Year 1: February 10th, 2019
Preaching Text: Matthew 7:1-14, 24-29
Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: In our Matthew passage, Jesus says that it’s no good calling out the speck in your neighbor’s eye when there is a whole log in yours—that is, it’s no good judging your neighbor’s poor behavior when you are engaged in the same behavior, or worse. In Rulers of the Playground, Jonah names himself king of the playground and starts to rule as a dictator, trying to control both the elements of the playground and his friends. But another person on the playground, Lennox, decides that she wants to be the ruler of the playground. Jonah resents Lennox’s refusal to play by his rules, and both of them resent one another’s attempts to be ruler of the playground. Eventually their fight, and the dividing lines they draw hurt and alienate all of their friends. Both Jonah and Lennox think that the other one is the problem and don’t see, until the end, how both of them have contributed to hurt and division on the playground. This is the kind of behavior Jesus is warning about in his sermon. Like Jesus warns, we ought to avoid Jonah’s and Lennox’s actions and examine our own behavior before we condemn other people. Otherwise, we may find ourselves hurting others and alienated from one another.
Thanks to Sara Anne Berger, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Nachitoches, LA, for writing the Year 1 Narrative Lectionary Links.