Readings from Scripture (CEB) Mark 4:26-34
26 Then Jesus said, “This is what God’s kingdom is like. It’s as though someone scatters seed on the ground, 27 then sleeps and wakes night and day. The seed sprouts and grows, but the farmer doesn’t know how. 28 The earth produces crops all by itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full head of grain. 29 Whenever the crop is ready, the farmer goes out to cut the grain because it’s harvest time.”
30 He continued, “What’s a good image for God’s kingdom? What parable can I use to explain it? 31 Consider a mustard seed. When scattered on the ground, it’s the smallest of all the seeds on the earth; 32 but when it’s planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all vegetable plants. It produces such large branches that the birds in the sky are able to nest in its shade.” 33 With many such parables he continued to give them the word, as much as they were able to hear. 34 He spoke to them only in parables, then explained everything to his disciples when he was alone with them.
Reflection for kids (and adults listening too)
A reiteration of our Lenten study on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood last year
It’s not often that I get to write a sermon for the kids (and for those adults listening in)…though I’m sure my kids would say they get plenty of sermons!! And this might be too long to listen all at once, so feel free to pause it and have a dance break and then keep going.
I’m not sure if you’ve talked about this at school over the last couple of weeks, but there’s been some really sad things in our news. You might have heard words that you might not have heard before – things like residential schools or maybe you heard about a Muslim family that was hurt in London. When your teachers and families talked about these things, you might have been worried. I know I was. I was worried, and mad, and sad all at the same time. And it’s ok to have those feelings – if you weren’t worried, that would be a problem – because we worry, is that going to happen here? When bad stuff happens in the world, we worry about the people we love being hurt in the same way. Maybe we worry, because we want to be able to help…and it feels like we can’t. Those feelings are real and normal.
But what do we do with the mad that we feel? Or the worries? Or the sad?
One person who was like a teacher to me once said that
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,
my mother would say to me,
‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
So I spent my week looking for the helpers. And I saw them, in the ways that people have been showing their love and taking better care of one another.
But you know what, it got me thinking, you and I can be helpers too. And even though it might feel like the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong… and it’s easy to think that we’re too small to change things like these big problems we’ve heard about. But Jesus said, even the smallest actions can grow bigger – they can bring a big change. He talked about a mustard seed – something so small growing into a great big bush – and when I saw the helpers this week, that’s what I saw. I saw love growing. I saw the people who felt alone and afraid given a big hug. I saw the starts of what we need to do to help.
So…what can we do?
Most important you can shine. God has made you special – there’s never been and will never be someone quite like you. In the whole history of the world, it’s really amazing – you’re the first you – EVER! But sometimes we think we’re more special than someone else. And just ‘cause you’re one colour of skin, or you go to one church rather than another one – these don’t make you more special than someone else. Everyone is special. And it’s our job to help them recognize their specialness. It’s like the candle we light at the beginning of church. Let’s pretend this one candle is you. You’re shining with God’s light. And along comes another candle. It might be differently coloured, shaped, but it’s shining too. Blowing out that other candle doesn’t make your candle any brighter. In fact, there’s less light in the world then.
So…what can we do?
Did you know…that you can help people grow…you can help them shine?
How do you do that?
Learn about them! We’re all different – we have different families: some have a mom and a dad, some one of each, maybe even two moms or two dads, some even have two of each and others have neither! We have different churches: some people wear crosses, others wear a hijab (that’s a scarf on one’s head), others have different names for what they wear – and each remind us that God is with us always. Some don’t even go to church, and that’s ok too. When we’re curious about one another, we can learn about others and what they love and that helps them shine. It helps them and us grow. Learning more helps us to see that even though we may be different, that everyone is special. Everyone has a little light to add to the world. Everyone should be able to stand tall because of who they are.
And don’t feel like the little you can do and be is not enough. It’s the start of the love that we can bring. It can grow into friendships and love. Just you being you, and you helping someone else to be themselves, this can change this world for the better. It can remind people when they’re worried or mad or sad that they’re not alone. So be brave with your love…because the world just wants to see you. The small seed of ‘you’ is enough. This little light of ‘you’ is enough.
And if you’re still with me, I want to give you this prayer. It’s called I wish you enough (adapted)…
I wish you enough sun to keep you bright inside no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough sadness so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting…
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you have.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through your good- byes.
I wish you enough that you may feel that even when what you have to offer is small,
that you might know it’s bigger than you could even dream.
 Mister Rogers sings What to do we do with the Mad that We Feel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3fAS392Wzc