I hesitated about posting this one because its rather personal to our church, but the morning I did this talk in church the convenor for our vacancy was leading the rest of the service and asked me for the details so she could use it in her own churches the following week so it seems right to post it for others to use seeing as it has been reused already.
You'll see as you read this that you'll need to rewrite it slightly but it shouldn't be too difficult.
I've a picture on the screen and I have the actual thing in my hand here, can you tell me what animal this is?
It's a kangaroo! They don't have boxing gloves like this one normally but can anyone tell me which country you'll find kangaroos in?
Let kids have guesses
In Australia! It's very far away from here, you can see on this map.
That blue country at the top in the middle is where we are and the blue country in the bottom corner is Australia - all the way on the other side of the world from us.
I want to tell you about one of the bigger boys in our church called Mark who was in Australia in January taking part in the Youth Olympics shooting some arrows in the archery.
And he came back with 2 of these toy kangaroos, and he came back with 2 of something else too!
TWO GOLD MEDALS! One for the individual mens and one for the mens team! And it wasn't easy because everything was working against him
- Mark was sick and not well when he was in the final
- He was far from home with no family to support him
- He was competing against the junior world champion
- Who also was an Australian so the crowds were cheering on that boy instead of Mark
- The boy Mark was against was 3 years older than him
- And it was tense in his final shot because the Australian was 9 points ahead, so Mark had to shoot a 10 which is a perfect bullseye!
Talk about pressure! But instead of paying attention to all those things and worrying about them, Mark looked straight to the target and focussed on that. He was so calm and so cool that he was able to shoot a 10 and win! He kept his focus.
I want to read from Hebrews 12v1-2
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. " (NIV)
Did you hear that? "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus"? Just like Mark was so focussed in the target not letting anything distract him we also need to be focussed on our relationship with Jesus and not allow anything to get in the way of that.
Dear God, We're sorry for the times when we forget to put you first and are distracted by other things. Help us to be focussed on you and your plan for our lives. Help us to give you your rightful place as number one. In Jesus name, Amen.
If you plan to use this I'd love to know!