14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Year B: July 8, 2018
First Reading: 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10
The Silver Slippers By Elizabeth Kida-Callan
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: These words from the elders show us that King David had doubts about becoming King. The elders are reminding him what he has done in the past and showing him what he is capable of. This is something many children have or will experience in their lifetime. Doubting our abilities to accomplish the task at hand is a common aspect of human life. In The Silver Slippers, a little girl wants to be the prima ballerina, but she is struggling to be perfect at dancing. After listening to the little girl talk about her dream to be the prima ballerina, her mom gives her a necklace with silver ballet shoes on it. This necklace serves as a reminder of what the little girl wants to accomplish and what she is capable of. The words of the elders were a reminder to King David of his abilities. We all have something or someone we look to in order to remind us of who we are and what we can do. King David goes on to lead the people for many years, and this little girl goes on to dance her very best in the recital.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:2-10
Crocodiles are the Best Animals of All! by Sean Taylor
(Written for ages 3-6)
Comment: Boasting is something all of us do. Kids and adults find themselves telling stories to make themselves seem better than someone else. We might leave a few details out to make it sound better, but overall when we are boasting it is truthful. In this passage from 1 Corinthians we hear the words of Paul “But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me” (v. 6) Paul’s words remind us that we all have things about ourselves that we could boast about. Paul goes on to talk about his weakness. His boasting about his weakness turns the attention to Jesus. In Crocodiles are the Best Animals of All!, a crocodile is challenged by different animals to do what they do. As he does each challenge, he reminds them that he is the best animal of all. Until, the donkey challenges him that to wiggle his ears. The crocodile tries with all his might, but he can’t do it. The boasting crocodile is reminded that even he has something he can’t do. These funny animals and Paul show us that we all have things to be proud of, and that we also have limitations.
Gospel Reading: Mark 6:1-13
Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
(Written for ages 3-6)
Comment: In Leonardo and the Terrible Monster, Leonardo is a failure of a monster. A monster’s main job is to scare people and he can’t do it. Not even the most scaredy-cat kid. Leonardo has a tough decision to make. He can accept the fact that he is not able to scare and find a new thing to do in his life, or he can keep trying. He chooses to find a new calling in his life. When he accepted that he wasn’t any good at scaring monster, he was able to be a friendly monster and succeeds. Jesus is in a tough predicament in our Gospel reading. He is in his home town and is not fulfilling the expectations the town has for him. He can choose to accept that he is not going to be wowing the people who watched him grow up, or he can keep trying. He chooses to accept it. By doing this Jesus frees himself to be available for all those who do accept who he is and what he has come to do. We all have expectations placed on us and we will not always be able to fulfill them. Jesus did not grow up to be who the people thought he would be, and Leonardo was not able to scare anyone. Both Leonardo and Jesus had a tough decision to make. Like them, we get to choose how we respond to others’ expectations. We can let them define us or we let them go, remembering we are a child of God.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Elizabeth Boulware Landes for writing the Lectionary Links this week.