Good morning and welcome to 2-A’s chapel program. This morning we are excited to share a story about a great king who had an important decision to make. It was a decision that would affect his kingdom for a very long time. However, as you will learn, this king had a clever and creative mind, just like the boys of PDS. He made a plan that would help him make his decision. So please listen carefully as we share the story of The King and the Seed.
Once there was a wise king who was growing old and knew the time was coming to choose his successor, the one who would take his place as king and rule the kingdom. Because the king loved his country and its people very much, he wanted this ruler to be a great leader. He wanted someone honest, fair, and unselfish, a role model who would work hard and always do his best! Someone who would make good choices even when others were not watching him! How would the king find such an amazing new ruler? He had a plan!
Instead of choosing one of his assistants or even one of his own children, the king decided to do something surprising and very different, something no other king in history had ever done. He sent out messengers to invite all of the older children of the kingdom to come to the palace. Many of these children were only 12 or 13 years old. The king said to the children, &quot;It has come time for me to step down and to choose our next king. I have decided to choose one of you.&quot; The children were shocked! “What was the king thinking?” they wondered.
The king continued. &quot;I am going to give each one of you a small seed today. Just one seed! However, each is a very special seed. I want you to go home, plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this seed. I will then judge you by the plants you bring, and the child I choose will be the next king.” The excited children hurried home to complete this important task!
There was one young boy named Samuel who was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and told his mother the whole story explaining to her all the things the king had said. She helped Samuel find a pot and some planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.
After about three weeks, some of the other children began to talk about their seeds and the interesting plants that were beginning to grow. Samuel kept going home and checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. He was so disappointed! Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by. Still there was nothing. Had he done something wrong in caring for his seed?
By now others were talking about their plants, but Samuel didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went bye, still nothing was in his pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. He was not a good gardener even though he had tried to be one. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Samuel didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow and tried to be patient.
A year finally went by and all the older children of the kingdom brought their plants to the king for inspection. Samuel told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. “I just can’t take this empty pot to put before the King, he said “my friends will make fun of me, and the king will be very unhappy with me, too.” But she encouraged him to go, and to take his pot, and to be honest about what happened. Samuel felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace.
When Samuel arrived at the palace, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by all the other kids. They were beautiful, in all shapes and sizes, even some with flowers, fruit, and colorful large leaves. Samuel put his empty pot on the floor of the palace and many of the other kids laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, &quot;Hey, nice try.&quot; Samuel was so embarrassed that his seed had not grown!
When the king finally arrived, he looked around the room and greeted the young people. “Welcome back to the palace,” said the king, “it has now been a year since you were last here. Samuel tried to hide in the back of the room behind as many of the other children as he could. &quot;My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,&quot; said the king. Today, one of you will be appointed the next king! You will take my place in this great palace and lead this kingdom in wisdom and truth.
Then all of a sudden, the king spotted Samuel at the very back of the room. Samuel stood trembling as he held his empty pot. The king ordered his guards to bring Samuel to the front of the crowd. Samuel was terrified. “Oh no,” he thought to himself, “I’m really in trouble now! The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!&quot;
When Samuel got to the front of the crowd, the king asked his name. “l am Samuel,&quot; he replied. All the children were laughing and making fun of him. The king asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Samuel, and then announced to the crowd, &quot;Behold your new king! His name is Samuel!&quot; Well, Samuel just couldn't believe it. He couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new king?
Then the king told his reason for choosing Samuel. He said, &quot;One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds! Yes, boiled seeds that would not grow! All of you, except for Samuel, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you replaced the seed I gave you with another seed. Samuel was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new king!&quot;
Samuel was both courageous and honest! He was a young man with integrity . He had integrity because he chose to do the right thing even when all of his friends were doing wrong. He made the right choice even when he was afraid that others might tease or make fun of him. Samuel’s choice was not easy, but he was encouraged and supported by his mother, just as parents, teachers, and good friends often encourage us to make right choices in our own lives.
Samuel was a young man of integrity. Here are some ideas the boys in our class shared about this topic. What does a PDS boy of integrity do? At recess, he doesn’t break the rules of play. He plays fairly. When his parents or teachers ask him to not do something, he obeys them. If he breaks something, he tells the truth about it. He takes care of others and doesn’t always think just about himself. He controls his actions. He is responsible, and he does his homework and schoolwork always trying to do his best. He does the right thing even when others are not watching him.
Our best and only perfect example of a person of integrity is Jesus. So let’s look at a verse from the Bible that teaches us about this topic. Psalm 25:21 reads, “May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, LORD, is in you.” Our hope is in the Lord. Sometimes we are tempted to make a wrong choice, and we do something that does not show integrity. And there may be consequences that follow that bad choice. But we can strive to do better, and God is willing and able to forgive us and help us become the people of integrity he wants us to be! One of the best ways to have integrity is to lean on Him, pray to Him, and most of all to love Him with all of our heart, soul, strength, and might.