YEAR B: September 13, 2015
First Reading: Proverbs 1:20-33
That Book Woman by Heather Henson
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Wisdom cries out, “How long will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing?” People like this have no use for Wisdom and her knowledge; they not only ignore her, but actively reject what she offers. However, Wisdom goes on to say, “Those who listen to me will be secure, and will live at ease”. Those who give up their scoffing will be rewarded with security, ease, and best of all, wisdom. In That Book Woman, Cal scoffs at his sister’s love of reading, and delights in the fact that he does not know how. He similarly scoffs at the Book Woman who travels through his mountain homeland, lending books to the people. That is, until he sees her ride through a snowstorm just to bring books to them, and his admiration and curiosity are sparked. He asks his sister to teach him to read, and when the Book Woman returns, he is able to demonstrate his new skill, and appreciates his new wisdom. Cal was like the scoffers in Wisdom’s rebuke, but changes his ways and discovers knowledge for himself, a knowledge which will leave him secure and wise.
Second Reading: James 3:1-12
Willow by Denise Brennan-Nelson
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: James identifies small things which can have great impact: a bit in a horse’s mouth, a ship’s rudder, a small fire in the forest, and a human tongue. Like a fire setting the forest ablaze, a tongue improperly used, such as for mistaken speech, wrong teaching, curses, can set terrible things into motion, even though it is so small. But the tongue properly used–for blessing and right teaching–can make wonderful changes. James’ examples show us that even the smallest things can have a big impact. In Willow, one girl has a big impact. Miss Hawthorn, her art teacher, never allows the artwork to deviate from what she deems acceptable and accurate. She is frustrated with Willow because Willow uses colors however she likes and draws using her imagination. At winter break, however, Willow is the only child who gives Miss Hawthorn a present: a book of her drawings. This act so impresses Miss Hawthorn that she begins to paint with every color and draw amazing things. When the students return, they find their teacher changed, and they, too, are able to express themselves with paint and drawing, using their imaginations. A tongue is a small thing, but it has a big impact. A fire can set ablaze a whole forest. A rudder can steer an entire ship. And one girl’s act can change an entire classroom. The smallest things matter and have far-reaching consequences.
Gospel Reading: Mark 8:27-38
I Always Always Get My Way by Thad Krasnesky
(Written for ages 5-7)
Comment: Jesus’ response to Peter in this passage is direct and harsh. We feel sympathy for Peter, rebuked by Jesus. Up until now, Peter has been a star disciple. But, now, Peter has missed the point; he has set his mind on the wrong things. Peter wants things to be his way. So Jesus needs Peter to understand, to set his mind not on human things but on divine things, and realize that the divine way may not be Peter’s way. In I Always Always Get My Way, Emmy, after avoiding punishment for an earlier mistake because she “is only three”, proceeds to use this excuse to get away with everything. She concludes that she will always always get her way. That is, until her mother has finally had enough, and after one final mishap, her mother sends her to bed and Emmy does not get her way. Much like Emmy’s mother finally had to reprimand her and show that she would not get her way, so, too, Jesus had to reprimand Peter and show him that he was focusing on the wrong things and that his way was not God’s way.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Sara Anne Berger.