23rd Sunday After Pentecost
Year 2: November 17
What Do You Do with an Idea by Kobi Yamada
(Written for ages 5-8)
Comment: These two poetic passages from the prophet Isaiah are paired together in order to depict the full depth of God’s judgment as well as the hope we can find in God’s mercy. This selection of prophecy continues last week’s theme from Hosea; unfaithful Israel will someday, somehow be redeemed by the Lord’s faithfulness. In chapter five we read that Israel is like a vineyard – tended with the utmost care – that fails to produce worthy fruit. Despite God’s determination to “make it a waste,” in chapter eleven we catch a faint glimpse of hope, again using the metaphor of growth and agriculture: one tiny shoot will sprout up, and though it is far from a full vineyard, that shoot gives hope to a fallen world. In Yamada’s book, an Idea comes to the main character as a small, egg-like object. It’s tiny at first, and doesn’t seem very significant – much like a little shoot might not seem significant in comparison to a huge, devastated vineyard. But over time, as the Idea grows, the main character begins to appreciate it more. It becomes more and more consequential, until the main character discovers that, with an Idea, “you change the world.” This is God’s ultimate mission: to transform our broken world into the peaceable kingdom of Isaiah 11.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumnus Joshua Andrzejewski for writing the Year 2 Narrative Lectionary Links this year.