Children’s Sermon

Mark 12:28-34

The Whole Thing

By Lois Parker Edstrom

Object suggested: A beautifully wrapped box that contains small gifts for the children. Include a card as suggested below.

I have prepared a gift for some special young friends of mine. This card, as you can see, is so beautiful that I’m wondering if I should give the card to my friends instead of the gift. The card says, “You are special and I’m glad you’re my friend. Shall I give the card and keep the gift? You obviously think that is not a good idea.

How about if I give the card and this bow? The bow is large and tied from beautiful satin ribbon. Don’t you think my friends would like having this bow? Oh, you don’t think that is a good idea either?

Okay, how about if I give my friends the card, the bow, the beautiful wrapping paper and the box that holds the gift. That seems quite generous to me. You don’t think so?

Well, what do you suggest I do? Give the whole thing! You want me to give my friends the card, the bow, the wrapping paper, the box, AND the gift?
I agree. When you prepare a gift, your intent is to give all of it to your friend or, in this case, friends.

Jesus talks about this in the Bible when he answers a question about what is the first and most important commandment. He says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment” (12:30).

This means that when you offer your love to God you must intent to love God with all that you are. You wouldn’t think of giving a friend just the bow on the top of a gift and keeping the rest for yourself. It is the same with how we love God.

We are to love God with our heart, our mind, our soul, and all our strength. That is the whole gift. That is the first and most important commandment. (Share gifts with children.)

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible

Copyright 2007, Richard Niell Donovan