This Children’s Talk was written for the 5th Sunday After Trinity – Year A; 2017 – Note this talk does not correspond to the Lectionary readings for this Sunday.
I will link to additional resources in due course.
Mark 4: 30-34
May I speak in the name of the Living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
I would like you all to have a quick think about this question and tell the person next to you: WHO or WHAT inspires you and WHY?
Does anyone want to share with everyone?
Here are a couple of examples of who inspired me to be who I am today and why.
• The Vicar
They is always there for you, whenever you may need them.
They helps when I have questions
They are a FRIEND
• A Youth Worker
Someone who helps us to realize, and achieve your aspirations
I love the first few verses in the Book of Proverbs which explain exactly what an inspiring person could be. Let’s take a look at the verses.
Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise.
Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young.
Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance,
by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles.
But there is someone else too who inspires me and I hope many of you.
The one person that knows me! He knows me even better than I know myself.
He never leaves you alone, even in times of weakness and when you are struggling.
There is a verse from Deuteronomy which really sums this up.
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
The next part takes a look at the words of two songs, so let’s stand and worship by singing these two very meaningful songs; Amazing Grace and The Ink is Black, The Page is White.
So we have looked and talked about who might inspire you, and have sung two songs. But let’s now take a quick look at the meanings of those songs.
Amazing Grace – Origins
- Written by John Newton, based on his personal experiences.
- This was in the Atlantic Slave trade.
- 1748 a HUGE storm hit and everyone was fearing for their lives. He prayed and felt God’s presence and that marked his spiritual conversion.
- Left slave trade in 1754 and started writing hymns.
- Most well known is ‘Amazing Grace’ and was written to illustrate a talk on New Year’s day in 1773. `
- Amazing Grace is essentially John Newton’s autobiography of his life story. How he was involved with the slave trade, met God and became a freer of slaves and campaigned for their freedom.
The Ink is Black, the Page is White – Origins
- The song was inspired by the United States Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education Topeka, in the US State of Kansas in 1954 which that outlawed racial segregation of public schools.
- The original lyrics of the song opened with this verse, in reference to the court: “Their robes were black, Their heads were white, The schoolhouse doors were closed so tight, Nine judges all set down their names, To end the years and years of shame.”
So how do these songs feed into our story and question for today?
The Parable of the Mustard Seed that we read earlier told us how the mustard seed grew into a big tree when it started out as the tiniest of seeds.
It is a big change to go from something so tiny to something as large as a big tree that you can shelter under and see from a long way off.
When Jesus used the mustard seed to explain to his disciples what the Kingdom would be like, he knew that they would be inspired by the changes that could happen in the world.
That is exactly like what happened with John Newton and the slave trade, and with the US Supreme Court decision in 1954.
Both were the starts of processes that changed generations of people to come. They were the INSPIRATION for their generations in starting to get equality for everyone.
Jesus was the inspiration for his generation. He inspired his disciples to grow like mustard seeds in their faith to go and tell the good news that He brought.
Those people that inspire us, whether that be God, your Parents, our Priest, Youth Worker, or our favourite athletes, they are our inspiration to grow like a mustard seed does.
So let’s all go out today, and leave here with the ambition to grow, inspired by whoever and whatever you have thought about today. And remember that God is with us all the time. Jesus could be our ultimate inspiration as to how we would like to grow.