Year 1: September 23, 2018
Preaching Text: Genesis 39:1-23
Someday a Tree by Eve Bunting
(Written for ages 4-7)
Comment: Joseph’s early life was a series of troubles. First, thrown into a well by his own jealous, brothers and sold away by them into slavery in Egypt, then enduring false accusations, and now, in this passage, being thrown into prison. But the whole time, Joseph has a secret strength, something that keeps him going: that the Lord is with him. The Lord gave him dreams and visions, the Lord made everything in his master’s house prosper under his guidance, and now, even in prison, the Lord is with him, so much so that the warden completely trusts Joseph.
In Someday a Tree by Eve Bunting, Alice and her family adore the beautiful oak tree near their home, spending their days under its branches. But one day they discover that the tree is sick due to an accidental chemical spill near its trunk. Though they try everything, the tree is beginning to die, and Alice is heartbroken. It is a time of troubles and grief. But then she remembers that all the time the tree was healthy, she collected and kept acorns from its branches. These acorns can now be planted and, hopefully, someday, a new healthy tree will grow from them. Alice grieves the loss of her tree, the troubled time of its sickness, but she has her collection of acorns with her to keep her going in the midst of these troubles. Like Joseph, and Alice, we have times of trouble in our lives, and often they are true griefs, things that cannot be undone. But even as we mourn, we know that we have a secret strength, something to keep us going—the knowledge that the Lord is with us. That knowledge and faith in God is like having acorns to plant for the future, even while we endure troubles.
Thanks to Sara Anne Berger, minister at the First Presbyterian Church of Nachitoches, LA, for writing the Year 1 Narrative Lectionary Links.