Year 2: March 15, 2020
Just Enough is Plenty by Barbara Diamond Goldin
(Written for ages 3-8)
Comment: The parable of the “wicked tenants” is disturbing (as parables are designed to be!) and it doesn’t provide an easy message for children to digest. At its heart, it is an allegory about God’s continuing efforts to reach out to humankind, despite our resistance. The conclusion of the story is particularly troubling – the owner will “destroy” the tenants! – and it is at this point that the allegory breaks down. While a human owner would likely respond this way, we know Jesus ultimately will not. Younger children could perhaps understand the passage best through the idea that the tenants should have shared what they had. Older children may be able to understand the story as a metaphor for greed that prevents us from recognizing what belongs to us and what does not – such greed will ultimately “destroy” us, if not physically, then surely spiritually. The antidote for such self-destructive greed is gratitude, the recognition that we have all that we need – and more. In Goldin’s book about Hanukkah, a family prepares “just enough” to celebrate the holiday. But as more and more visitors arrive, the children worry there won’t be enough. Ultimately they learn to share what they have in order to be sure everyone gets what they need. They are grateful to learn the lesson that forms the title of the book: “Just enough is plenty.”
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumnus Joshua Andrzewski for writing the Year 2 Narrative Lectionary Links.