|Theme:||With God, all things are possible, Proper 23 (28) Yr. B, Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost|
|Object:||A sock (or other garment) with a hole in it, a needle and tread. (Use large thread so that it is very difficult to get it through the eye of the needle.)|
|Scripture:||"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." Mark 10:25-27 (NIV)|
I started to get dressed for church this morning and discovered that my favorite pair of socks had a hole in the toe. I didn't have time to mend them right then, so I thought I could do it during children's time this morning. Perhaps we can learn something about Jesus while I am mending my socks.
I have a needle and some thread. The first thing I need to do is thread the needle. That means you hold the needle like this and push the thread through this little hole called the "eye." Hmmm, this may be more difficult than I thought it was going to be. I can't seem to get the thread through the eye of the needle. Perhaps my eyesight is not as good as it once was or maybe my hand isn't quite as steady as it needs to be. Would one of you like to help me? (Choose one of the children to help you. After they have tried a couple of times, continue with the sermon.)
You know, this problem of threading the needle does remind me of a story about Jesus.
One day a rich young man came to Jesus and asked him what he needed to do to go to heaven. Jesus answered him, "You know the commandments, 'do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'"
"Oh, I have done all of that since I was a child" the young man told Jesus.
"You must do one more thing," Jesus said, "You must sell all that you have and give the money to the poor."
The Bible tells us that the young turned and walked away. He was very sad. You see, he was very wealthy, and he was not willing to give up his wealth -- not even to go to heaven.
Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven."
Now, putting tread through the eye of the needle can be pretty difficult. How would you like to try to put a camel through the eye of a needle? That wouldn't be difficult, it would be impossible! Does that mean that Jesus was saying it is impossible for a rich man to enter into heaven? No, I don't think so. Listen to what Jesus said next.
"With man, this is impossible, but not with God. With God, all things are possible." That is the God we serve. The God of the impossible!
Heavenly Father, we are thankful that you are the God of the impossible. Without You, it would be impossible for any of us to get to heaven. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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