Year 4: May 13, 2018
Preaching Text: Philippians 2:1-13
Why Am I Here? by Constance Ørbeck-Nilssen
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: Religious journalist Marv Knox shared a fellow church member’s understanding of the incarnation as an expression of God’s empathy: “For me, one important reason God became flesh was empathy,” she said. “Of course, God is sympathetic. But because of the Incarnation, we know God knows exactly what it’s like to be human.” When we are sympathetic towards others, we may feel sorry for and wish to help them, but empathy challenges us to put ourselves in their shoes and truly consider their experience. Ørbeck-Nilssen’s story explores the notion of empathy as a young child considers what it might be like to live another person’s existence. How might their life be different if they were surrounded by war, had to flee their home, or lived in a big city all alone? This text and story invite us to consider how empathy is woven into our lives of discipleship, shaping the way we see others and serve God in the world.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna and regular contributor Noell Rathbun for writing the Year 4 Narrative Lectionary Links.