close-up of several varied packets of pop rocks candy

photo: Creative Commons (flickr: Catherine Bulinski)

Reflect for a moment with me on something sweet… your favorite candy. Think about that: the candy or candies which you most love. And now… shout them out! [give time and encourage people to call out candy names.] And now, imagine that you have some of your favorite candy. Who would find it pretty easy to share it with others? [ask for childrens’ hands and expect people to laugh and for some to say, “No, not me!” Take and repeat a response or two if you have them. If not, then share that it can be tricky to share candy that’s especially precious to us.]

Well, I have a story about sharing candy. When I was a kid, one weekend my dad’s friend came to visit. This guy was from out of state and he brought a gift for each of my sisters and me. He gave us each a few little packets of… pop rocks. Who here knows what pop rocks are? [look for childrens’ hands.] And can you describe what it’s like to eat pop rocks? [take and repeat a couple responses, then add…] Pop rocks are more than just sweet candy flavor. There’s a sensation in yoru mouth that’s like a whole bunch of tiny explosions. It’s like a party in your mouth!

Now I had never seen pop rocks, never heard of them. The didn’t sell pop rocks where I lived. For all I knew, my sisters and I were the only ones in the entire state who had pop rocks. And they were crazy! To me, it was like tasting the candy of the future! It was incredible, and I had these three or four precious little packets of them.

They were so amazing, I could have just gobbled them up. But I didn’t. With something as precious and valuable as pop rocks, there was no keeping them to myself. I just had to share them with people, people who were precious and valuable to me: my friends.

So I took what remained of my pop rocks to school the next day. Now I could have given each friend one pop rock. But that’s just not what pop rocks called for! No, when I shared my pop rocks, I poured a little pile into each person’s hand and together, we [gesture tossing a palmful into your mouth] ate these crazy little candies. Together, we felt that future-feeling party in our mouths. Yowza! And we bonded over sharing this precious, valuable, rare, amazing sweetness.

Well, today is a pop rocks kind of day at First UU. Today, we’re celebrating the goodness of sharing sweet stuff. Not pop rocks, not candy, but… [take your cash from your pocket and fan it out in front of you]… money. Today we’re celebrating what happens when we share our money, in ways and in amounts, and at levels that are valuable and precious. We’re celebrating because, just like with pop rocks, we’re sharing it in this community, with these people, with this institution… this place with its dreams and visions for people and for the world…. For people and for a world which are also so valuable and so precious to us. Sharing generously is our only response, so we celebrate. We’re not giving in a way that’s like one pop rock for each person, no we’re sharing piles of our sweet, precious money because who we hope to be and where we dream to go are that precious.

We’re sharing in a way that makes our hearts go pitter-pat with pop rocks possibility. And that’s something, for which I know you will join me in deep gratitude. We are fortunate to share in such generosity.

 

***

Props required: some cash in your pocket, preferably with some twenties, so that those who can see, can see high denominations! Ideally, you’d also have some pop rocks to share. Had I been able to find some, I would have handed a few packets to each teaching pair and invite them to share them with the children in their classes. If you have a small group of children, it would be fun to give them each a small palmful of poprocks to join you in the moment of telling about sharing it with friends for the first time.

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