Matthew 10:26-31, New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
26“So don’t be afraid of your enemies. Everything that is secret will be brought out into the open. Everything that is hidden will be uncovered. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight. What is whispered in your ear, shout from the rooftops. 28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but can’t kill the soul. Instead, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Aren’t two sparrows sold for only a penny? But not one of them falls to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30He even counts every hair on your head! 31So don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.
- With a nod to Father’s Day, have a dad volunteer. Ask beforehand to have the dad informed about his role during the message. Interview the child beforehand as well to know his/her responses.
- A large comb or hairbrush.
Since today is Father’s Day, I have asked one of your dads to help me with today’s message. Let’s take a moment to recognize our dads or father figures in our lives. (Introduce the parent you’ve selected.) I want to ask your child some questions about you. Today, we are talking about opening our ears to the world around us and hearing all the people. Last week, we talked about seeing all the people around us and showing and telling them about Jesus. Today, I want to know how well we listen to those around us when they talk to us.
(Ask “child” if he/she knows the answers to these questions. The adult should have told the child the answers at some point.)
- What is your parent’s favorite color?
- Where does your parent work?
- What is your parent’s favorite television program?
- What is your parent’s favorite food?
- Who is your parent’s favorite singer or musical group?
- What time did your parent wake up this morning?
- Can you tell me what your parent dreamed about last night?
- What is your parent thinking right now?
- How many hairs does your parent have on his head? No guessing, I want to know the exact number.
The questions started out being easy. Maybe we heard and knew some of the parent’s favorites. But some of the questions became a little more difficult, and then some questions even a family member couldn’t even answer.
What are the questions that couldn’t be answered? It would take a long time to count the hairs on someone’s head. Who do you think would know that answer? God knows everything about us. Everything!
Today’s Bible verse in the Gospel of Matthew in chapter 10 says, “God even counts every hair on your head.” God knows how many hairs we have on our head. God knows every little thing about us. Our families and friends know a lot about us, but there are some things that even they don’t know. Our families and friends love us very much. Since God knows even more about us, every thought and every hair, then that means God loves us more than we can imagine.
The next time you or someone else brushes your hair, remember that God cares and loves you so much, even down to the number of hairs on your head.
God, you know us so well and still love us so much. Help us to love others as much as you love us. Allow us to notice all the people in the world around us and to love one another. Amen.