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The Good Samaritan ... But ...

Children's sermon
Story Time At The Altar
86 Messages For Children
Jesus told stories because people like, listen to, and remember stories. He once told a story about a friend. Friends are important. This is the story Jesus told:

A man set out from home, and as he was walking, robbers came and beat him up and stole what he had. They left him beside the road to die.

But someone came along, saw the hurt man and ... quickly passed by. He was afraid he might be blamed for hurting the man or sued for helping him. Besides, the man was bleeding and he was supposed to stay clean.

But another man came along. He was in a hurry, however, and didn't have time to stop.

But a stranger, a Samaritan, came by. He saw the hurt man.

But he was his enemy.

But he stopped.

He cleaned the wounds, bandaged them, put the hurt man on his donkey, and took him to a place where he would be cared for. He paid the innkeeper and promised to pay more when he returned.

When Jesus ended the story, he asked, "Which man was the friend?"

I have named the story of the Good Samaritan, "BUT!"

But I would like to reframe it for you.

A girl came into a new classroom. She had just moved to town and was a stranger. She was lonely and needed a friend. Her name was Beth.

When Alice entered the room Beth smiled at her, but Alice was in a hurry to talk with Susan and pretended she did not see Beth.

But Bill entered next. He glanced at Beth, saw she was a stranger, but a girl, and quickly crossed the room to the other side.

But ... "Hi, James," Bill called across the room, as James entered.

James saw Beth. He saw a stranger who needed a friend. "Hi, my name is James. What is your name?"

Which one is the friend?

Talk together: In both stories, which one was the friend? Has anyone ever treated you the way the "good Samaritan" did, or the way James did?

Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank you that there are people who care, brave and faithful, knowing your love and compassion and will. Amen.

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