Year 1: September 30th, 2018
Preaching Text: Exodus 14:5-7, 10-14, 21-29
Brave Enough for Two: A Hoot and Olive Story by Jonathan D. Voss
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Fear is an undercurrent running through this passage. The Israelites lash out at Moses “in great fear”. Moses responds to them “Do not be afraid”, because the Lord is with them. This is a story of fear and courage. The Israelites are afraid, but Moses encourages them to press forward, following God. Neither Moses nor the Israelites have to be afraid because the Lord is fighting for them, even as the Egyptians advance, and the sea looms ahead of them. In Brave Enough for Two, the same theme of fear and courage runs through the book. Olive is a girl who feels afraid much of the time, worried about the adventures she and her stuffed animal owl, Hoot, go on. But he encourages her to be courageous and come on the adventures. They fly in a hot air balloon and sail down a rapid river. But they realize they are far away from home, and Hoot has developed a hole and has lost some stuffing. Now, Olive, who was once afraid, realizes that she is brave enough for the both of them. At the end of the book, Hoot says that this time he was afraid, and Olive tells him not to be afraid because she will keep him safe. The Israelites were afraid, but Moses urged them to be courageous. And the Israelites and Moses were both able to be courageous because they had an even greater power keeping them safe in their fear: the Lord. Sometimes we are afraid, like the Israelites, and we yet we can be courageous because we know that the Lord is fighting for us. And from that courage, like Olive with Hoot, like Moses to the Israelites, we can encourage each other in our times of fear, helping one another to be brave.
Thanks to Sara Anne Berger, minister of the First Presbyterian Church, Nachitoches, LA, for writing the Year 1 Narrative Lectionary Links this year.