YEAR C: July 14, 2019
First Reading: Deuteronomy 30: 9-14
What Should Danny Do? by Adir Levy and Ganit Levy
(Written for ages 3 and up)
Comment: Abundance galore! That is the promise that awaits readers of Deuteronomy if they choose to obey God with heart and soul and to observe God’s commandments. These commandments are near to us; they are accessible and often familiar, so much so that that they are in one’s mouth and heart. However, are those commandments in our hands and feet, our deeds and our actions? That’s the choice that awaits us. Danny is a superhero-in-training and choices await him, too, as he tackles the day. Danny has an extra special power, the power to choose. Readers help him use this power as this is a “Choose Your Own” story with multiple story lines to navigate through. Towards the end of the book, readers realize that the choices they and Danny made shaped the day into what it became. They will see that a variety of consequences can result from the different choices that one makes. Today’s text in Deuteronomy is illustrated through a modern-day story that children will find easy to relate to and make sense of.
Second Reading: Colossians 1: 1-14
Teach Your Dragon to Understand Consequences by Steve Herman
(Written for ages 4-6)
Comment: Paul writes to the Colossians with a prayer of encouragement for their growing faith community. He speaks of the patience they have endured as they have tried to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, and how such patience has borne fruit in the world in the form of sharing God’s Good News. In Teach Your Dragon to Understand Consequences, young Drew’s patience is tested regularly by his pet dragon, Diggory Doo. Drew endeavors to teach Diggory Doo how to keep his temper and fire breath under control and how to do what is right. But Diggory Doo does not really care for rules. Drew teaches Diggory Doo that there are consequences for his actions, including when he disregards the rules! Before Diggory Doo could learn these lessons, he broke a lot of rules and Drew was frustrated. But with perseverance and care, Drew continued trying to teach Diggory Doo and eventually it paid off. What have you learned or what have you done that required much patience along the way? How has patience borne fruit in your life?
Third Reading: Luke 10: 25-37
Love Your Neighbor by Melody Carson
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Written in rhythmic prose, Melody Carson tells the story of young boy who is frustrated with his next door neighbor, Tim, and all that he does and he complains to her grandmother about him. His grandmother’s response is not what he had hoped when she brings her Bible off the shelf and tells him to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Instead of heeding his grandmother’s advice, he imagines different scenarios that do not involve Tim, but different characters who are easier to love. In the end, he dares to talk to Tim and learns that Tim actually is someone who could be a good friend, and a new friendship ensues. In this week’s gospel lesson, Jesus challenges our assumptions as to who our neighbors are when he tells the story of the Good Samaritan to the lawyer. The neighbors Jesus encourages us to care for and love may not always be who we imagined. Who are your neighbors and how do you care for them?
We welcome Rosy Robson back as our Revised Common Lectionary Links writer for the next four weeks. Rosy is associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Richardson, TX and a graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA.