Focus Passage: Luke 4: 21-30
Memory Verse: “Truly I tell you, no prophet is listened to by his own hometown people.”
Items for Preparation
Get your storytelling hat, googly eye glasses, or granny outfit ready – you’re gonna tell a story to illustrate the truth of Jesus’ saying. It’s a hard saying, and harder still for children to understand. But they can get how much they don’t like doing what another friend, or a big sister, or somebody they usually have authority for, telling them what to do! You probably won’t have to leave town after this one.
Read the adult lesson in Nurturing Faith Baptists Today, and additional material online. ‘Nuff said.
Say: Here comes a story! Oh my dears, close your mouths, and bend your ears! [Bend your own ears when you say that last part too.]
This is the Story of The Girl Who “Would Not”
There were three friends named Ossie, Ollie and Odie. Now, they were about the same age, they had the same curly black hair, they liked to play softball, and they lived so close to each other that they could walk to one another’s apartments quick as a wink.
One day at school, Ossie, Ollie and Odie were moving together in the same group of kids around their classroom centers. Ossie was not in a very good mood, and she wasn’t doing the things Ollie and Odie did at each center. First they went to the Good Morning Center and they learned how to spell J-a-n-u-a-r-y. They made up a little game, and clapped their hands together like pat-a-cake, and spelled it as fast as they could. Let’s do that now: j-a-n-u-a-r-y. Woo! J-a-n-u-a-r-y. Woo! [Clap when you say the letters and again when you say woo.] But Ossie just sat still, and didn’t spell anything, and she didn’t clap either. She just said “I will not,” and held her chin very high in the air. [You do that too.]
Next they went to the Fun Number Center, and Ollie had a little trouble learning how to count all the way past 19 to 25. Odie helped her out. “I’ll remember how to do the 20-to-25 part, if you get us up to 19,” she said to Ollie. So that’s what they did. We can do it along with them: [now count aloud with your kids from 1 to 19, then switch to a different voice and count 20 to 25.] But when they counted all the way to 25, Ossie didn’t say her numbers at all. Not a single one, not even “One.” She just sat with a mad look on her face, and said “I will not,” and held her chin very high in the air.
Next was Odie’s favorite: the Chef’s Corner, where you got to mix ingredients together or build your own snack, and make something good to eat, which of course, you then got to gobble up right away. Ossie, Ollie and Odie were walking over in the direction of the Chef’s Corner, and their noses could smell the delicious Cheesy Secrets that were around the corner on the table. But before they could even get over there, Ossie stopped in her tracks, sniffed the air, smelled the Cheesy Secrets, and said “I don’t even like cheese. I will not,” and she held her chin very high in the air.
Well, Odie and Ollie were flabbergasted. They could see why you might not want to spell, or why you might not be in the mood for counting high numbers. But they couldn’t understand why anybody would not want to make a delicious snack.
Odie said to Ossie, “Ossie, if we do all the things at our centers today, we will have a lot of fun. It will be a good day. But when you keep saying you will not, then, even when we are doing the right things, we still do not have fun. It would be a lot better for us if you would join in so we can all learn together.”
And then Ossie looked Odie right in the eyes and said, “I don’t have to do anything if I don’t want to. Just because you say so, I don’t have to mind you. You aren’t the boss of me! You are just one of my friends. You are just like me. You can’t make me do anything! I will not,” and she held her chin high in the air again.
So Ollie said to Ossie, “You know, Ossie, it seems like you are not feeling very good today. It seems like something is bothering you. Is that why you don’t want to go around our centers with us?”
And Ossie looked at Ollie and replied, “You’re right, I don’t feel very good. It’s making me frustrated.” But this time, she didn’t hold her chin up high. She just stayed still.
Odie said, “I don’t want to be the boss of you, Ossie. I just want you to be my friend, and to go around the centers with me and have fun. It’s a lot more fun with you than it is without you.” And Odie and Ollie both looked at Ossie to see what she would say.
Ossie looked around at all the centers, and all the other friends who were very busy, and were laughing and having a good time with their numbers, their spelling, their cooking, their artwork, their sewing, and the Book Nook. A big tear came in the corner of her eye, and then it slid down her cheek and splashed onto her jacket. Ollie gave her a tissue and she blew her nose, really loud too.
After several quiet moments, she said to Ollie and Odie, “I just don’t want to have so many bosses! Everywhere we go, somebody tells us what to do. I am tired today, and I just want to go over to the Book Nook and read stories. I don’t want to do any of the other centers, just because somebody told us we have to do that.”
Odie and Ollie looked at each other and smiled. Odie said, “If you are tired today, then we can go with you over to the Book Nook, and we can read stories with you. Just for today, we don’t mind. We can skip the Chef’s Corner, the Sewing Sofa and the Painter’s Place, if it will help you feel better, Ossie.”
When Odie said that, Ollie’s eyes got big, and her face got a little bit red, and she thought about the fun she was having this week at the Sewing Sofa and how good the Cheesy Secrets were smelling, and she didn’t want to miss them. So she said, “Hey, wait a minute, Odie! If you want to go with Ossie to the Book Nook, and skip all the other fun stuff, that’s okay, but count me out! I don’t want to miss our centers today! I am feeling hungry for the Cheesy Secrets! You aren’t the boss of me, either, and can’t make me miss out! I will not!” And it looked to Odie for just a minute that Ollie’s chin went up a little bit high in the air, too.
Odie and Ossie smiled at each other, and then they started to laugh. Odie said, “Ollie, if that’s what you want to do, that’s okay. We’ll go to the Book Nook, and you go make your Cheesy Secrets, and we’ll see you later at the Painter’s Place. We are all friends, and nobody is the boss of anybody else, are we? “
Then Ollie smiled again, and said, “You’re right, Odie, we have to decide for ourselves every day. Thanks for being just my friend. I’m not your boss, and you’re not mine.”
Odie replied, “And neither of us is Ossie’s boss!” Then all three of them laughed at how funny it sounded to say “Ossie’s boss” really fast. We can do it too: Ossie’s boss – Ossie’s boss – Ossie’s boss. …The End.
Prayer: Say these words after I say them.
O God of Love
Help us to obey your law of love
Help us to follow the right direction
Give us wise leaders and prophets
And help us be friends to one another
In Jesus’ name, Amen.