatever held them captive. Not just people in jail, but people who were unfree because of some sickness, or sin, bad habit.
Freeing people who had felt enslaved or oppressed.
Jesus helped blind people to see. – both literally blind people… but also spiritually blind— to see God and God’s ways.
And to proclaim the year of the Lord’s Favor, or Jubilee, when all debts are forgiven and everyone returns to their homeland.. In other words, that Jesus forgives us all our debts, all our sins, and allows us to return home to God.
So, That was What Jesus did, right?
Have you ever heard that We Are the Body of Christ today? We are supposed to be Jesus’ Body here on Earth Now.
In fact, In one of the readings we just heard the Apostle Paul say
“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”
When Jesus Rose from the Dead, he breathed the Holy Spirit on his followers, the Church, all the believers, and Jesus’ spirit dwells inside us. So now that Jesus’ body is no longer physically on earth, but with God in heaven, His spirit in us makes us His Body on Earth Now.
That means, you and I are supposed to do today, the same kind of things Jesus did when he was on earth.
How do we do that?
Well… Maybe this can help… (PULL OUT MR. POTATO HEAD)
Who can tell me what this it? (Mr. Potato Head, with a lot of one kind of body part)
Have you ever heard different parts of the Body called MEMBERS of the BODY? (hands, feet, fingers, etc.)
What Body Members does this Mr. Potato head have?
What do you think about that? (He’s got all eyes and hands… no ears, lips, feet, etc.)
What’s wrong with that? (He can’t See, (hear, etc.) Is that a problem?
Look, I’ve got all these different kinds of eyes…. Can I say, Why do I need an ear? I’ve got all these eyes! That’s good, right?
It might be kind of fun to make a Mr. Potato Head with all eyes, or all hands… but if we want our Mr. Potato head to function and do all the things a Mr. Potato Head might want to do, we’ve got to have a little bit of everything, right? Ears, Eyes, Feet, Hands, Mouth, Hair…
So, can the Eye say to the Foot, We don’t need you? No!
Can the Ear say to the Mouth, We don’t need you? No!
It’s the same thing in the Body of Christ…. If we are each members of the body it means that we are like Arms or Ears or Eyes. The Body, this church, St. Michael’s and the Church Universal, we need each other.
Tell me one thing you are good at… or that you like to do?
(Tie to how they are ministries in the church and in the world.)
Different ministries in the church
Telling people about Jesus
Sometimes we might be tempted to think that one of those gifts is more important than other gifts to God, but that’s not the case.
Some people preach and some people sing and some people teach…. And all those things are a little more “out front”
But other people help set up chairs for meetings, make sure the altar is all ready for Sunday, or change the letters on the sign, or do the math to make sure we are taking care of the money people give us to do God’s work. Those are all important jobs too, right?
And some members of the body don’t have jobs. Those people are still important parts of our body. We have some old members, who can’t come to church, and we have some babies who can’t really even talk yet. Why are they important to the body? (We love them. They remind us that one of our jobs is to care for others.)
We have some people who may not be able to get out, but they pray for the church and for others. That’s important.
Sometimes there is someone who is so sad or ill or still learning, and they just need to know they belong without having to do anything…
You can make Mr. Potato Head look a lot of different ways, and different Small Bodies of Christians might look different from each other. Different Churches have different ministries and different ways of doing things, but we are all part of ONE BODY in CHRIST. We can’t say to another church “We don’t need you.” or “You’re not as important as us.”
God needs all of us.
Because you are a member of the body, not because of your function, but JUST BECAUSE YOU BELONG.
You can do something for the Body as you try to be heatlhy and exercise the gifts you have.
So – That’s how we can be the Body of Christ in the World.
If we all do our part as MEMBERS of Christ’s Body, then we
we can live out Jesus’ mission to Proclaim Good News and Help the Poor,
To Help People find Freedom when they are Trapped
To Help people See the Light when they are Blind.
To Spread the News that God has called a Jubilee and we are all Forgiven and brought Home to God.
We each are a part of the body! We each have a part to play. Here at St. Micahel’s, and as Part of the Larger Body of Christ in the World. Amen!