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

August 4, 2019

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Year C

Supplies: A smart phone or tablet (doesn’t need to be on or charged)

Related message(s): N/A

VIEW the scripture

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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?
  • Maybe they ask you a question but then you tell them about something you just saw on the screen that has nothing to do with what the other person just asked you.
  • Just in case you don’t know what I mean, let’s do the following activity.
  • Whenever I point at all of you, I want all of you to say, “What do you want for dinner?”
  • And then we’re going to pretend that I’m watching TV or playing a video game – and we’ll see what I say.
  • Remember, every time I point at you, say, “What do you want for dinner.”
  • Ready?
  • [Look at your phone/tablet and act like you are enjoying whatever is playing on it]
  • [Point at the kids and help them say their line if they need help]
  • Say, "Oh, I’m glad you’re here – watch what happens when the purple bird eats the green barrel!”
  • [Point at the kids again and help them say their line if they need help]
  • Say, “Oh! Did you see those tennis shoes blow up!?”
  • [Point at the kids again and help them say their line if they need help]
  • Say, “I know! This IS the best movie ever!”
  • [Put the phone/tablet away and thank the kids for saying their line]
  • What do you think – did I ever answer your question? (No!)
  • Why do you think I didn’t I answer your question? (Because you weren’t listening; because you were paying attention to something else)
  • Right – I wasn’t able to pay attention to two things at the same time.
  • We’re not very good at paying attention to more than one thing at a time – which is why the words we say sometimes don't go along with what the other person said to us.
  • When we don’t pay attention to what was being said, we sometimes call that “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 yells 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 to the man, "That’s 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 this man can think of nothing but money, he then spends his entire life being distracted by that money.

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

  • Jesus shared the Good News about God's better way to live to the people around him all of the time.
  • But, just like the rich man was distracted, there were people, like the man in the crowd who were distracted and didn’t listen to what Jesus had to say.
  • The same thing is true for us, today.
  • There are many things that can distract us, like purple birds, green barrels, and exploding tennis shoes.
  • But the good news is that Jesus doesn’t get distracted and keeps reminding and teaching us of the good news about God’s better way to live.
  • And when we focus on what Jesus is saying, we are then able to receive and then share God’s love, joy, and forgiveness with those who are around 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 19, 2019
Written and edited by Nathanael Vissia

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