Two Sundays ago, our worship text was the allegory of the sheep and the goats from Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus talks about sorting the sheep and the goats based on how they treated others.
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Now, passages about judgement are hard for adults, let alone children. A general rule I have for talking about any judgement is this:
Never point fingers outward.
These teachings are for Jesus' followers--us--which means that they should always lead to our self-examination. When we read this passage, we should be asking, "What have I done for the least of these?"
For kids, this is where I take this passage. In my children's sermon, we looked at this collage Christ Among the Scraps from Jan Richardson. (It's worth paying to get a downloadable image. I love her work and believe in supporting artists who make these things available!) We found the face together and I shared Jan's story about how she came to create this piece. My key point was that the face of Jesus is found in all sorts of people.
Kids who came with me to Children's Worship spent time making a collage of their own. If you do this at home, you can deep the experience by asking some "I wonder" questions. These work best with slightly older elementary school kids:
I wonder how sorting papers is like sorting people?
I wonder if God sorts people?
I wonder how you would sort people?
More next week--until then, grace and peace,