Year 3: September 3, 2017
Preaching Text: Matthew 12:1-8
Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: In this text the Pharisees call out Jesus’ disciples for picking grain on the Sabbath. Each of us, like the Pharisees, likely find certain times and places where we adhere to strict understandings of “the rules,” whatever they may be. Jesus challenges us to consider the why behind the rules. In Kuefler’s story Jonah and Lennox, the self-proclaimed rulers of the playground, learn that their rules mean little if they lead to an empty playground. If strict adherence to the rules means ignoring the needs of God’s people, perhaps it’s time to consider a new understanding of their intent and purpose. As you read this text and story, consider how your own understandings of the rules in your congregations and community contribute to or harm the well-being of others.
Thanks to Noell Rathbun, Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna, for writing the Year 3 Narrative Lectionary Links. Year 4 of the Narrative Lectionary begins September 10, 2017 and Noell will again be writing all of the Narrative Lectionary Links during this year.