Show the children a large wrapped box.
If you were given a present today, I wonder what you would hope it would be?
Tell story of God’s gift to Solomon.
Last time I came in, I told you a story about King David, one of the great kings of Israel.
King David had a son, called Solomon, and when David grew old and died, Solomon became king in his place.
David had been a very great king. The kingdom was very rich and powerful with him as a leader. He was going to be a hard act to follow. But Solomon was determined to do his best.
One night, after Solomon had spent the day praying and thinking about how he was going to rule over the country, he fell fast asleep, and as he slept, he had a dream.
In his dream God spoke to him. “Solomon – what gift would you like me to give you? You can ask for whatever you want.”
Solomon thought very hard. What did he want?
He could ask for gold and silver and jewels, to be rich and have fine clothes and houses…
He could ask to be very powerful , to always win his battles when he went to war…
He could ask to be very famous, for everyone to look up to him and tell him how wonderful he was…
Solomon thought, and thought, and thought…
He thought about his father David. He thought about how God had looked after him, and how David had trusted in God. He thought of what a great leader he had been, and all the challenges he had faced – the giant Goliath, the struggle to be king, the difficult decisions he had had to make. He thought about how hard it would be to be as good a king as David.
And suddenly he knew what he should ask for.
“Lord, I feel like a little child compared to my father David. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t feel that I could ever be a king as good as him, so I know what I need. I need wisdom. I need your help to make the right decisions so I can live wisely. That’s the gift I need from you.”
And in Solomon’s dream God answered him. “Solomon, you have asked for a good gift. You could have asked for wealth. You could have asked for power. You could have asked for all your enemies to be defeated, but you didn’t. You asked for something that might not sound exciting, but which will make you a good king, and so I will gladly give it to you. And because you will be wise, and will make good decisions lots of other things will go right for you too.”
And Solomon woke up, and he remembered his dream, and he knew that he had chosen the right gift to ask for.
And Solomon became famous for his wisdom. People came to him when they had really tricky problems to sort out and he thought about them carefully and prayed to God, and was able to help.
Some of you are going on to new schools, some are going up a class here, and taking on new challenges and new responsibilities. What might you need to do that? We don’t always know what is right to do if we haven’t done something before. It can feel a bit scary. But we can ask for help, just like Solomon.
Prayer – think about that box, and what you need as you grow up.