Children’s Sermon

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Recycling Our Mistakes

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1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Recycling Our Mistakes

By Lois Parker Edstrom

Object suggested: Empty tuna fish can. Recycle as described in the lesson. If time permits make one of these small gifts for each of the children.

Many of you may have recycling bins in your home where you collect items such as plastic and glass bottles, cans, cardboard, and newspapers that would otherwise be thrown in the trash bin.

We do this so that those items can be used again. I’ve brought a little example of recycling with me today. This was an empty tuna fish can I picked out of the garbage. You can imagine how nasty it smelled before I washed and painted it.

You can see that I drilled a couple of holes, one on each side of the can, and attached a wire handle. I painted flowers around the side of the can and added ribbon and a bow to the handle. Now I have a container that I can fill with candy or other small items and give as a gift to someone special.

I recycled something that was of no use and rather unpleasant into an attractive, useable item.

I imagine that you are wondering what this has to do with today’s lesson. Let’s see if we can figure it out. The Apostle Paul said this: “For I am the least of the apostles, who is not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the assembly (church) of God” (15:9). “But by the grace of God I am what I am. His grace which was bestowed on me was not futile…” (15:10).

Paul tells us that before he became a Christian he mistreated others and did some bad things. I think Paul was mad at God and the people of God’s church.

When Paul accepted God’s love, he received God’s forgiveness. God’s forgiveness, or what we also call grace, is offered to people who don’t deserve it. Don’t you think this is a good example of how people can be recycled?

God’s forgiveness recycled Paul into a person of great usefulness, a person who was willing and able to share God’s love with others.

This is a good thing to remember if we find we have made a bad choice, especially when we hurt another person. When this happens we can ask to be forgiven and find a way to make something useful out of our bad actions. God recycles us with forgiveness. Use that forgiveness to make something of value.

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible

Copyright 2012, Richard Niell Donovan