Resources for Christian Education

Free Workshop Rotation Model Lessons - Season 3

Children’s Sermon

Luke 12:13-21

Distraction and the Parable of the Rich Man

July 31, 2016

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Year C

ASK    (a.k.a The On-Ramp)

  • Good morning!
  • Have you ever been watching TV or playing a video game when someone, like a brother, sister or parent starts talking to you?  
  • When that happens, do you think you are listening very carefully to what that person is telling you?
  • No, probably not very carefully, right?
  • And, in fact, while they are talking to you, you might very well say something to them about what you are paying attention to, something that is on the TV or video game that has NOTHING to do with what the other person was talking to you about.
  • So the other person might be talking to you about what's going to happen tomorrow morning, when you suddenly say, "Watch what happens when I throw the purple bird at the green barrel.
  • Do you think you’ve ever done that? Or maybe its been done to you before?
  • This happens when we are paying attention to more than one thing at a time, because we don't then hear what was said to us and the words that we say in response don't always go along with what the other person said to us.
  • We often call this “being distracted.”

TELL    (a.k.a. The Freeway)

  • I bring this up, because in today's scripture story, someone does the same thing to Jesus.  
  • Jesus is busy teaching the people about who God is and about God's better way for us to live when some guy calls out from the crowd.
  • This guy is like, "Hey Jesus! Over here!  I have a really REALLY important issue.  I need you to tell my brother to share the family’s money  with me."
  • This, of course, is not what Jesus was talking about.
  • So Jesus says something like, "That is not my job."
  • But Jesus is always willing to do some teaching.
  • So he tells this distracted man a story about distraction.
  • Jesus tells a story about a different guy who cares so much about his money that he can't think about anything else.
  • And because he can think of nothing but money, he then spends his entire life being distracted by money.

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

  • So the Good News for today is that Jesus shares with us the Good News about God's better way to live – all the time.
  • We just have to actually listen.
  • But, like the rich man in the story that Jesus told and like the man whose brother wouldn’t share any money with him…
  • …we have to remember to not get distracted by money or purple birds and green barrels.
  • Because, if we live distractedly, then we won't actually hear or understand the Good News that Jesus is sharing with us.


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

Dear God,

Dear God,

Thank you for Jesus…

Thank you for Jesus…

…who shares the Good News about you.

…who shares the Good News about you.

Please help us to not be distracted…

Please help us to not be distracted…

…so that we can learn more about you.

…so that we can learn more about you.

Thank you and Amen

Originally posted July 27, 2013
Updated on July 9, 2016
Written and edited by Nathanael Vissia

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