Year 2: April 5, 2020
Maybe Something Beautiful by Isabel Campoy & Theresa Howell
(Written for ages 4-7)
Comment: The story of Jesus’ anointing by the woman at Simon the Leper’s house combines the joy and exultation of the triumphal entry with the foreboding and devastation of the Passion narrative to come. Jesus indicts those who chastise the woman, saying, in essence, “If you were going to sell the ointment and give it to the poor, why haven’t you already?” Instead, Jesus expresses his gratitude for the woman’s generosity. She has shown her gratitude for him by giving up something very valuable. Her gift doesn’t seem practical; however, Jesus sees it for what it is – the anointing before his death. You may wish to continue the theme from a few weeks ago about “giving what you have,” as the woman did for Jesus. While impractical, extravagant gifts can seem unnecessary, Compoy and Howell’s book shows how powerful they can be. The main character, Mira, discovers that small gifts can have a profound impact in her community when she hands out a few of her paintings in a dismal neighborhood. Her actions ultimately inspire a muralist to join her and the whole community in creating something beautiful together. The true-life story is an example of how small acts (even when they seem frivolous) can inspire works of great beauty. Perhaps this woman’s act of gratitude to Jesus – her acknowledgment of the many gifts he had already shared with the world – gave him the strength to continue the journey that would ultimately lead to his own death.
Thanks to Joshua Andrzejewski, Union Presbyterian Seminary alumnus and chaplain for the pediatric and women’s health units in the VCU Medical Center, for writing the Year 2 Narrative Lectionary Links.