Day: Pentecost 20
Lectionary Passage: Matthew 23:1-12
Scripture Focus: Matthew 23:3
Object: Cowboy hat or costume (the more you look the part, the better!)
Good morning everybody! Today’s Bible story talks about an important idea when it comes to following Jesus. In fact it’s a warning. A warning against hypocrites. A hypocrite is a person who acts like one thing on the outside, but are totally different on the inside. It would kind of like putting on this cowboy hat and declaring that I’m a cowboy. I may look like a cowboy on the outside, but do you think wearing this hat really makes me a cowboy? No, of course not. It’s just acting. (Add more examples, like a firemen hat or princess tiara, as you have time) And acting can be a lot of fun. The problem is when you want others to really believe you are a cowboy or a princess or whatever else when you’re not. That’s being a hypocrite.
Jesus warns his friends not to be hypocrites. Jesus wants us to really love God and God’s ways from the inside out. Jesus doesn’t just want us to act like we love God; that’s no better than putting on a cowboy hat and saying you’re a cowboy. Jesus doesn’t want hypocrites, Jesus needs real friends! Friends who love God and God’s ways from the inside out.
Let’s pray: God, help us to be real friends with Jesus from the inside out. Amen.