Year 2: February 9, 2020
Up the Creek by Nicholas Oldland
(Written for ages 3-6)
Comment: It seems best this week to focus on Jesus’ sending the twelve disciples out, two-by-two, to proclaim repentance, cast out demons, and cure the sick. You can remind children of the story from December, in which Jesus called his disciples to partner with him in the work of healing the world. It may be helpful to remind them that most of the disciples had never met each other before, and came from a lot of different backgrounds. Now, having learned from Jesus, the twelve are sent out to continue his work – but again, they’re not alone. They go in pairs and they’re called to rely on the hospitality of people they’ve never met. In Oldland’s book, three animals – a bear, a beaver, and a moose – have to navigate a river together. They often disagree and fail to work together, with disastrous results. They argue loudly, and are so distracted that they end up going over the edge of a waterfall. By the end of the story, they’ve learned that they need to work together to accomplish their goals. These stories emphasize that God calls us to work through our disagreements with others in order to help bring healing to the world.
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.