Gospel: Matthew 10:40-42
1st Reading: Jeremiah 28:5-92nd Reading: Romans 6:12-23
Jesus tells us today that there is something simple we can do to help each other, something anyone can do, no matter how young or old they are, they can give a drink of water to someone. Water is very important. We can’t live without it, and neither can our pets or plants. Water is something that we need.
I wanted to talk to you about needs and wants, because sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between something we really, really want, and something we need.
If I had a stick of celery and a piece of candy, which of those would you want to have?
How about if I had a book or a video game?
How about a glass of water or a glass of juice?
How about if I had water in a small, plain cup, would you want that or one in a fancy cup with superheroes or sparkles on it?
But what do we really need?
Between the celery and the candy, what do you need?
The book or video game?
How about the water or the juice?
And finally the water in the plain cup or the water in the fancy cup?Sometimes we want what isn’t good for us and sometimes we need things we don’t want. How can we know the difference so we know what we need to keep us healthy?
Sometimes we learn by experience. Like my sister. One Easter morning she ate every bite of her Easter candy out of her basket. What do you think happened? Did she want that candy? Did she need it? So the next year she learned not to do that and the Easter bunny learned to bring some granola bars and applesauce along with the candy.
How else do we know the difference between wants and needs?
Sometimes people with more experience than we have try to help us tell the difference. Did you ever hear your parents say, “You need to brush your teeth?” They aren’t trying to make your life miserable, they are trying to tell you something helpful, so you don’t get cavities.
As you grow up, you’ll learn to tell the difference. You’ll learn the good that can come when you choose to meet your needs, so you’ll want to make choices that are good for you. But no one has this completely mastered.
Sometimes adults too need help telling the difference. This hasn’t happened in a while, but some adults might wear a little too much cologne or perfume. They sometimes forget that what they want might not be what they or others around them need.
And we’ve been talking about this regarding coffee hour. People like to have lots of snacks. But there are a lot of hungrier people on this earth that could use that food so much more than we do. We don’t really need all that food. However, when we have snacks, we tend to stay and visit longer which is a need!
God wants our needs to be met, and for us to help each other to meet needs. Needs are things like food, water, shelter, love.
God wants us to stay away from the things that aren’t good for us or that we don’t need, so that we can be healthy and happy people who use our brains and get along with others in our community, and share with others in our community so they have enough. If we concentrate on the needs, there will be enough for everyone.
One last question for all of you. How about God’s love, is that a want or a need? It is a need, and thankfully we are all in God’s family. God loves each of us, even when we take more than we need or make choices, we always have another chance to try again. And when we share because we have more than what we need, people in need find out they are also loved and we are all part of God’s family.