Children’s Sermon

1 Corinthians 1:18-25


By Lois Parker Edstrom

Objects suggested: Mattie Stepanek’s books, the Heartsongs Series, are available in most public libraries and some of his poems are available online.

Photos of Mattie Stepanek

Today I’d like to tell you the true story of a remarkable boy. His name is Mattie Stepanek. It is a sad story because Mattie died when he was thirteen years old, but you will also come to know that it is a beautiful story because of how Mattie lived his life. He had an illness that caused him to be in a wheelchair, and he also needed equipment to help him breathe.

In spite of having severe health problems, Mattie liked to do all the things that healthy kids do. He liked to read, play video games, build with Legos, and collect rocks.

Mattie also loved to write. He wrote five books of poetry called “Heartsongs.” Although he was young, he was very courageous and wise. Through his poetry he talked about how to make the world a more peaceful place.

He traveled and met many famous people. Everywhere he went he spoke about the importance of living a gentle life. What mattered to Mattie––and these are his words––was “praying and playing and celebrating life every day in some way.”

The Bible tells us that “the weakness of God is stronger than men (human strength)” (1:25).

Mattie was a child, made weak by his illness, but God blessed his life with strength and wisdom. Many people have been changed for the better by meeting Mattie and listening to his words. He wrote beautiful poetry that speaks to people all over the world and gives them courage and hope.

Even though, at times, we may feel weak and powerless, we all have the opportunity to live our lives with God’s strength. We can make the choice, as Mattie did, to pray and play and celebrate life every day.

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible

Copyright 2010, Richard Niell Donovan