Playing the "What If?" Game

Submitted by Judith Gotwald

 

Theme: Service to others
Object: None needed
Scripture: James 1:17-27

Let's play the "What If?" game. Here's how it goes. I'll tell you about an imaginary event and you can tell me how you would feel if my story were true.

Now remember, I'm making this up. It's not real.

Here's a first What If?.

Imagine this: You are playing on the school playground and you scrape your knee. You hobble over to your teacher who is watching all the children on the playground. You start to cry as you say "Teacher, teacher, I scraped my knee." Here comes the What If? part. What if your teacher looked at your bleeding knee and said. "Oh my, I am sure God will heal your knee. Let's say a prayer."?

How would you feel?

Here is another imaginary event:

You walk to your friend's house one day and the sun is shining. It's a beautiful day. You have a great time playing with your friend but when it comes time to walk back home, it is pouring rain. You don't have goulashes, a raincoat or an umbrella. Your friend is standing next to you at the door looking at the rain coming down. What if all your friend said to you was "Had a great time today. Hope you get home all right."?

How would you feel?

Or how about this. You are in school. It's almost lunch time. You look in your school bag and you see that your mother and father forgot to put your lunch in the bag. You don't have anything to eat. You tell your friend. What if your friend walked with you to the lunch room, sat down, opened his lunch bag and said, "Bet you'll be glad to get home so you can eat."?

How would you feel?

Let's revisit these What If stories. In each story, you could have used a little bit of help, don't you think?

When you scraped your knee, what could your teacher have done or said to help you?

When it started to rain and you had to walk home, what could your friend have done that might have shown that he cared about you?

When you didn't have a lunch, what could your friend have done?

Our Bible story today tells us that as Christians we must do things. It is not enough to just wish good things for other people. We have to something to make good things happen.

Have you heard people say "They'll know we are Christians by our love"? We have to show our love and we do that by doing things. We call it ministry or service. It is important to get together as a Christian family and sing and pray and read the Bible. It makes us stronger in our faith. It gives us confidence. It helps us to know who we are and who God is. But it shouldn't stop there. We have to do things. Everything we believe means nothing if we don't put what we believe to work. So this week, I want each of you to find a way to do something special for somebody who needs help. I'll let you figure out what that might be. Come back next week and tell us about your ministry.

Now I have one more What If? question for you. What if no one had ever told you that God loves you?

Think about that.