Prepare: Get enough pennies for each child to have 2 pennies.
Faith+Open: As you welcome the children, ask them to think about all the things that they and their household own. Give them a minute to think and then suggest things that they may not have thought of, like the family car, their bed, the washing machine, etc.
Faith+Share: Wow, we have a lot of stuff, don’t we! That makes me feel pretty good, except . . .
Today we hear a story about Jesus people-watching outside the temple. He sees some scribes and talks about how they seem to brag about how good they are. They wear fancy clothes, get the best places to sit, they even show off when they pray! Jesus says, that’s not so good, they shouldn’t be showing off like that.
Then, he sees a widow. A widow was one of the poorest kinds of people in Jesus’ time. Widows are women whose husbands have died. It’s still really sad today, but in Jesus’ time there were laws that made it very difficult for a woman to live without a husband. The widow walked up quietly and put two small coins into the offering (hold up two pennies). The story says that both of her coins together were worth less than one of these pennies. Then Jesus says the craziest thing. He says that the widow gave more than anyone else! Wait, she gave less than a penny, how can that be more than anyone else?
Jesus says that all the other people gave out of their abundance. Or to put it another way, that the other people have lots of stuff, like you and me, and they gave just a very small part of what they had, but the widow put all that she had to live on in the offering, she kept nothing for herself. That would be like you and I bringing all that stuff we talked about to church and putting it in the offering plate . . . which probably wouldn’t work since I’m pretty sure that a washing machine won’t fit in the offering plate.
I brought some more pennies, enough for each of you to have two, so twice as much as the widow had! (pass out the pennies) As you take your two pennies, think about this being all that you have to live on, to buy food, to buy clothes, to pay for shelter. Not much, is it? Today, when we get to offering time, I want you to put one penny in the plate, and keep one penny as a reminder of the story.
Faith+Prayer: Loving God, we thank you for the blessings that you have given us; food to eat, warm places to sleep, and people who love us. Teach us to share the amazing gifts that you have given to us with those who need them. Amen
Faith+Blessing: May the God of abundance give you all you need.
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