Children’s Sermon

Matthew 4:1-11

Being Centered

By Lois Parker Edstrom


A handmade piece of pottery, if available.
See a picture of a potter’s wheel

A potter is an artist who makes beautiful objects from clay. You may have a pot, a mug, a plate, or a vase in your home that has been handmade by a potter. (Show pottery.) Or perhaps you have had an opportunity in school to shape an object from clay with your own hands.

Some potters use a potter’s wheel that looks like this. (Show picture.) Potters around the world have been using a wheel similar to the one in this picture for thousands of years.

The potter places a lump of clay directly in the center of the wheel with enough force to make it stick. This is one of the most important parts of making a piece of pottery. If the clay is not in the center of the wheel it becomes off balance and the potter will have difficulty shaping the clay. After the clay is centered the potter makes the wheel spin by turning on a motor or pushing a pedal with the foot. Then, if the clay is properly centered, a beautiful piece of pottery begins to be shaped by the potter’s hands. (It may be helpful to use your hands to demonstrate some of these motions.)

What if we were to think of ourselves as a chunk of clay? That sounds funny, because we are much, much more than a chunk of clay, but there is a lesson here for us to think about. Like clay, we also need to be centered. Every day we make many choices and we don’t always know how to choose what is best. Sometimes we make bad choices and that can cause us to feel off balance. We may feel unhappy with ourselves and others may be hurt by our bad choices as well.

The Bible records the words of Jesus and he gives us important advice to help us stay centered. He says, “Worship the Lord your God, and…serve him only” (4:10).

Let’s think about how we worship and serve God. If our lives are centered on God we will be able to make good choices and be balanced by his love.

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible

Copyright 2008, Richard Niell Donovan