Summary: after Jesus' resurrection, early Christians began to live together for mutual benefit
Would all the children come forward and join me, and any of those young at heart, regardless of their age?
This is the first Sunday after Easter, and Jesus is no longer there to lead the disciples or the people. They are all sad and kind of lost and missing Him. We heard in the Bible reading from the Acts of the Apostles today that the people who followed him began to live together like one huge family. That way they could share stories of Jesus so they wouldn’t miss him so much. Stories always remind us of a person who is no longer with us, and make us feel better. In this new big family they created, no one owned anything, everything anyone had belonged to everyone. They shared food and clothes and all their possessions. That is pretty amazing!
Think for a minute about all your toys and things that are special to you. Can you imagine sharing them with every other child? Think about how your little brother or sister may get peanut butter in the hair of your favorite doll, or break your favorite car or truck. That doesn’t sound like very much fun, does it?
Well, one of the main things Jesus taught us was that we are to care for and share with each other. Do you remember the verse in Matthew:
Do unto others are you would have them do unto you (Matthew 7:12)
We all want to be good followers of Jesus, showing other people the love of Jesus. Sometimes we do a good job of it, and other times not so much. But you know what? God loves us anyway. Isn’t that great? As long as we try to be good examples, even when we don’t quite make it, we are all beloved children of God, even if we are 95 years old!
And Jesus asks us to share. I have a flower for each of you. Aren’t they pretty? Flowers are the sign that Spring is here (or at least we hope) – and another sign that, like all living things, Jesus rose from the dead. Lots of people really like flowers because they brighten up a room, smell good, and make people happy.
Don’t you like to be happy? Who doesn’t like to be happy?
So, like Jesus taught us, we should share with others. I want you to take a flower, and when you go back to your seat, give it to someone that you would like to make happy. It could be your parents or sister or brother, or maybe someone that you think could really use it to cheer them up.
This is what sharing is about and what our community here at Saint John’s should be like: some place where we care for each other and share our love. We hope, by doing that, we can help the whole world to learn to love and share.
So, pick out your flower – there are so many kinds in the vase. Take one that makes you happy, then give it to someone else – and make them happy!
And then we will pray.
(children pick out flowers)
Let us pray.
Dear God, you have created a world that is full of beauty, which you tell us to share with others. Thank you for sharing this beautiful world with us! Sometimes, when we don’t feel like sharing, forgive us. Help us to be nice to all those whom we meet and show them the love of God that you showed us! Amen.
Delivered at Saint John’s Episcopal Church of Worthington & Parts Adjacent, Worthington, OH; 8 April 2018