Jesus' parable of the rich fool is told in Luke 12:16-21. Jesus recounts the tale of a rich man who wonders what to do with his abundant crops. He decides to build larger buildings to hold his bounty, but does not realise that he will die that very night. The parable is a classic warning against greed, encouraging us to look after our souls as well as our physical possessions.
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A key lesson in the parable is that our material possessions will not last eternally. Brainstorm with children a list of their favourite things. Let children help you list these items on paper.
Then discuss which of these things will last into eternity. Discuss with children that physical things will not remain, but qualities such as love and hope will.
The rich fool planned to build larger barns and silos to hold his bounty. Help children make silos from toilet paper tubes: either paint the tubes or cover them with construction paper.
Help children write blessings on small pieces of paper. Then fill the silos with blessings (rather than with "things").
Sharing vs. Hoarding
Discuss with children the rich fool's actions. Was it wrong that he had many crops and a good harvest? (No.) What action might he have taken instead of building more barns to hold his bounty? (He might have shared his crops with others.)
Can the children apply this lesson to their own lives? (Perhaps with sharing vs. hoarding candy or toys.)
Giving vs. Taking
Bring a jar of pennies to class and instruct children to sit in a circle. For the first activity, give each child a handful of pennies and tell them they have one minute to try to pick up as many additional pennies as they can, or take some from other children (all pennies must be in their hands at all times). The child with the most pennies wins.
For the second activity, children must give away as many of their pennies to other children as they can in a minute. The child with the fewest pennies wins.
After participating in both activities, discuss with children: Which activity did they prefer? How could this activity relate to their life and the things they do? What could the pennies represent? What would Jesus like us to do?
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