Monday, June 06, 2005

Children's Sermon: Pentecost 3 - Year A

James was sitting in class one day when Anthony came in and sat beside him. Anthony hadn’t been in school for a few weeks. James was curious to know where Anthony was all that time, but didn’t ask.

“Do you want to come back to my house after school and play video games?” James asked.

“Sure,” replied Anthony, “that sounds great.”

James loved playing video games. It was even better when there was someone else to play them with. His little sister Emma just liked to play with her lego.

When Anthony and James got to James’ house, James pulled out two pops from the fridge then fired up his game boy.

About an hour later, James’ dad came home. He walked past James and Anthony and grunted hello. Then disappeared into his workshop downstairs.

Soon after that, James’ mom came home. She had groceries in her hand. She plopped them down on the kitchen counter and looked into the living room where the two boys where playing.

“Oh…hello…James you brought a friend home…” James’ mom said smiling. But it didn’t look like a real smile. It looked like she was faking it.

“This is Anthony,” said James before turning his head back toward the screen.

“Nice to meet you Anthony,” said James’ mom in voice that seemed like she didn’t really mean what she was saying.

James’ mom disappeared downstairs and James could hear his parents mumbling something to each other.

Then James’ dad came up the stairs. “Okay boys, game’s over. I’m sorry, Anthony but it’s time to go home.”

James and Anthony looked at each other puzzled. It wasn’t supper time yet. Why did he have to go home?

“I’ll give you a ride,” said James’ dad. “Now hurry, put your jacket on. James, I’ll see you when you get home.”

“See you tomorrow, Anthony,” James said.

“See ya, James,” replied Anthony as he was leaving. James’ mom watched as they pulled out of the driveway. Then she went outside and worked in her garden.

That night, as James and his parents where getting ready to say their prayers, James asked,

“Why did Anthony have to go home early today?”

His parents looked at each other, wondering who was going to explain it to him.

“We’re just not comfortable having you play with him,” said his dad.

“Why not?” asked James.

“Do you know anything about his parents?” asked his dad.


“Do you know that he lives with his grandparents?”

“No, but what’s wrong with him living with grandparents?” replied James.

“There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just why he’s living with his grandparents?” replied his dad.

“Why is he?”

“His parents are in jail for credit card fraud,” said his dad.

James was silent.

“James, we just want to teach you to make good choices,” said his mom, “and part of that means choosing good friends. Do you understand?”

James was still quiet. His eyebrows scrunched downward.

“How about we pray?” asked his dad.

“No,” said James. “Did Anthony break the law?”

“No,” replied his mom.
“Is it his fault his parents did?”

“No,” replied his dad. “But my dad had a saying, ‘The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.’”

“But what did Jesus say?” asked James.

“What are you talking about?” asked his dad.

“At Sunday School we heard that when Jesus had supper with the tax collectors and other bad people some of the religious leaders told him he shouldn’t do that. The he told them that the sick need a doctor, not the healthy. I think Jesus wants us to be friends with people most other don’t like.”

His parents looked at each other, smiled, then said,

“You’re right, James. Thank you.”

Then they said a prayer like this as we do now,

Dear God, help us to be friends with those who nobody else will. Amen.


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