A Christian's Secret Weapon
What do you know about super heroes? (Encourage the children to talk to you)
Most Superheroes have a secret weapon or a super power, something only they can do that regularly gets them out of trouble and helps them catch the bad guys.
Have you heard of Superman? What is special about Superman? (Strength, Speed, Xray vision, etc)
How about the Power Rangers (or the latest popular superhero)? Don't each of them have a special power? (The children will tell you about them.)
Can you think of any other Superheroes and their Super Powers?
Well, I am here today to tell you about a Christian's Super Power. We just read about it from the Bible. Were you listening?
One of today's Bible readings was from the book of Ephesians. This is a letter written to Christians who lived in a city called Ephesus. That's why we call it Ephesians. If the letter had been written to us we might call the letter Philadelphians!
This letter was written many years ago by one of the first Christians named Paul. Paul was a great leader in the church just after Jesus rose from the dead. Paul traveled around quite a bit and made friends for Christ. He liked to keep in touch with all the people he met and he liked to reach out to others he knew were trying to follow Christ. He was helping to build the first church.
The first Christians often had problems. The part of the Bible about Jesus hadn't been written yet. They were just figuring out how to be a church and sometimes they fought among themselves and sometimes they just didn't know the right thing to do. Paul's letter answers their questions and gives them advice on how to be better followers of Christ. Even though this letter was written two thousand years ago, it's advice is still good for us today as we try to be better Christians.
In this long letter to the Ephesians, Paul tells them what to do when they are angry.
Have you ever been angry? What did you do when you were angry? Did you feel like you needed help?
Everybody gets angry. And that's all right. Paul doesn't tell the Ephesians not to get angry. Instead he gives them two secret weapons they can use when they start to feel angry. Can you guess what they are?
One of them is LOVE. Paul tells the Ephesians and us to imitate God and Christ. He tells us to live in love. He says be tender and kind. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Well sometimes we forget and look for ways to get even with people who make us mad. That brings us to a second secret weapon.
This secret weapon is really powerful. It is a true super power. If you learn to use it, you will be a super hero. You don't have to be big or strong to use this super power. You just have to practice. This powerful secret weapon is FORGIVENESS. Sometimes, maybe even most of the time, it is hard to forgive someone when we are angry. But you will be surprised if you work at it, you will discover that once you forgive someone, the other person feels better, but so do you! It sounds impossible, but let's all give it a try. The next time we get angry, let's look for a way to forgive. It might be hard at first. It does take practice. And I can tell you even grown-ups have to work at this a bit. But we can do it and God will help us.
I hope you don't get angry this week. It is never fun to feel angry, but if you do start to feel anger, stop and remember the word FORGIVENESS. Take a deep breath and while you are exhaling think of a way you can forgive. Then work at it. Practice! Let me know next week if you had a chance to try using your super power, forgiveness, and tell me how it made you feel.