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What belongs to God?

Children's sermon
A sheet of "trick" questions and a penny, a nickel, a dime, and a quarter
Good morning. This morning I'm going to ask you some questions and I want you to tell me the answers. Okay? Let's go:

1. Do they observe the fourth of July in England? (Answer: Of course! They don't, however, celebrate the American Independence Day Holiday.)

2. Which is heavier, a pound of marbles or a pound of feathers? (Answer: They weigh the same. A pound is a pound.)

3. If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, can you say it made a sound? (Answer: Who knows?)

(Use as many trick questions as you want. Generally, just a few are enough.)

Some of the leaders once tried to trick Jesus and get him in trouble. They asked him if they should pay money to the Roman government or to God. They thought he would get into trouble no matter what he answered. If he said the people should pay money to the Romans, then the religious people would get upset. If he said the people should pay money only to God, then the government people, the Romans, would get upset. It seemed like a question that would trap Jesus no matter what he answered.

Does anybody remember what Jesus did? (Let them answer.) Jesus turned their trick question on them and asked them a trick question. "Bring me a coin," he told them. Someone did bring him a coin. Now the money used in Jesus' day had images on it like our coins have images of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt, and George Washington. (Show the images of the coins you brought.) The Roman coins had likenesses of the Caesars -- who were kind of like Presidents to us. Then Jesus said that people are to give to the government what belongs to the government -- like money -- and give to God what is God's.

That's a trick question because we have to ask: "What all is God's?" (Let them answer.) Everything is God's -- even the money! Jesus' answer is still true today. Sometimes we like to think that our money is our money. But even our money is God's.

Dear God: Thank you for all your gifts to us -- like the money we have to spend. Amen.
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