Year 3: July 2, 2017
Preaching Text: Psalm 30
The Tree: An Environmental Fable by Neal Layton
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: In her commentary on this text, Professor Carolyn J. Sharp says it’s important to note that this psalm does not suggest that following struggle we are not healed once and for all; “Rather, we seek God through the changeable rhythms of joyous praising and bitter wrestling.” This psalm, she suggests is a picture of faith throughout a lifetime, “a dance of mourning and rejoicing.” Layton’s fable tells the story of those who make their home in a tree and takes readers on a journey from joy to sorrow, and returning once more to joy. While the story ends on a happy, harmonious note, it’s not to hard to imagine that future moments of devastation might be in store for the tree and its inhabitants, who, like the psalmist, experience life as a dance of mourning and rejoicing. As you read this text and story, make space for the people in your congregation to share their own sacred stories of mourning and rejoicing.
Thank you to Noell Rathbun, Minister of Children, Families and Liturgical Arts at Grace Baptist Church, Richmond, VA, for writing the Year 3 Narrative Lectionary Links.