Children’s Sermon: Looking at Masks

Brings three masks: Darth Vader, Storm Trooper, Batman.

Hi everyone! I’m so glad you are here today.
So I want to talk about something that happens in the story we hear about Jesus today. And to talk about what happens, I’m going to use these: show the masks. Put them on too.

So you might not know these characters. But when I put on this mask, I am…Darth Vader! When we first meet Darth Vader, we discover that he’s a leader of a giant empire that wants power over everyone. He hurts people and does bad things.

When I put on this mask, I am… a storm trooper. Storm troopers are from Star Wars and they are soldiers who serve Darth Vader. They do bad things, hurt people, fight wars, and more.

When I put on this mask, I am…Batman! And who is Batman? He’s a superhero. He saves people who are in trouble, he does the right thing, he always tries to help. He does good things.

So when we see these masks, we might think we know what we need to know about the characters they represent. The villains are always villains and the superheroes are always heroes. We just have to look at the mask, look at their outside, and know everything we need to know about them. We don’t need to get to know them because the way they look tells us everything about them.

But that’s a mistake. We’re not supposed to look at people from the outside and assume we know everything about them. We’re supposed to get to know them – what they are like, what they think, what they love, and more.

Because when we get to know them, we learn that what we originally think isn’t always right. If you’ve seen the new Star Wars films, you know that there is a storm trooper who is named Finn – and he becomes a hero instead of a villain. And we know that Darth Vader eventually changed and helps his son Luke at the end of Return of the Jedi. And we know that Batman, who always tries to do good, sometimes gets angry or upset or confused and will not be as good as we think he’s supposed to be. People are more than just what we think they are.

Today, we’ll hear Jesus start putting together his disciples, his teachers, his followers. One will be named Philip and he will go and find his friend Nathaniel. Philip will tell Nathaniel all about Jesus and Nathaniel, at first, will not believe Philip. Nathaniel learns that Jesus is from a town called Nazareth and is poor and is the son of a carpenter. Everyone knew that Nazareth was a nobody town. Everyone knew that nothing important was ever happening there or coming from there. Everyone knew, from the outside, that Jesus shouldn’t be from Nazareth. But once Nathaniel learns that Jesus knows him, Nathaniel learns that what he originally thought wasn’t right.

Jesus doesn’t want us to just see the outside of the people around us. He wants us to get to know them, to learn everything about them, to know their hurts and their joys and what makes them laugh – because Jesus, and God, knows all of that about us.

Thank you for being here and I hope you have a blessed week.

Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on 2nd Sunday After Epiphany, 1/14/2018.