Third Sunday after Epiphany
Year 4: January 21, 2018
Preaching Text: John 2:13-25
Three Little Monkeys by Quentin Blake
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: In her commentary on this text, Debra Dean Murphy explores how anger is often absent or hidden in Christian community. This text, she says, “[helps us] to remember that God’s anger is the flip side of God’s love, and that in Jesus… we are given both permission and sufficient grace to deal with the anger that will inevitably arise in us…” Being in relationship means we will sometimes be disappointed, frustrated, and even angry with the people we love. This is certainly the case for Hilda, who dearly loves her three little monkeys, yet is increasingly distressed by their behavior. At one point Hilda tears her hair, rolls her eyes, and screeches that her beloved monkeys are wicked, yet she never stops loving them. We all experience moments like these, and it is helpful for children to hear that Jesus had (and acted upon) these kinds of feelings too. This week’s text and story invite us to explore healthy ways to express emotions that so often make us uncomfortable, taking time to consider the positive role they play in our relationship with God and one another.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Noell Rathbun for writing the Year 4 Narrative Lectionary Links this year.