I will be preaching this sermon with the aid of my (homemade) Chinese Dragon and some volunteers, and the points marked in brackets. However, it would work fine without the dragon, if you don’t have one to hand!
“It is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs,” says Jesus.
And he’s talking to you. Children. God’s children.
God’s kingdom is an upside-down sort of place. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. Blessed are the poor, the meek, the broken-hearted. Nothing is how you expect it to be.
And in God’s kingdom children, young people – you – are the ones who lead us adults and show us how to do things. I think Baden-Powell probably knew that when he set up the Scouting movement.
You, like Saint George whom we celebrate today, are called by Jesus to live the way Jesus shows us.
For Saint George, as we all know, that meant killing a dragon. But what was important about killing the dragon? It was about freedom. The dragon was terrorizing the people, and by killing it Saint George set them free.
We are not likely to come across actual dragons in our lives. But we do come across things that stop people from being free. Poverty, hatred, fighting, prejudice… These are our modern-day dragons.
[PIN WORDS TO DRAGON]
And it is up to us – up to you – to slay them.
How do we slay these dragons? How do we fight against these evils that we see around us?
We can do it in all sorts of ways:
- By giving to those who have less than we do.
- By refusing to join in with teasing or bullying.
- By stopping arguments and fights.
- By treating everyone as equal before God, and not discriminating.
These are all things we can do in our homes, schools, at Scouts or Cubs or Beavers, and wherever else we find ourselves. And whenever we do, we will be making the world a bit more like God’s kingdom.
Through the power of love and peace and hope we can fight these dragons in our world. And through the power of God’s Holy Spirit at work in each of us, we can win.
[DRAGON FALLS OVER]
“Jesus took the children up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.”
Jesus blesses you. He blesses you, he calls you, and he sends you. He sends you into the world to serve others, in the power of the Holy Spirit and to the glory of God.
May he strengthen you to fight against what is evil in the world and stand up for what is good. And may you be prepared to respond to his call.