Luke 24: 1-12

Reading: Luke 24: 1-12
Prop: Two angels and linen cloth

Hello, everyone.
I have a question.
What is Easter?
What do we celebrate on Easter?
Right, Easter is when we celebrate Jesus came back to life again.

So, I would like to tell you that story today.
But I need your help.

What we are going to do is that we are going to pretend that we are the ones who followed Jesus two thousand years ago.
So, at the moment, we are sad because we thought Jesus was dead.
So, we took our spices.
We want to use it to make the body of Jesus smell nice.

Then we go to see the body of Jesus. (Go to the tomb)
But as we enter there, we find nothing.
Where is he?
Where is the body of Jesus? (Talking to kids)
Did you move him away? (Lifting the linen cloth)
We use this to wrap around his body.
But he is gone!

So, we were wondering.
Then suddenly two angles appeared.
They said:
"Why do you look for the living among the dead?
Jesus is not here.
He is alive!
Remember what he told you, while he was still with you.
He said that he must be handed over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”

We were like:
“Yeah we remembered that.”
Then, we slowly walk away from them and went to our friends.
We told them:
“You are not gonna believe this.
We have seen two angles today.
They said that Jesus has risen from the dead.
Jesus is alive!”

But our friends did not believe us.
They were like:
"What are you talking about?"
But then Peter, one of students of Jesus, got up and ran to the same place where we were.
He was looking for Jesus.
But he found nothing.
So, he came back, wondering:
"What just had happened?"

That is our story today.
Do you know what happen next?
I am going to tell you later.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for being raised from the dead and giving us new life.
In your name we pray.


John 15 (Dramatized)

(A skit for young children: modern blending of the New Testament)

Narrator: At this time, Jesus was at a garden. It was at night. So, there was a small camp fire set up. A group of people were listening to Jesus.

Jesus: I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer.
And my Father prunes back every branch that bears grapes. He does so that it will bear even more grapes. In this way, my Father cherishes every branch that bears grapes.

Do you know what I am talking about?
I am the Vine, you are the branches.
A branch cannot bear grapes by itself.
It has to be grafted into the vine.
Then you can bear fruit.
So be grafted into me.
Remain in me.
Make your home in me.
When you are with me and I am with you, the harvest is abundant.

You are already pruned back by my teaching.
So, make yourselves at home with me.
As my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask God will be given to you.
As you bear fruit, ask God whatever in my name, God will give them to you.

I chose you and put you in the world to bear fruit.
As you produce grapes in the world, you show that you are my students.

I have loved you as my Father has loved me.
So, remain in my love. Your fruit will last forever.
I have told you this so that my happiness may be in you.
I have told you this so that you will be really, really happy.

A student asks: How can we remain in your love?

Jesus: You have seen it: I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. So, by obeying my commands, you remain in my love.

Another student asks: By the way, what is your command?

Jesus: My command is this: love one another as I have loved you.
I have loved you putting my life on the line for you, my friends.
Yes, I've called you my friends.
It is because you understand how I think and how I plan.
I've let you in on everything that I've heard from the Father.
And you are my friends when you do the things I ask of you.

Another student asks: So, what are you asking us is to do again?

Jesus: Love one another. I picked you guys to live in love. Since you have seen how I love, you can do that, too.

Also, I am going to send you the Spirit of Truth.
This Spirit of Truth will prove that everything I said is true.
Since you have been with me from the start, you and the Spirit of Truth will be a good team spreading this Good News to the world.

Offering prayer

Sample #1:
Jesus, our hope, we have these wonderful minds, gifts, times, and talents in our hands.
May you bless them and use them for your joyful kingdom.
Guide us to be fruitful in all that we do, according to your will.
We pray this in your name. Amen.

Sample #2:
God of all good gifts, we thank you and praise you.
Your Spirit has touched our lives, bringing wisdom, power, joy, courage, and peace.
Enable us to use our gifts in service to you.
In all that we do, and in all that we are, may your name be glorified.

May the story of your son be known in this world.
May you live within us forever.
We pray this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sample #3:
Dear Jesus, you bring joy and peace to our lives.
You share your power and wisdom freely and joyfully.
Now you empower us to bring these gifts to you and share freely and joyfully.
May you accomplish your good will through us, among us and in us.
We pray this in your name.

Sample #4:
Jesus, our hope, we give our gifts, times and talents back to you.
We pray that you may bless them and use them for your kingdom.
May you also guide us to understand your gospel.
May you help us to discover what you want of us.
In your name, we pray. Amen.


Offering Prayer

God of all good gifts, we thank you and praise you.
Your Spirit has touched our lives, bringing wisdom, power, joy, courage, and peace.
Enable us to use our gifts in service to you and for your world.
In all that we do, and in all that we are, may your name be glorified.
May you live within us forever.
May your kingdom expand in this world.
We pray this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession:

Jesus, you have invited us to remain with you.
But we moved away from you thinking “I don’t want to be weak and poor like you.”
You have died for the truth.
We have moved away from the truth.
You have been raised from the dead.
We have been reluctant bystanders.
You want us to be fully alive.
We have moved away from what gave us life and joy.
You have tried to have a relationship with us.
We kept a distance from you. We rather wanted to be distracted by something else. Then your voice of invitation became dimmer and dimmer.

But Christ, we hear again your invitation to come closer beside you.
May we remain in you, just the way you remain in us.

(Silent prayer of confession)

Prayer of Assurance:

Lord Jesus Christ, you have given us your life; now we give you ours. Take us, renew and remake us. What we have been is past, what we shall be, through you, begins now. May we be your living presence in this world. Amen.


John 4

(If Jesus were sharing his own story, it would have been like this???)

The word spread that I was baptizing more than John.
But, I wasn’t doing any baptizing, but my students were.
Anyway, when I found out about this, so, I pulled out of there.

On the way out I wanted to go through Samaritan village.
Right outside of this village, there was a well called the well of Jacob.

I was pretty tired from traveling.
So, I sat near the well.
And my energetic students had all gone to buy some food.
It was about noon.

A Samaritan woman came to draw some water.
I said to her, “Could you give me a drink?”
“How come a Jew like you is asking from a Samaritan woman like me?”
I said: “If you knew who it is asking you for a drink, you would ask him a drink and he would give you living water.”
“You silly, this well is deep. You don’t have anything to draw the water.”
“When you drink this water you get thirsty again. When you drink the water I give you, you’ll never again get thirsty. In fact, the water I give you becomes an inner-flowing spring, bubbling over with spiritual life.”
“Really? Give me that water, so I won’t get thirsty. Then, I don't have to come back here!”
I said, “Okay, then go and call your husband.”
The woman said, avoiding eye contacts, “I don’t have a husband.”
I said, “You are right! You have had five husbands, and the one you’re living with you now isn’t your husband. You are absolutely right!”
The woman said, “Eh, wow, I see that you’re a prophet… right? Well, you know, my people have always said that the best place to worship God is in this mountain over there, but you folks insist in Jerusalem. What is up with that?”

I said, “Listen here, ma’am, the time is coming. Yes, the time is here already, when the worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. Indeed, the Father is looking for people like that to worship God. God is spirit! So, when they worship God they must do it in spirit and truth.”

The woman said, “Oh! I remember that the God promised that the Leader is coming. When he comes, he’ll explain everything!”
I said, “I, the person talking with you, am he!”

About this time, my students returned.
Then, the lady left for town.
She said to the people there, "Come and meet a fellow who told me everything I ever did. Do you suppose he might be the Messiah?"
People were surprised by her sudden change and her remark.

My students said, “Come on, Teacher, let’s eat.”
“I have some food that you don’t know about.”
My students started asking one another, “C'mon now, who brought him something to eat?”
I said, “My food is doing the will of my Father. You have a saying that the harvest is four months away. Well, listen. Open your eyes and look at those fields. Right now they are at the peak of harvesting. Already the Harvester is hired and is gathering spiritual crops.”

“The saying is true that the Planter is one and the Harvester is another. Be glad and jump to work, because you are sent to harvest a crop that you haven’t planted. Now reap the benefit of it, so that the Planter and the Harvester may rejoice together.”

Many Samaritan people trusted me because the woman said, "He told me everything I ever did."
When they gathered about me, they started asking me to spend a while with them.
So, I did, for two days.
A large group of people put their faith in me.
Then, they told the woman, "Our faith is no longer based on your story alone, because we have heard him. He is truly the world’s deliverer, the Messiah."

Everything goes so well.
Having been rejuvenated by this incident, I went to another town.
The people welcomed me, because they had heard and seen all that I had done.

Then, I returned to where I had made the water into wine.
There was this government official whose son is sick.
Having heard about me, he urged me to come with him and heal his boy.

I said, “You need to have faith even if you haven't seen signs or miracles.”
The official said, “Please, pastor, come before my boy dies!”
I said, “Okay, you may go now. Your boy is well.”
He acted on my words, and went.

As he was returning, some of his friends met him and said, "Your son is well!”
He then asked them, "What time did he get better?"
They said, "About one o’clock afternoon, the fever went away."

The father recognized it as the exact time that I had told him, "Your boy is well."
So he put his faith in me, as well as his family.
When my students heard about it later and they were delighted.


How does God work in our mind

God’s gifts for our lives (How does God work in our mind)
Reading: 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4.

How do you use your subconscious mind?
They are brilliant, aren't they?

Can I tell you how to use your subconscious mind?

If so, think about something that you want to think about.
Think about something that you need to find some solution.

Look for various solutions.
Think about various ways to solve.
And then go to bed.
Or do something else for awhile.
I mean, release you from it.

Then, in the meantime, your subconscious mind works.
It tries to find wonderful answers and solutions.
In the morning or after awhile, you receive wonderful ideas.

Jesus says, "Seek, you will find."
Jesus says that because he has given you a wonderful mind.
It works for you all the time.
Enjoy your mind.


Ruth 2: 1-17

(A skit for young children)

Narrator: This story happened about 3000 years ago. Three persons appeared in this story. They are Naomi, Ruth and Boaz.

First, Naomi was away from home a long time. Now she was back to her hometown with her daughter-in-law who is called, Ruth. They were very, very, very poor.

Even though Naomi could have asked for help from her rich relative, Boaz, she didn't do it.

So, Ruth was ready to go out and gather some grains in the field so that they can have something to eat.

Ruth: I'm going out to gather some grains that are left behind by harvesters. Wish me good luck! (Smile) Hehe. Hope that I can find some harvesters who will treat me kindly.

Naomi: Good luck, my daughter.

Narrator: And so she went out and started gathering some grains in a field, following the harvesters.

Eventually, she ended up in the part of the field owned by Boaz, the relative that we were talking about.

A little later Boaz came out from Bethlehem, greeting his harvesters.

Boaz: God be with you!
Harvesters: And God bless you!

Narrator: After awhile, Boaz asked his young servant who was a leader of the harvesters.

Boaz: Who is this young woman? Where did she come from?

Young servant: Why, that's the foreign girl, the one who came with Naomi from the country of Moab.

She asked permission, saying, “Let me gather some grains following after your harvesters.” She's been at it steady ever since, from early morning until now.

Boaz: (Then Boaz came and spoke to Ruth) Listen, my daughter. From now on don't go to any other field to gather grains. Stay right here. And stay close to my young women. Watch where they are harvesting and follow them. And don't worry about a thing. I've given orders to my servants not to bother you.

When you get thirsty, feel free to go and drink from the water buckets that the servants have filled.

Ruth: (She dropped to her knees. Then she bowed her face to the ground.) How does this happen that you should pick me out and treat me so kindly. I am just a foreigner.

Boaz: I've heard all about you. I heard about the way you treated your mother-in-law after the death of her husband, and how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth and have come to live among a bunch of total strangers.
May God reward you well for what you've done.
May you be richly rewarded by God, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.

Ruth: Oh sir, such grace, such kindness. I don't deserve it. You've touched my heart, treated me like one of your own. And I don't even belong here!

Narrator: Again, at the lunch break, Boaz came back and said to her.

Boaz: Come over here. Eat some bread. Dip it in the wine.

Narrator: So, she joined the harvesters. Boaz passed the roasted grain to her. She ate her fill and even had some left over.

When she got up to go back to work, Boaz ordered his servants.

Boaz: Let her gather grains from where there's plenty of grain on the ground. Make it easy for her. Better yet, pull some of the good stuff out and leave it for her to gather. Give her a special treatment.

Narrator: Ruth gathered grains in the field until evening. When she threshed out what she had gathered, she ended up with nearly a full sack of barley!

So, she gathered up her belongs, went back, and showed her mother-in-law the results of her day's work.

She also gave her the food that she brought. They both were very happy.

Listening as Spiritual Hospitality

Written by Henri Nouwen (modified)

To listen is very hard.
Because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations.
True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known.
They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.

Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond.
Listening is praying.
Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings.
The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves.
Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.

Luke 15:1-7

(A children's sermon)
Preparation: various animal toys.

These are my animals, or pets, or friends.
So, they often appear on my children sermon, aren't they?
I am interested in making these guys popular, because they are my friends.
But yesterday, I felt I need to include this ram to my friends list.
God seems to say I should rejoice having a new friend.
Have you felt that way?

There are your closest friends.
And there are some other friends that you don't know very well.
Have you tried to be kind to people who you don't really know?

From today's reading, I feel that God is interested in having more friends.
God wants to have a big friends list.

You see, in the time of Jesus, there were many who are considered to be bad people.
They are called: the tax collectors or "sinners."
But Jesus welcomes these sinners and eats with them.
Jesus says God loves them, too.

Let's say these animals (animal toys) are God’s friends.
If one of them gets lost, God would leave the rest and go after the lost friend until God finds it.

And when God finds it, God joyfully puts it on God's shoulders and goes home.

Then God calls God's friends (animal toys) and neighbors (children) together and says, "Rejoice with me. I, I have found my lost friend!"

Like this, when you help a person get to know God and fall in love with God, God rejoices in heaven. God rejoices over us. That is cool, huh?

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to show your love to all the people around us. In your name we pray. Amen.


Mark 11:1-10 (2)

(A skit for young children)

Narrator: At this time, Jesus was about to finish his ministry.
So, with his students Jesus came closer to Jerusalem. When he was near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his students, and said to them:

Jesus: Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a donkey tied there. No one has ever sat on it yet. Untie it and bring it here.

Oh, if anyone says to you, “Why are you untying this?”
Just say, “The Lord needs it. He will send it right back here."

Narrator: Then they went away and found a donkey tied at the door, outside in the street. They untied it.

The Bystanders: What are you doing, untying the donkey?

The students: The Lord needs it. He will send it right back.

The bystanders: OK, then. Carry on.

Narrator: So, these two students of Jesus brought the donkey and put their coats on it. As soon as Jesus sat on it, the parade began.

Many spread their coats in the road. (Note: children may act out the sine from here)
Many spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields.

Many were in front of this parade.
Many were behind this parade.

Everyone was shouting (Note: let the children shout): Hooray! Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming king! Hosanna in the highest!


Call to Worship

Since his resurrection, Jesus always comes to us.
Whatever point we may be at, he is always waiting for us.
Jesus says to us:
“Come to me, all of you.
Then you will find rest.”
So, let us follow him.
Allow his Gospel to change our heart and our life.
Let’s us worship God.


Communion Prayer

Thank you, Jesus for what this bread and this cup represent.
Thank you for your faithfulness.
Thank you for your forgiveness.
Thank you for your love.
Thank you for your Holy Spirit.
Thank you for your promises.
Thank you for this abundant life.

Thank you for inviting us to enter into your kingdom through your gospel.
Thank you for embracing us with your new promise.

We celebrate your joyful kingdom.
We celebrate your resurrection.
We celebrate your awesome victory!

So, help us to tell your story to all the people and the nations.
Help us to tell the world that you take away the sins of the world.

Continually live in us, as we desire to live in you.
We love you. We want to love you.
In your name, we pray, Amen.


John 1: 29-34

Eat this book
Reading: John 1: 29-34

When I was young, I wished to see how Jesus spoke and acted.
When I read the gospel, I wanted to see his face expression to know what he really meant.
I want to see the whole things.
I thought that if I could observe him, I could learn his way of being.

But as you know, I cannot do that.
But then if God helps me, I can meet him in my own imagination.
When I read the gospel, I can pray.
Then I may be able to meet Jesus working in my imagination.

This is how you can do.
You read a portion of the gospel.
And then, you image what is happening there in detail.
You imagine how Jesus may feel.
It is like you looking at his face.

Is he looking at you?
Is he smiling?
What is the weather like?
What is his voice like?

Occasionally, then we are able to listen to the Spirit who softens our hearts.
Then when we hear the voice of God, we are not going to harden our heart.
When you have a deep conviction about God, you cannot harden your heart.

When you read the Bible, you occasionally have some word or phrase “speaks” to you.
Think about why. In this way, you may interact with Jesus.
As you read the Bible, try to notice the character of Jesus in the passage.
Then you may find some prayer arises within you. Pray that prayer.
After that, you will notice your intuition works better than before, according to the will of God.
As you read the Bible, you occasionally experienced that your worry disappear and you are able to rest in God’s Presence. Then rest there for awhile. You may rest and pray.
There you may interact with the Holy Spirit.
The Christ may make you relax and renew your power.
In this way, you can be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit of Jesus may inspire you to do something.

Sometimes, in order to grow more spiritually, you need to share that with others.
You may have a desire to do something.
You may want to write down your goals, because you have sensed what the will of God is for you.
You may realize how you can serve others.
You may realize what you want to do with your life.
You may feel faith and love in you for this.

Sometimes, reading the bible, your experience, your thought, emotion, and memory may be healed. You have new thought, new imagination, hope, vision and awakening.

So, let’s try:
(1) Let’s read John 1: 29-34 together.
Do you understand every word in there?

Now let’s close your eyes and imagine that Jesus was looking at this sine.
As you walk along with Jesus, you learn that Jesus stops to listen to him.
What does Jesus say to you?
Ask him whether he remembers his baptism.
What does he say?
Does he give you a smile?

Now ask questions that you may have.
Look at Jesus and see how he is explaining things.
After that, you may open your eyes.

In this way, you can present yourself to Christ in your prayer.
In this way, you can say, “Jesus Christ, I am here before you.”
This is how you may communicate with Christ.
This is how you have a deeper encounter.

We can give thanks to God who dwells in our prayer.
Give thanks to Christ who still exists with us.
Give thanks for interacting with you.
You feel good when God is leading you.

Sometimes, you can offer your silence (דֻמִיָּה) to God.
Sometimes, we need to be silent before God.
To Christ, we can offer our silence.
In a sense, we should offer our silence to God alone. (Psalm 62: 1, 5)
The Bible encourages us to be silent (דּוֹם) before Christ and wait patiently for him. (Psalm 37:7)

Offer silence to God is a form of praise.
What a beautiful gift to give God a moment of silence!
Like this without any words, we can praise Jesus Christ.
Then we can hear what God is saying.
When we wait silently for God, we realize that God is our salvation and hope.

Silence is God’s first language.
In silence, we learn to have new intimacy with Christ.
For some it may sound mysterious, but it exists.

Read the bible again and again.
As you read, there will be a particular passage that comes close to you.
There will be some words and ideas that catch your attention.
These may make you feel the presence of God in your life.
These words and thoughts may give you peace.
You may want to do something.

When you read the bible, sometimes, you find that your mind starts wondering.
Then try to read differently or pray in silence.
You may write down the text.
Ask Jesus Christ about your thoughts and ideas.
Interact with God.
Jesus is trying to interact with you.

When you read the bible, various things may happen.
Your reading may stir you up to do something.
Some word or phrase may jump out of the passage.
Then you may read the portion again.
You may read from another translation of the Bible.
You may do additionally study on what Jesus is trying to do or say in the scene through these words.

As you read again and gain, you may go deeper.
You may experience Jesus in your mind.
God's intention may emerge for you.
You may feel that God is trying to say something to you.
Christ may try to communicate with you about something.
You may then try to communicate with God about this.

Sometimes, in order to read the bible, you need to put the Bible away and pray.
Pray with the Holy Spirit.
You may sing praise to God.
You may give thanks to God.
In this way, you may be able to use your inner eyes to look at Christ again.

Some people carry a text from the bible everywhere.
They carry this in order to remind them of something.
They may pray along with it.
In this way, they may clear their mind for awhile.

Then they can share what they sense the will of God is for certain situations.
They may share with the world the presence of God.
So, eat this book.
Meaning, read it. Pray with it. Think about it. Imagine with it.
Then you will be able to accomplish much.

Note: Psalm 95:7-8, Hebrews 3:8, Hebrews 3:15, Hebrews 4:7, II Timothy 1:7, Numbers 14:22-23, Ezekiel 3:7, Psalm 51:10-11, Acts 7:51

Opening Prayer

Jesus our joy, your Gospel can change both our heart and our life.
You call us to follow you and enable us to follow you.

Jesus, light of our hearts, since your resurrection, you always come to us.
Whatever point we may be at, you are always waiting for us.
And you tell us:
Come to me, you who are overburdened, and you will find relief.

Christ, in the depths of our soul, you set faith.
You enable us to have this faith of Jesus Christ.
This faith bursts within our heart, countless times, in the course of our life.
If we come to you, you enable all of us to have this faith.

Opening prayer #2:

Christ, we are returning to you.
Christ, guide us so that we may move to have a confidence in you.
May we have faith to offer our ourselves to you in body and in spirit.
Because you can truly give us joy and peace.


Matthew 8:19-20


Jesus who was poor
Reading: Matthew 8:19-20

A well educated person wanted to follow Jesus.
He was a teacher of law.
He wanted to follow Jesus.

But Jesus said something like this:
“The birds have their nests.
The foxes have their dens.
But I have nowhere to lay his head.
I am called to live in poverty.
I constantly travel.
Can you follow me?
You like to read books at home.
Can you imagine living without a home?
Can you leave your comfortable room for me?
It could be very inconvenient.
You may be hungry for some days.
Can you handle it?
Can you handle my life?”

In the first century, this is what is like to follow Jesus.
Jesus couldn’t go back to his home at six o’clock.
He didn’t have his home to sleep.
Sometimes, it was not clear where he would sleep that night.
He slept in various places.
The disciples were following him.
His disciples used to have their jobs.
They had families.
They had money.
They had their businesses.
But now they constantly travel because their teacher is constantly traveling.
Because they believe in Jesus, they left their comfortable home.
Some of them might like to live like this, instead of staying at home.

They clean their faces, when they had a chance.
They clean their sandals, when they had a chance.
They clean their clothing when they had a chance.
They have to live like this, because they are following Jesus who didn’t have a home.

But Jesus even said:
“Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”

Then, he lived in poverty.
Jesus lived in the lack of material things.
Being poor, he lived for God.
Because of his poverty, he was able to preach the kingdom of God.

Living in this poverty, he was able to welcome everyone.
It was possible.
Various mountains were his prayer closet.
Various hills were his place to stay.
He spent a night at various homes.

Jesus was saying poverty does not bother him in serving God.
In this way he encourages those who live in poverty.
He gave a good example, to those who live in poverty.
Even though they have not many things, they can follow Jesus.
They can find their inner comfort.
They could follow the one who was also poor.

The life of Jesus is an example.
Jesus lived for God.
Jesus overcame many things.
Jesus overcame the fear of death.
Jesus overcame the poverty.
Jesus overcame the difficulties in life.
Then people can come to Jesus in their difficult times.

Jesus overcame suffering.
Then people who suffer can find comfort in him.

Jesus overcame hopelessness and near despair.
Then others can find a comfort and an inspiration in him.

Jesus went through some tough situation.
He went through some hurt and troubles.
Then those who are hurt and troubled can find the comfort of Jesus in troubling times.
Jesus comes close to them in these experiences sharing his good news.

So, we are sure that Jesus will walk with those who walk thousands of miles through scorching deserts to come to USA looking for jobs.
Jesus was with them as some of them died along the way.
Jesus was with them as some of them were arrested and treated as criminals for coming into the country illegally.
Jesus was with them as some of them found jobs.
Jesus was with them as some of them live poorly so that they could send money home to support their families.
Jesus wants to be their hope.

We also have some poor people in our neighborhood.
If we want to help Jesus, we may need to reach out to them.
We may pray for them.
We may pray that they may easily survive this year.

God may send us to help them to find Jesus.
They can find their comfort and inspiration in him.
God may send us to learn from them.
It is something to think about.


Becoming Friends of Our Children

By Henri Nouwen

Can fathers and mothers become friends of their children? Many children leave their parents to find freedom and independence and return to them only occasionally. When they return they often feel like children again and therefore do not want to stay long. Many parents worry about children's well-being after they have left home. When their children visit they want to be caring parents again.

But a mother can also become the daughter of her daughter and a father the son of his son. A mother can become the daughter of her son and a father the son of his daughter. Father and mother become brother and sister of their own children, and they all can become friends. It doesn't happen often, but when it does happen it is as beautiful to watch as the dawn of a new day.

Luke 12:16-21

In Luke 12:16-21, Jesus told this parable:

The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.
He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

Then he said:
‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.
And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.

Are we rich toward God?
Because of our wealth, are we free to build the kingdom of God?