Sunday, May 08, 2005

Children's Sermon: Easter 7 - Year A

Today I’d like to tell you a story about a boy named Thomas. One night Thomas heard his parents yelling at each other. Thomas didn’t like it when his parents raised their voices to each other, so when they did Thomas often would hide in his closest and bring his Ralph, his favorite stuffed bear, with him. He would hug Ralph and even would sing to him when he got really scared.

After about 10 minutes, Thomas heard the yelling stop, the footsteps coming toward his bedroom.

“Thomas, are you in here?” he heard his mom ask as if nothing was wrong. But Thomas didn’t respond to her because he was too upset. He just sat in the back of his closet and hugged Ralph

“I’m sure I heard him come in here” Thomas heard his dad say. But Richard’s voice was too shaky to answer.

“Thomas…Thomas” he heard his mom and dad call out. And from the crack in the door he could see his dad on his hands and knees looking under the bed.

Then suddenly, the door to the closet creaked open, and Thomas’s mom peered in and saw Thomas hugging Ralph. Thomas could see that his mom had been crying.

“There you are Thomas,” his mom said. “Why didn’t you answer when we called?”

Thomas didn’t say anything. He couldn’t find the words. His mom and dad looked at each other then back at Thomas. They were very concerned.

“Thomas, did you hear us arguing?” dad asked.

Thomas nodded.

“Did it scare you?” mom added.

Thomas nodded again.

“I’m sorry, buddy, we didn’t mean to scare you.” Dad said. “It’s, just that your mom and I disagree sometimes.”

Thomas still didn’t say anything. He stared at the floor still hugging Ralph.

“Thomas, I know that it can be scary when your dad and I argue, but I want to you know that it has nothing to do with you,” mom said. “we aren’t angry with you, we just get angry. Do you understand?”

Thomas looked up from the floor and his eyes met his mom’s and he tried to give her a small smile.

“Thomas, why do you think we argue?” dad asked.

Thomas struggled to find the right words. After a moment he finally said.

“Because you don’t like each other.” Thomas said.

“O my goodness, Thomas.” Mom said as she hugged Thomas. “That’s not it at all. We can disagree but it doesn’t mean that we don’t like each other. It just means that we don’t always disagree.”

“But you’re so loud.” Thomas said.

“I know, Thomas. Your mom and I won’t argue like that again. We sometimes get carried away. It is wrong. And we’re sorry.”

“It’s kinda like what your Sunday school teacher was talking about when he said that Jesus wanted his followers to be his friends. They could disagree, but that didn’t mean that they didn’t love one another. Your dad and I are together because we love each other and we love you very much. Even though we may disagree, we still love each other.”

Thomas had to think about that for awhile. Even though he was still upset over the noise that his mom and dad made, he was glad they stopped shouting at each other.

That night when they prayed a prayer like this, as we do today: “Dear God, help us to love one another, even when we disagree. Amen.”


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