Children’s Sermon

Matthew 16:21-28

It’s Not Easy

By Lois Parker Edstrom


Do you like to hike? Perhaps you live near the mountains and are able to hike along a trail that winds up through a beautiful forest, along a creek, or to a cool lake.

Living near the desert your hiking trail may lead you along a canyon where you see interesting rock formations, desert plants and flowers.

In the city a hike may take you through a park filled with tall trees and colorful flowers, or perhaps to a pond where swans float.

Hiking, although fun, is not easy. The path may be steep and rough causing you to become tired. Your pack may feel too heavy; you may develop a blister on your foot, become too hot or too cold or thirsty. If you camp overnight your tent may leak and your food, cooked over the campfire, may burn. Many things can cause your hike to be difficult.

Jesus talked about a similar idea with his disciples. He said, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (16:24).

When you choose to follow Jesus you choose a life of freedom, but also of responsibility. It is not easy. You may encounter people who make fun of you because of your beliefs. There may be times when you want to do something that looks like fun, but the activity is not something that would honor God.

You hike to find beauty and enjoy the freedom and freshness found in nature. You may become uncomfortable and the hike may be difficult, but it is worth it! Being a Christian is just like that!

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible.

Copyright 2008, Richard Niell Donovan