As I sit down to write my children’s sermon on Mark 12:38-44, life is a bit of a scramble. So, I’m not wading in with my usual comments on the process or on issues in the text.
- Maybe you find that a relief.
- Maybe you’ll miss that stuff.
Either way, here we go with a children’s sermon on Mark 12:38-44.
Let me know of you think it’s okay that I turned Jesus’ comments about the scribes into a dialogue with Peter.
Oh yeah: You can find my regular Monday Meditation on this text from a while back through this link.
A Children’s Sermon on Mark 12:38-44
Good morning kids! I’m so glad to see you here in worship today. Thanks for coming up to hear the children’s sermon.
A Fancy Robe
One day, Peter had been praying in the Temple. He came out just as Jesus was passing by.
“Hey Jesus!” called Peter.
“Oh, hi Peter,” Jesus said. “Been to the Temple I see.”
“Yes!” Peter said, “And boy did everybody like my fancy new robe. Check it out!”
And Peter did a little twirl to show off his outfit.
“Nice,” said Jesus. And he meant it. But then he asked, “So, I’m curious: How come you bought a new robe just now? Your old one seemed pretty nice too.”
“Well Jesus, it’s like this,” said Peter. “I find that if I wear a bit fancier clothing people just seem to treat me better. I call it ‘dress to impress.’”
“I see,” said Jesus. “How did they treat you in the temple today?”
“I’m glad you asked,” said Peter. “When I swooped in with my long flowing robe people really took notice. They stood up out of respect when I passed by. The ushers led me to the best seat—front row! They even asked me to pray.”
“And did you?” asked Jesus.
“Oh yeah,” Peter said. “I gave them a really long prayer. One with a lot of big words in it. Again, I’d say they were very impressed.”
“I see,” said Jesus. “So that’s what’s really important to you? Impressing people with expensive clothes and fancy prayers?”
“Well, I guess. It felt pretty good,” he said.
Jesus looked at Peter for a second and said, “Remind me to tell you how you can be the greatest on the kingdom of God.”
“Oh you did,” said Peter. “Something about helping people, right?”
The Rich Man’s Offering
“Ooh, check this out,” said Jesus. “People are bringing their offerings to the Temple.”
Peter tamed to see where Jesus was pointing. He saw a big wooden box, like a pirate’s treasure chest. There was a hole in the top for donations.
A rich man in nice clothes came up with a big bag of money. He shook it and the coins inside rattled and jingled.
Then he took out the big gold coins one by one, dropping each one down the hole with a “clink!” He did this for quite a while. There were a lot of “clinks”!
When the bag was half empty he shook it again. Then he turned it over and poured the coins down the hole—“Rumble, Jingle, Clink, Rumble, Jingle, Clink.”
His big coins made quite a lot of noise. A number of people looked at him with admiration. Others looked at him with envy. He didn’t seem to mind. He tucked his empty money bag back inside his robe, and walked off smiling.
“Wow!” said Peter. “That guy gave a lot of money. He’s really generous.”
The Widow’s Offering
“Watch this,” said Jesus.
Just then a little old lady came quietly up to the big wooden offering chest. She was wearing the tattered black dress of a poor widow.
She had a bag too, but it looked like it was empty. She reached way down to the bottom of her bag. Then she brought her hand back out. She was holding two tiny copper coins.
She reached over the top of the chest and slipped her coins down the hole. They didn’t even make a sound. Then she walked quietly away.
“Well,” said Peter, “she didn’t give much.”
“Didn’t she?” asked Jesus. “I’d say she gave more than anybody.”
“No way,” said Peter. “She gave two tiny coins! That rich guy gave a whole bag of money.”
“That’s just it,” said Jesus. “He gave all that and he’s still a rich guy. He only gave a little bit of what he has. That poor widow gave all she had. That’s way more. At least in God’s eyes.”
Peter wasn’t sure what to say.
- I wonder if the rich man was hoping someone would see what he was giving to the Temple?
- I wonder how somebody begins to want to please God with what they do?
- I wonder what you and I might give to please God and help people?
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