You Are Invited!

THEME: Jesus doesn't leave anyone out and neither should we.

OBJECTS: An invitation for each child.

SCRIPTURE:  Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or
dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."  Luke 14:12-14

Next week we are going to have a big party in our family life center.  I have some invitations to pass out this morning. (Pass out invitations to some of the children, but not all of them.  You might want to pre-arrange this with several children so that their feeling won't be hurt.)   We are really going to have a great party with a lot of games and refreshments.  I know that everyone will have a good time and I sure hope you can come.

Did you notice that some children didn't get an invitation?  How do you think that made them feel?  Did they feel left out?  Were their feelings hurt?  Did they wonder why the other children got an invitation and they didn't?

Do you ever leave someone out when you are having a party or doing something special?  Do you only invite your very best friends?  Do you perhaps leave out the child who doesn't have much money and wears old and ragged clothes? Or maybe you leave out the child who is physically handicapped and has to get around in a wheelchair.  Maybe you leave out the child who isn't very smart and the other kids make fun of him.  Maybe you leave out the child whose skin is a different color.  How do you think those children feel when they are left out?

Jesus said that when we were having a party,  that we shouldn't just invite our best friends.  In fact, he said that we should be sure to invite the very ones that we might leave out--the poor, the crippled, and those who are less fortunate than we are.  He said that if we only do good things for those who can do good things for us that we already have our reward,  but if we do good things for those who cannot do good things for us in return, that we will receive our reward in heaven.  Would you rather have your reward here, or in heaven?

Jesus never left anyone out and neither should we!  I surely don't want to leave any of you out!  I have an invitation for each and every one of you. In fact, I would even encourage you to take an extra invitation and give it to someone who might otherwise be left out.  I hope to see you all at my party next Sunday!

Dear Father, help us to be loving and caring toward those who may not have as much as we have.  Help us to include them in the special things that we do.  Amen.

1999-2000 by Charles Kirkpatrick
Free use within your church is permitted.
No other use without written permission.