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Scripture:  Mark 12:38-44 and Matthew 23:1-12
[ Summary:
 Jesus, the Pharisees, and costumes. ]


Supplies Needed: No supplies needed


ASK    (a.k.a The On-Ramp)

  • Good morning!
  • Did you know that Halloween recently happened (last week Saturday)?
  • Did you by any chance dress up / wear a costume?
  • And what was your costume?
  • So…since you wore that costume of [say a couple of names of the costumes that the kids just told you ] were you really that person or thing? (expect a lot of yeses here)
  • Oh yeah? You were? Are you sure you weren’t just pretending? Even just a teeny, tiny, little bit?


TELL    (a.k.a. The Freeway)

  • That’s one of the fun things about Halloween, isn’t it?
  • You get to pretend that you are someone else, someone that you usually are not.
  • In today’s scripture story, Jesus tells his disciples that the Pharisees are pretending to be people that they are not…ALL THE TIME!
  • This is not a good thing.
  • Jesus says that the Pharisees are religious leaders who only pretend to want to know God better.
  • And one of the things they do in their pretending is wear a costume of long robes that make them seem like they are paying attention to God even though they are not.
  • In other words, the Pharisees did not do what their costume would make you think they would be doing.  
  • This is like what we learned about our own Halloween costumes, right? Just because we wear certain clothes, that does not mean we are actually Superman or Wonder woman or a cat.


SHARE the Good News   (a.k.a. The Destination)

  • Now, it just so happened that there was another teacher for the disciples to learn from.
  • There was a teacher who did not pretend to pay attention to God, but actually did the things that he told others about God.  
  • And he didn’t need to wear a fancy costume or uniform to try and convince the disciples to pay attention to him.
  • This person was, of course, Jesus.
  • And guess what!? Since Jesus wasn’t pretending, then we can actually learn from him what he was teaching and doing.
  • We can do this by reading and talking about the Jesus stories in the Bible – just like we’re doing today.
  • And the more we learn from Jesus, the more we learn to pay attention to God just like Jesus did.
  • And that’s the good news for today.


CLOSING Prayer

  • Let’s pray.  This is a repeat-after-me prayer.

Dear God,
Dear God,

Thank you for Jesus…

Thank you for Jesus…


…who does not pretend about you…

…who does not pretend about you…


…but keeps it real…

…but keeps it real…


…in all that he says and does.

  …in all that he says and does.


  Amen



Posted October 25, 2015
Written by Nathanael Vissia


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Written for Sunday, November 8, 2015

24th Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Year B

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