Year A: February 26, 2017
First Reading: Exodus 24:12-18
Brush of the Gods by Lenore Look
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: In this brief passage, we look with awe and wonder upon Moses’ encounter with God. When God appears, things outside of the normal realm of reality occur, and to the people it looks as if a devouring fire is settling upon the mountain. Wu Daozi encounters the divine whenever he picks up his paintbrush. As with Moses’s encounter, something outside the normal realm of reality occurs and Wu Daozi’s paintings come to life. The mountain for Moses, and the paint brush for Wu Daozi, are in essence what Celtic Christianity describes as thin places where we experience holy encounters with God. As you read this text and story, invite your congregation to share their own experiences of thin places.
Second Reading: 2 Peter 1:16-21
Tea Cakes for Tosh by Kelly Starling Lyons
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: In her commentary on this text, professor Margaret Aymer highlights the value of oral history: “In retelling those stories, the author and the community become eyewitnesses with the three who ascended the mountain.” Oral history has long been valued in many cultures as a way of remembering, and connecting to the experience of our ancestors. Tosh experiences the oral history of his family when his grandma Honey bakes tea cakes. As her memories begin to fade, Tosh is able to bring her back into the experiences of their ancestors through familiar words, and the taste of freshly baked tea cakes. This text and story invite us to share the oral histories of our own communities as we seek to better understand our connection to the past, as well as the future.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 17:1-9
Splat the Cat and the Big Secret by Rob Scotton
(Written for ages 4-9)
Comment: Can you imagine experiencing something like Jesus’ transfiguration and then being told, “tell no one!” Exciting secrets can be difficult to keep,. This is made especially clear through Splat’s story as he works all week to not ruin his sister’s birthday surprise. Secret keeping takes a toll on Splat and he is both joyful and exhausted when the cat is finally out of the bag. Allow Splat’s story to guide the children of your church into wondering what secret keeping might have been like for Peter, James, and John.
Noell Rathbun-Cook, Minister of Children, Families and Liturgical Arts at Grace Baptist Church, Richmond, VA, is the writer of Year 3 of the Narrative Lectionary Links.