Year B: June 17, 2018
First Reading: 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13
I am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: Samuel is sent to the home of Jesse to anoint the new king. Starting with the oldest boy, Samuel takes a look at each son. But none of the sons will be the new king. Then, he meets David, and is surprised that this small boy will be the next king of Israel. God tells Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance. The Lord looks at the heart.” God calls unexpected people from unexpected places to be leaders. Rosa Parks is a great example. The seamstress was forty-two years old when she sat on the bus and refused to give her seat to a white man. This single act led to the Montgomery bus boycott. Parks is a modern David. No one expected her to become a leader of a movement. Yet her impact on the world has been sewn into the fabric of history.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (11-13), 14-17
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
(Written for ages 2 and up)
Comment: Eric Carle very creatively depicts the life of a caterpillar – a very hungry caterpillar. As the little bug eats his way through the book, he becomes a very big bug. Eventually he is transformed into a beautiful butterfly. In the words of Paul, “everything old has passed away, see everything has become new!” Carle’s story and illustrations are an excellent metaphor for new life. We too, by the power of God’s love through Jesus Christ, are a new creation!
Gospel Reading: Mark 4:26-34
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Jesus tells two parables about seed planting. In one the farmer scatters the seed and God makes the seed grow. In the other, a tiny mustard seed is planted, and grows to become the tallest in the garden. The little boy in the book plants a carrot seed. His family tells him that it will never grow. They look down on him because he thinks this one seed will grow. Even so, the boy waits and waits and waits. At the conclusion of the book, the little boy carries his carrot away in a wheelbarrow. With God, a tiny seed can become a great, big carrot. At times this means we have to wait. Like the boy and the farmer in Jesus’ parable, we can plant seeds in our community – seeds of compassion and kindness and seeds of peace of justice. These seeds may be small acts, but with God they become huge carrots.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumnus Jason C. Stanley for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links for the past four weeks.