YEAR C: August 4, 2019
First Reading: Hosea 11: 1-11
Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse
(Written for preschool-7 years of age)
Commet: In this week’s Old Testament lesson, God is angry with God’s people for they have not been faithful. Even though God has taught them to “walk,” and has since “led them with cords of human kindness” and “bands of love,” they have not been following God faithfully and obeying God’s commandments in the Promised Land. God is angry, but it is an anger out of love, an anger that might spur God’s people into living in ways that God intends. Despite their sins, God still loves God’s children, no matter what. Joosse tells the story of a young child who is testing her limits of her mother’s love, as she asks her mother just how much and how long, she will love her. She asks “what if” questions of her mother’s love, and she discovers no matter what, her mother will love her.
Second Reading: Colossians 3: 1-11
Good People Everywhere by Lynea Gillen
(Written for ages 3 and up)
Comment: Paul urges the Colossians to live each day seeking the things that are above and to live in ways that reflect their belonging in Christ. Following Paul’s advice is a tall order. What might such living look like? In her colorful picture book, Lynea Gillen provides readers with many examples of what such living could like. Some of the examples she writes of include carpenters rebuilding houses that have been damaged by storms, of parents cooking for their children, and artists sharing their creations with the world. Gillen’s examples feature a variety of ways people can share their gifts with others, speaking to the diversity of skills and talents God has gifted each person with. Such examples can spur children and adults to think about what living in Christ can look like in their own lives.
Third Reading: Luke 12: 13-21
Fair is Fair by Sonny Varela
(Written for grades 2-3)
Comment: This week’s gospel story leads one to wonder about the difference between fairness and justice. The man in the crowd calls for what he thinks is fair (which may not be the same as what is just); he wants his part of the family’s inheritance. Jesus re-directs the man with a parable, telling of a rich man with many resources who hoarded everything for himself. What if the rich man had shared his resources with those who needed them? It may not be fair, but it would likely be just- as everyone’s needs would be attended to. Sonny Varela tells the story of three animals in the zoo, each of whom have their own unique needs. The zookeeper loves each of the animals equally, but when the animals compare how much food they each receive, they begin to wonder if the zookeeper really does love each of them the same. Eventually, they learn that the zookeeper’s love for them is expressed when each animal gets what they need. Such a story may assist faith communities in exploring how they may choose to share their resources in ways that promote justice.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Rosy Robson for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links for Storypath for the past four weeks.