2nd Sunday of Lent
Year B: February 25, 2018
First Reading: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: God comes to Abram and Sarai,makes a promise to them, and tells them about all the wonderful things to come. God tells Abram and Sarai that they will be blessed, that they will have a child, and that they will be the parents of many nations and rulers. In All The Wonderful Things You Will Be, parents look at their children and think of the future. They predict all kinds of wonderful things for each child, all the things they might grow up and do, the kind of people they will be, and through it all, reassure the children that they will be loved no matter what. God promised so many wonderful things to Abram and Sarai about who they would be and what would happen, and that promise came with a covenant with God so they knew that God would be with them every step of the way. We are part of that promise God made to them, and God’s covenant and promises are with us even now. God is with us as we grow into these promises and become all the wonderful things we will be.
Second Reading: Romans 4:13-25
The Cow Who Climbed a Tree by Gemma Merino
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Tina is not like her sisters. She wants to go on adventures and see the world. Even though her sisters discourage her, she decides to climb a tree and meets a dragon there. When she returns home, she tells her sisters all about it, but they dismiss her story and her enthusiasm for anything more. But when Tina leaves to go on yet another adventure—this time, flying with her friends—her sisters go and find her and discover that she has been telling the truth. They realize how much more there is to the world! They realize that they, too, like Tina, want to see what else is possible. In Romans, Paul recounts the story of Abram, telling of his faith in God’s promises, even though logically they might not seem possible. But Abram believed the Lord, and that faith in God’s promises saw him through to their realization. And God makes promises to us in Jesus Christ, promises which, like Tina’s sisters at first, we can dismiss and disbelieve, or, like Tina, like Abram, promises in which we can have faith. The promises given to us in Jesus Christ are worth having faith in, and that faith makes us believe in what is possible.
Gospel Reading: Mark 8:31-38
Hannah and Sugar by Katie Berube
(Written for ages 5-7)
Comment: In Mark, Jesus tells his disciples that he will undergo suffering, that he will have to sacrifice and show courage, and that his disciples, too, will have to take up their crosses and show courage of their own. In Hannah and Sugar, Hannah is scared of her friend’s dog, Sugar, even though everybody else likes her. But when Sugar goes missing, Hannah discovers her tangled up in the bushes, and is the only one who can free Sugar. Hannah shows courage by helping to untangle Sugar and return her to her owner, even though Hannah is scared. Being Jesus’ disciples isn’t always easy. We, like our Savior, will be called upon to take up our crosses and to show courage in this life. But also like our Savior, in him, we will be raised with him and our eternal lives saved through him.
Thanks to Sara Anne Berger, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Nachitoches, LA, for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links this week.