Grace for everyone – Ridiculous idea!

Luke 4 24-30


Background

Adele the singer became an overnight success in 2008 – or at least that is how it felt. Suddenly
Jar of Pebbles, Jesus the prophet
everyone knew who she was – only 7 years later she gained all those accolades at the Brit awards.

But yet if you read her story she has been working hard since she was 14 years old when she went to a performing arts school. She didn’t just appear from no-where she worked hard.

The day I was ordained to be priest in the church of England, was the first day I had ever preached. I remember it as if it were yesterday. It was terrifying and exciting all at the same time..

An ordinary girl like me stood up, in front of all the people she knew (and some she didn’t) and they listened..

It wasn’t like one day I decided to get all my friends and family together in church, and I stood up and preached. I spent years getting ready, preparing, being confirmed, learning my bible, trying to understand my faith, being observed, going through selection, being tested.

It wasn’t an easy journey to make, or an easy decision to take – but there I was…

Now, Jesus stood up and preached like someone inspired!

After years of learning his scripture, being baptised by John and anointed with the Holy Spirit by God, being tested in the wilderness, only then did he return to his home town.

Perhaps at first they felt it was one of their own ‘come good’ perhaps they expected a nice warm hearted sermon.

But what they got was something very different… it says ‘they were astonished by what came out of his mouth’ but not in a good way. It was almost indignant.. ‘How dare he preach that to us.’

He made matters worse by thinking of himself as a ‘prophet’ – ‘prophets never get accepted in their own country.’

He looked back to the time of the prophets and told them something they really didn’t want to hear.. Elijah was sent to help a widow.. there were plenty of widows around at that time in need of help but Elijah helped a widow that wasn’t Jewish. Elisha healed a leper, just one leper and it was the enemy, not just an enemy but the commander of the enemy army.

Those listening just couldn’t take the truth, God was for everyone. They were furious.

They wanted to hear about God condemning those that weren’t Jewish, they wanted to hear about God destroying the evil pagans. They certainly didn’t want to hear about God’s grace and compassion reaching out to them.

Being a Christian today is really no different – people are still persecuted for standing up for what they believe. Leaders of the church are still driven out for not giving the congregation what they want rather than what they need. People still want to hear about God destroying the evil pagans.

But God’s compassion and grace is there for everyone, and that means the person that you don’t like or agree with.

Activity for Children


This is yet another difficult and challenging story to share with children, but it doesn’t mean we should avoid it. Children or even adults find themselves in situations where they won’t like or agree with everyone. 

They might find themselves falling out with friends. Not everything is lovely and rosy all the time. We might ‘hate’ someone like the people in the story didn’t like Jesus and want to push him over the edge of a mountain.

But that shouldn’t stop us praying for them.

Prayer is important for difficult situations that we feel we have no control over.

For a child doing something – is better than doing nothing.

By praying we are acknowledging there is a problem we can’t always fix ourselves.

Sometimes all we can do is pray and leave it in God’s hands.

A really good lesson for children.


  • Have a jar with some different shaped, different sized, different coloured pebbles in. 
  • Allow them to choose a pebble, that represents the person. 
  • Then pray for that person or situation, and put the pebble into God’s hands. 
  • Make a pair of hands to put the pebbles into.. 
  • Draw around your hands and put them together as cupped hands. 
  • Then fix the hands into a shallow bowl. 


You could teach them the song: Father I place into your hands, For lyrics and tracks click here.

Father, I place into your hands
The things I cannot do,
Father, I place into your hands
The things that I've been through.
Father, I place into your hands
The way that I should go,
For I know I always can trust you.

Father, I place into your hands
My friends and family.
Father, I place into your hands
The things that trouble me.
Father, I place into your hands
The person I would be,
For I know I always can trust you.

Father, we love to see your face,
We love to hear your voice.
Father, we love to sing your praise
And in your name rejoice.
Father, we love to walk with you
And in your presence rest,
For we know we always can trust you.

Father, I want to be with you
And do the things you do.
Father, I want to speak the words
That you are speaking too.
Father, I want to love the ones
That you will draw to you,
For I know that I am one with you.
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About Michelle Bailey

Reverend Michelle Bailey is the Rural Officer for the Bishop of Brecon and Swansea  She previously worked in Children's Ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. Her blog includes ideas on presenting concepts of faith to young children to the age of eleven and furthering faith development in an educational context. Michelle currently lives in Wales and is also developing a rural ministry blog.
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