YEAR B: February 11, 2018
First Reading: 2 Kings 2:1-12
The Lizard from the Park by Mark Pett
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Leonard finds an egg in the park, which he believes to be a lizard. But once it hatches, the animal inside begins to grow exponentially, and clearly is much more than a lizard—this is a dinosaur! Leonard named the dinosaur Buster and wants to keep him in his home, but Buster doesn’t fit, scares people, and this isn’t the place for him anymore. Even though he is sad to lose his friend, Leonard helps Buster return to where he belongs, back in the park where he fits and feels right at home. In our passage from 2 Kings, Elisha is warned over and over again that his mentor, Elijah, has finished his work here and will be leaving him soon to return to God. But Elisha doesn’t want this to happen, and he sticks close by to Elijah. But eventually he realizes that Elijah really must go, that Elijah’s work is done, and that he needs to return to God. And just as Leonard had his memories of Buster and occasionally saw Buster at the park, Elisha had his memories of Elijah, and a double portion of Elijah’s spirit by which to remember his friend. It can be hard for us to admit when things have changed in our lives, maybe that people have left us, or our circumstances are different now. But with God watching over us, we can faith in the good which may come from those changes, and carry the memories and spirits of what came before to help us as we move forward.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: In our passage from II Corinthians, the apostle Paul urges the Corinthians to learn of something more, to gain knowledge of the glory of God. To learn of something more is Paul’s command and will be of benefit to the Corinthians in their faith. In More than Anything Else, young Booker T. Washington describes a “hunger in his head” to learn how to read. He knows that learning to read, and thereby learning what books contain, will be knowledge that can never be taken away from him and will benefit him greatly. For Booker T. Washington and for many people who had been denied knowledge, learning is the greatest treasure and a gift. Paul doesn’t want the Corinthians to settle; he wants them to pursue more knowledge because it will be a treasure for them and bring more light to the world. We, too, ought to pursue the knowledge of the glory of God and not be stagnant in our faith, and encourage and help others to gain greater knowledge as well. Doing this will bring more light to the world.
Gospel Reading: Mark 9:2-9
If You Want to See A Whale by Julie Fogliano
(Written for ages 4-7)
Comment: In order to see Jesus transfigured, the disciples had to join him on the mountain and look at him. They couldn’t be worried about the work waiting for them down below. They couldn’t worry about what was up ahead. They needed to be on the mountain, looking at Jesus. In If You Want to See a Whale, the young protagonist and his dog desperately want to see a whale. They are told that if they want to see a whale, they must keep your eyes on the sea. You can’t be distracted by anything else. You must be willing to wait and watch. At the end of the story, their focus, their waiting and watching on the sea, pays off with a glimpse of a whale. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus, so that we can really see him, so that we can see him transfigured before us. The work we do is important, but so, too, is keeping our focus on the one we work for – on our Lord.
Thanks to Sara Anne Berger, minister at the First Presbyterian Church of Natchitoches, LA, for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links for the next several weeks.