Greed – The Parable of the Rich Fool Luke 12: 13-21 How to catch a Monkey with a penny and a jar.
Children’s sermon idea: (This public domain story / anecdote has been around for a long time but I do think it works.) Tell the children how you can catch a monkey with jar and a penny. Put a penny in a small mouth jar and attach it (the jar) to a post with a rope. Explain how the monkey will reach inside grabbing the penny with his fist. Because he is holding the penny in his fist he can’t get his hand out without letting go. He gets caught because he is too greedy to let go of the penny. Explain how Jesus warned about greed.
Object lesson items: A small mouth jar or vase, A Penny, A rope or piece of string to tie onto the jar.
Full Children’s Story: Good morning children. This morning I want to explain to you how to catch a monkey. We don’t have a monkey here this morning so you’ll have to use your imagination. Do you see this jar? I’m going to take this jar and put a penny inside it like this. I’ll put the jar down here on the floor. Then I’m going to tie this rope to the jar. Good. That’s nice and tight. Then I’m going to hang on to the other end of the rope and behind this chair. I’ll explain how this works. If a monkey comes along and sees the penny inside he’ll say to himself. Hmm. I want to have that penny all to myself. So he reaches in and grabs the penny. (Show them with your hand.) He makes sure he is holding it very tightly in his hand. But when he tries to take his hand out he can’t remove it because he is making a fist holding on to the penny. He can’t get his hand out as long as he holds on to the penny. He could get away very easily if he just let go of the penny but he loves the money so much he just can’t let go. Then you just need to pull on this rope and you have caught a monkey with his hand in the jar. In our bible reading this morning form Luke chapter 12 Jesus warned about greed. Greed means hanging onto money very tightly so that you don’t seem to care about anything else. Like the monkey that gets caught by hanging on to money, we can also get trapped by money. We can be so concerned about hanging on to our money that we forget about other people in need and we can even forget about God. Jesus said that happiness is not found in having lots of money and lots of “things.”
Children’s Prayer: Dear God. Thank you that all of us here this morning have enough food to eat and we have nice homes to live in too. Help us not to be greedy. Help us to be people who share what we have with others and put you first. Thank you that real happiness comes from following Jesus and knowing his love. In Jesus’ name – Amen!