The Eye of a Needle…
By Dr. Dan Wuori
(Note: For today’s sermon you will need a sewing needle.)
I brought something to show you today – it’s a needle, for sewing. I’ll walk it around so you can take a look. One end is very sharp and the other you’ll notice (if you look very closely) has a tiny hole in it. We call this hole the “eye” of the needle. It’s where you put the thread. The eye of a needle is awfully small – and it has to be – because the whole needle needs to be small enough to pull right through the cloth that you are sewing.
I brought this to show you because today’s Gospel lesson includes one of Jesus’ most famous sayings – and it’s about the eye of a needle.
A rich man comes to Jesus and asks him how to enter heaven. One of the things Jesus tells him is that he should sell his things and give the money to the poor. The man is a little surprised by this and goes away unhappy because he has a lot of special things.
After he goes, Jesus explains to the disciples that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Do you think a big animal like a camel could fit through this tiny hole? Sounds impossible to me. So why do you think that Jesus would tell them this? Why would he tell them that it’s impossible for a rich man to go to heaven? (Solicit children’s answers.)
I think you’ve figured it out. Jesus often tells us about how we should behave and treat others, especially others who need our help. Jesus is talking about greed – and reminding us that when we are lucky enough to have money that we should use it for more than ourselves. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have clothes to wear, or a place to live, but that helping to take care of others is more important than having more and more and more things.
Thank you for blessing us with the things we need in life – and for helping us to remember that sharing these blessings with others is our responsibility.
Copyright 2009, Dr. Dan Wuori. Used by permission.