Matthew 9:37-38, New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
37Then Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is huge. But there are only a few workers. 38So ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers out into his harvest field.”
- Handheld mirror
- Picture of Jesus affixed to mirror
(Have mirror in hand. Don’t let the children see picture of Jesus on the mirror. Hold it backward so that they can tell it’s a mirror.) In today’s passage from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples that the harvest is huge, but there are only a few workers. He tells them that God needs to send workers into the field. Did you know that Jesus was not only talking to the disciples, he was also talking to you? Jesus needs each of us to help see all the people in our lives and show them Jesus’ love.
Have you ever heard of “Show and Tell?” When you do “Show and Tell,” you bring something to school and show the whole class what it is. But you also tell them about it. “Show and Tell” wouldn’t work if you just showed them, or if you just told them about what you were going to bring.
It’s the same thing when we show Jesus’ love to someone. We can’t just tell them that Jesus loves them; we must show them also. What do you look like? I have a mirror that shows me what I look like. I use it to put my contact lenses in each day. Many people use a mirror to do their hair. (If your hair is short, like mine, you can make a joke about needing a mirror.) When you look into a mirror, it gives you a reflection of what you look like. To tell someone about Jesus, you must show them what Jesus looks like.
When you see someone who needs to see Jesus, you show that person Jesus by acting the way Jesus taught us to act. For example, (insert child’s name) is with his/her family at the grocery store, and a lady with her cart in the same aisle drops her phone as she turns the corner to go to the next aisle. (Child’s name) picks it up and gets her attention and returns it to her. That’s what Jesus would do. Look into the mirror. What do you see? (Hold the mirror up so the child named sees Jesus in the mirror.)
Or, (name another child) sees a classmate drop his/her arm full of books, and folders and papers have scattered all over the busy hallway. No one stops to help him/her pick them up. (Name) doesn’t even know the other student, but he/she stops to help pick up the papers and books. That’s what Jesus would do. (Hold the mirror up again in front of child named so he/she can see Jesus’ image.)
Let’s see if we can come up with other examples of how you might show Jesus to someone else this week. (Be careful when asking open-ended questions to children. Be prepared for any response.) Be on the lookout for people who need to know about Jesus.
When you see all the people around you, remember they all need to know about Jesus’ love. Just like Jesus tells us in this verse of scripture, God needs helpers to show and tell the world how much Jesus loves them. I think each of you could be good workers for God. When you tell your friends about Jesus or when you show others about Jesus, you’re helping to bring a harvest.
(You can take time to show each child the mirror by placing it in front of them and encourage each of them to show and tell).
God of love, remind us each time we look into a mirror to see Jesus in the reflection. As we see all the people in our lives, help us to show and tell by our actions and words how much Jesus loves them. Amen.