A Totally Inappropriate Children's Sermon
Old Testament Reading for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year C)
Alright, so who here knows what prostitution is? Anybody? What about sex? Maybe we should start there. Yes, it's how babies are made. Okay so a prostitute is a person who gets paid to have sex. What? No, not so she can have babies. Well, the prostitute in our story does have babies, but we haven't gotten there yet. But prostitutes theoretically don't make good husbands and wives because if they're still active in their job then they are having sex with other people and they should really only be having sex with you. You with me? No? It's okay.
So, uh, the people of Israel were not really following God and it made God feel sad. Have you ever felt sad? Yeah, it's not fun. God was like, "This isn't fun. It's like I'm married to a prostitute!" Which is something you can't really imagine. I can't either. Nor could this prophet named Hosea. But God wanted someone to understand it, so he asked Hosea to go marry a prostitute. Imagine if our pastor married a prostitute! Er, maybe not. Anyway that's what Hosea did. Her name was Gomer. It was sort of supposed to be an object lesson to the people that didn't follow God.
All of which is a pretty weird story, but it doesn't end there. Gomer started giving birth to babies. God wanted to make a point with these babies too and so God wanted Hosea to give them some really awful names. What are some weird names that you can think of? Poindexter? Okay, good. What was that, Noah? Sally? That's not nice; Sally is sitting right next to you. Anybody else? Preferably someone not in the room. Poopface? Now we're talking. It would be awful to be called Poopface. Can you imagine the first day of school and the teacher calls out Poopface Jones? All the kids would laugh!
Anyway, God wanted Hosea to give his kids names like No Compassion because God was not going to show any more mercy to Israel. What? It means no more chances. God is ticked off. What? Your mom looks ticked off right now? Yeah...uh...that's probably true. So Hosea married a prostitute and has all these kids with horrible names to show Israel that God is mad. Now the good news is God said there will be a time where those whose name was Not My People will be called Children of the Living God. God actually doesn't run out of compassion and their names will change. Hopefully Hosea's kids got new names too because that whole situation probably messed them up real good.
So anyway the good news is that even when things get so bad that God is making prophets marry prostitutes and permanently scar their offspring with horrible names, God still will one day show mercy. And that gives us hope for the future. Can you guys pray after me? Dear God...thank You for showing us mercy...we're sorry when we act like prostitutes...please don't make us name our children Poophead...let us be called Children of the Living God...Amen.
You guys can go back to your seats. What? I'm fired? Yeah, I figured so. Lectionary, man. What're you going to do?