It was my turn for time with children at our church this morning - that precedes the sermon and is a time when a grown-up sits on the floor with all the kids and tries to convey the message of the scripture readings in a more kid-intelligible format. There are some who missed it... so, here you go:
Children’s Time. February 2, 2014
The first thing that came to my mind when I read today’s scripture was: Opposite Day. Have you ever played that game? Like when someone says they want a piece of cake, and you say, “ok, it’s opposite day, I’ll just give the cake to someone else.” Or when you say, I’m going to do my homework, but since it is Opposite Day, that means I’m actually going to play outside.”
In Micah we hear: Will God be pleased with thousands of rams, with tens of thousands of rivers of oil?
The answer, in short, is no. Will bringing lots of stuff to God bring God lots of happiness? No. Happy Opposite Day!
Honestly, I think it is really easy for people to forget about Opposite Day. We get caught up in what other people are doing, what they tell us to do, what we think we should buy, even though a lot of times these actions are the opposite of what will make us happy or bring us closer to God. The scripture readings that we hear today point out the ways that things are turned on their heads – the way we get things backwards, and the way God challenges us to think differently.
In Corinthians, we hear:
God chose what is foolish
God chose what is weak
God chose what is low and despised in the world
God chooses, God values, what we so often do NOT choose and do NOT value. Happy Opposite Day!
Let me give you two examples.
First: recently I was driving with my 6 year-old niece and a box of stuff I was recycling. She looked over into the bin and said to me: You’re not going to throw that away, are you Aunt Laura? She ended up picking out three cardboard tubes that used to hold wrapping paper. She was very excited about the tubes and proceeded to tell me about the light sabers she was going to make, and also her plans to make storm trooper and yoda costumes out of colored tissue paper. These three empty cardboard tubes easily brought her more enjoyment than anything I would have purchased from a store. Happy Opposite Day!
Second: before my sister and I opened our own store, I worked for almost 10 years at another store. I thought what I always wanted was to become owner of that store. I had a very specific plan and when things stopped going according to plan, it caused me all sorts of anxiety and sorrow. I was so attached to my plan that it took me a really long time to realize that God had something else in mind for me. Now I am so happy that my plan did not work out. Happy Opposite Day!
And in Matthew, when Jesus spoke, he did not say, blessed are you who have lots of stuff or get what you want or hang out with the popular people or get to tell people what to do. No, in effect, Jesus said, Happy Opposite Day! Blessed are you who are sad, who are meek, who are merciful, who are persecuted, who work for peace and justice. Be true to God’s message of love, and you can rejoice and be glad. Happy Opposite Day!
Let us pray:
Thank you for Opposite Day
Help us to see love where there is hate, power where there is weakness, healing where there is pain, joy where there is sorrow.
Happy Opposite Day!