Children’s Sermon

John 12:1-8

Honor and Respect

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John 12:1-8

Honor and Respect

By Lois Parker Edstrom

Objects suggested: Fragrant objects from nature or fragrant soaps, lotions or candles.

(If time and situation permits, ask the children to close their eyes then, pass around familiar, fragrant items such as cinnamon, etc. for the children to identify. Beware of items that might cause a problem for those with allergies.)

When we are out and about we not only see and hear things, we also learn about the world through our noses. What are some of your favorite smells? I like the smell of gingerbread baking in the oven, the fresh smell of the earth after a rain, the smell of salt when you are near the sea.

Think about how it would be to walk outdoors if there were no scents. Your world would seem very different, like not being able to see colors or hear music. Think about how these smells make you feel; some cause you to feel calm and peaceful and others may make you feel more alert.

There are so many wonderful smells in nature––pine trees, mushrooms, grass and, of course, all the fragrances of herbs and flowers–– roses, lavender, carnations, lily of the valley and honeysuckle.

People have enjoyed fragrances for hundreds and hundreds of years. We use fragrances from nature in our soaps, shampoos, lotions, candles, and also in cleaning supplies.

Even the Bible includes a story about fragrance. Jesus was having dinner at a friend’s house when a woman, named Mary, “took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed the feet of Jesus…” (12:3). She rubbed the nard, which is a perfume made from the oil of flowers, onto Jesus’ feet.

In that country, at that time, people wore sandals and the roads were often dusty. Servants would wash the feet of those who had been traveling. Mary honored and showed respect to Jesus by caring for his feet like this.

One of Jesus’ disciples criticized her and said she should not use such expensive perfume in that way. Jesus said, “Leave her alone” (12:7). The story tells us, “The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment (12:3).

There are many ways to honor God. This is the way Mary chose to do it.

Good smells give so much pleasure––give thanks!

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2010, Richard Niell Donovan