Big Idea

Great stories begin when we offer to help.

Scene Setup

Paddington, a young bear from darkest Peru, finds himself stranded at a train station in London. His home was destroyed in a massive earthquake, and his Aunt Lucy told him that during the great war in London, children would be left on train station platforms where kind hearted people would give them homes. So she sends Paddington away so that he too can find a new home in the big city. Paddington has sat and waited at the station all day with a tag that reads, “Please look after this bear. Thank you.” But no one has paid him any heed. With only one marmalade sandwich in case of emergencies, he sits and waits, hoping that someone will give him a home.


Lost, Neighbor, Mercy, Compassion, Help


The Brown family disembarks from the train, after a weekend holiday. Mr. Brown spots Paddington right away and warns the family to steer clear. “Keep you eyes down. There's some sort of bear over there. Probably selling something.” Paddington removes his hat in a graceful greeting, saying, “Good evening!” Without even waiting to hear what Paddington has to say, Mr. Brown says, “No, thank you,” and herds his family on past the bear. “Oh dear,” Paddington says, disappointed with himself. “Must be doing something wrong.” Paddington sits dejectedly, trying to decided what to do. The clicking of heels walks up to where Paddington is sitting. The little bear looks up, and Mrs. Brown stands over him with an inquisitive look on her face. Paddington leaps to his feet and greats her in a polite British fashion. Mr. Brown turns back and sees his wife has returned to talk to the bear. He is calls her name, and motions for her to come, but she ignores him. Mrs. Brown says to Paddington, “I hope you don't mind me asking, but shouldn't you be at home?” Paddington replies, “Oh yes, I should, but I haven't quite worked out how to find one.” Mrs. Brown asks Paddington about his parents, but the bear explains that they are dead, and that all he has left is his aunt, who has sent him to London to find a home. Mr. Brown is skeptical of the bear's sob story, but Mrs. Brown notices the tag around Paddington's neck. “Please look after this bear. Thanks you.” She asks what Paddington plans to do next, and the little bear says, “Well, I thought I would probably just sleep over there in that bin.” “That's the spirit! Anyway...” Mr. Brown starts herding his family away from the bear, but Mrs. Brown joyfully offers, “Why don't we find you some help!” And with that, the Browns, some of them reluctantly, help the little orphan bear, and so the story begins...


This scene feels very familiar for many of us. We have seen the homeless person in need and, like Mr. Brown, kept our “eyes down,” and walked past without even listening to their plea for help. But Mrs. Brown takes a chance on this small bear, listens to his story, and sees that they have been perfectly positioned to help young Paddington. In many ways, this scene reflects Jesus' parable about the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Just like the wounded man on the side of the road, Paddington was a person in need who everyone simply walked past, everyone but Mrs. Brown, who took time out of her busy day to stop, listen, and help a soul in need. Jesus shared the story of the good Samaritan because he was asked, “Who is my neighbor.” (Luke 10:29) At the close of the parable, Jesus asks those present who was a neighbor to the man who had fallen prey to the robbers. The answer? “The one who had mercy on him.” (Luke 10:36-37) God commands us several times in scripture to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, Leviticus 19:18), and Jesus clearly shows that our neighbor is anyone in need of God's love and mercy. Mercy is a requirement, Jesus tells the lawyer, to gain eternal life. So, in these scene, who was a neighbor to Paddington? When we are put in a similar circumstance, what would God have us do? He would not have us pass by on the other side, keeping “eyes down.” He would have us show mercy. He would have us show love. He would have us love our neighbor as we love ourselves. And by showing mercy, we will obtain it (Matt. 5:7)


Where To Find


James 2:8-13

Leviticus 19:18

Matthew 22:39

Matthew 5:7

Luke 10:25-37

Video Times

Start: 0:13:09

End: 0:14:54


Help, Compassionate, Compassion, Mercy, Neighbor, Lost, Found, Helping, Good Samaritan, Different, Love Thy Neighbor

Illustration Sermon General Warning

None for this scene.

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