Children’s Sermon

Mark 3:20-35

Families that Love


By Lois Parker Edstrom

Object suggested: Map of Africa.
Picture of the hippo and tortoise:

We can learn a lot from animals. This is a heart-warming story that I would like to share with you: A baby hippopotamus, named Owen, was swept down a river and into the ocean when a tsunami struck and then was tossed back to shore by waves and landed on the coast of Kenya in Africa.

Wildlife workers rescued him and took him to a shelter where he was adopted by a one hundred year old tortoise that acted as his mother. (Show picture.) Don’t they look happy together?

Baby hippos like to be with and play with their mothers until they are about four years old. These two, the hippo and the tortoise, although very different from each other, are fast friends that eat, sleep and swim together. The tortoise likes being a mother and Owen likes his new mother. The two of them formed a family. How wonderful!

What we can learn from this story is that close family members may come in many forms. Not all of us are blessed with families that include a mother, father, brothers, and sisters. Families are made of people who love and care for each other.

We find friends, in our church and elsewhere, who are loving and caring. They make good family members. Jesus says, “For whoever does the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother” (3:35).

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible

Copyright 2011, Richard Niell Donovan