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Matt looked up from filling his toy dump truck in the backyard. His brother was calling to him from the corner of the house. “What do you want?” he shouted back.
“I need you to come help me with something. Hurry up!”
“Just a sec,” Matt replied.
He got up from the sand pile and headed to the corner of the house where his brother was. As he turned the corner, Matt got a huge surprise! Water balloons came from everywhere, exploding all over Matt. Bloosh! Goosh!
“Ah ha ha! That was great!” laughed Matt’s big brother, Craig. “I needed to see if my water balloon launcher worked. And it does. Thanks Matt.”
Matt wiped water off his face and looked down at his clothes. He was soaked from head to toe. “Craig! I’m gonna get you for this,” he said as he dove toward him.
“Woah! Matt, it was just a joke,” Craig protested. “You don’t have to get mad. It was so hot, I thought you’d like to get cooled off.”
“Well, yeah, I guess it does feel pretty good,” he admitted. “How’d you throw so many balloons at the same time?”
“I didn’t throw them; I launched them, see?” Craig showed Matt the gadget he built. It looked like a giant sling shot, and it could send a bunch of water balloons flying at the same time!
“Cool! Hey! Can I use it on someone, too?”
“Sure, but just don’t do it to me, or I’ll get you back,” Craig replied.
The next day was Sunday. Matt got up and headed outdoors right away. He quickly set up the balloon launcher then started to fill a whole bag of balloons with the water hose.
Meanwhile, across the street, Justin’s family was getting ready to go to church. Justin hurried outside to find his dad.
He finally found him watering the plants. It had been very hot the past few days, and the flowers were wilting. “Hey Dad, will you help me with my shoes, please?” Justin asked. “I need help tying these skinny laces.”
“Oh, sure. Give me a minute here. I need to finish this first, okay?” his dad replied.
Justin wandered around the yard waiting for his dad when he heard someone calling his name. He looked around and saw Matt waving at him from across the street. “Justin! Hey, Justin!”
Justin walked over to Matt’s yard to see what he wanted. “Hi, Matt,” he said.
“I’ve got something really cool to show you,” Matt said with a sneaky smile.
“I have to go to church soon.”
“Oh, it won’t take long. It’s right by my house. Come on!” Matt swished his hand toward Justin to get him to follow, then ran around the corner of the house.
Justin shrugged. “Okay,” he said as he followed Matt around the house. “What is—ahhhh!”
Bloosh! Goosh! Bloosh! Six water balloons pelted Justin, exploding water all over his Sunday clothes.
Matt jumped up and down in delight. “Oh, yeah! Gotcha!”
Justin just stood there dripping and staring at Matt in shock.
“Isn’t it great?” asked Matt.
“What? Great? No, it isn’t great! I’m supposed to be going to church. Now I’m all wet. I’ve gotta go change, quick!” Justin stomped angrily past Matt and hurried home to change before he made his family late for church.
Later Justin walked into his Sunday school classroom as quietly as he could, but his wet shoes squeaked noisily on the tile floor, and the whole class turned and watched him as he sat down by Jessie.
“And so what did Joseph do, class?” asked Mrs. Jacobs. “Did he try to get back at his brothers because of all the awful things they did to him?”
“No,” answered the students.
“You’re right. He didn’t. But why not? What did he know about God that helped him forgive his brothers? Jessie, do you know?” asked the teacher.
Jessie explained, “Because Joseph knew that God wanted him to be in Egypt so he could help the people when the food was all gone.”
“That’s right.” Mrs. Jacobs continued, “Even though Joseph’s brothers meant to harm Joseph, God used their evil plans for good. He wanted Joseph to be in Egypt in the right place at the right time so he could save many lives, including the lives of Joseph’s own family.”
When Justin got home from church, Matt was sitting on his front porch waiting for him.
Matt looked up at Justin nervously. “Um, well, I thought I should say sorry for getting you all wet with your church clothes on. I was just playing a joke that my brother played on me; it was supposed to be funny.”
At first, Justin felt angry. But then he thought about how Joseph forgave his brothers. Justin smiled, “I forgive you, Matt. It would’ve been funny if I wasn’t dressed up for church. Just warn me next time, okay?”
“Okay,” Matt said with a grin. “Thanks. Um, maybe you could put on some shorts, and we could clobber each other with water balloons.”
“Maybe,” Justin replied. “Then maybe you can come to church with me tonight. Our kids’ class is having a summer party. It’ll be fun!”
“Sounds good to me,” said Matt. “I’ll ask my mom.”
“Great! And you can show me how you threw all those water balloons at the same time.”
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.