Children’s Sermon

Mark 8:27-38

Beyond Ourselves

By Lois Parker Edstrom


Firefighter’s uniform or equipment, if available. This lesson could be enhanced by asking a firefighter in your congregation or community to come in uniform and assist the person presenting the children’s sermon.

Pictures of firemen for children to color


Have you ever been so involved in something that you weren’t aware of time passing? It is as if you forget about yourself. You may have experienced that when you were playing and having so much fun you forgot about everything except what you were doing. Artists, writers, surgeons, and other people experience this when they are doing important work. They care so much about what they are doing and find so much joy in what they are doing that they forget about themselves.

Then there are firefighters who go into burning buildings to save people without thinking about themselves. Some volunteer firefighters don’t get paid for this dangerous work, yet they put their own needs aside in order to save people’s lives.

When Jesus lived on earth he spoke to his disciples and a crowd of people who were gathered around him and said, “Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (8:34).

I think Jesus was telling us to find what it is that God wants us to do, not necessarily what we want to do. When we look for God’s work we find work that fits our talents and abilities. God’s work gives us the kind of joy that makes us forget about ourselves. As we honor God, believing deeply and being involved in his work, we learn to concentrate in a way that causes us to go beyond ourselves. You can do more than you ever imagined.

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible

Copyright 2007, Richard Niell Donovan