Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost
Year 1: October 28, 2018
Preaching Text: 1 Kings 3:4-9, (10-15), 16-28
The Tawny Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: King Solomon knows that he will need wisdom to be a good king and take care of God’s people. He prays and asks the Lord for the kind of wisdom that will help him make good decisions and govern well. God grants Solomon what he asks for, and almost immediately, it is put to the test. He’s confronted with a very sad story of two women, both of whom had children, but now, one of the children has died and the women are fighting over the other child, both claiming it is theirs. Solomon needs true wisdom to respond to such a sad and difficult situation. So, he tricks the women a little bit by offering an extreme solution of cutting the child in half, knowing, in his wisdom, that the child’s true mother would not let that happen. This is exactly the case, and Solomon’s clever plan results in the child being given to its mother. This story is hard to hear, but we can understand that Solomon’s wisdom enables him to give a smart response to a tricky situation and he prevents further tragedy. In The Tawny Scrawny Lion, a lion has been terrorizing the animals, eating them up. A group of them gather together and convince one little rabbit to go and talk to the lion, thinking that he will occupy the lion for a little bit until he eats him, so they’ll be safe longer. But the rabbit promises the lion that he can eat him and all of his sisters and brothers after they go fishing and pick berries for supper first. Their activities culminate in a delicious stew prepared by all the rabbits, which the lion enjoys so much that he doesn’t want to eat the other animals anymore. The rabbit is wise enough to respond to the situation well, and clever enough to prevent any more animals being eaten. Sometimes the situations we encounter in life require godly wisdom and sometimes they also require clever solutions. Wisdom is one of the greatest things we could ask for in prayer, a spiritual gift that will help us and other people.
Thanks to Sara Anne Berger, Union Seminary alumna and pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Nachitoches, LA, for writing the Year 1 Narrative Lectionary Links.