2nd Sunday After Pentecost
Year B: June 3, 2018
First Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)
The Night Gardener by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Young Samuel hears his name being called in the stillness of night. Assuming it is the priest Eli, Samuel goes to him. After the third time this happens, Eli tells Samuel that it must be God calling him and to answer, “I’m ready to listen.” Samuel is a reminder that God calls everyone, no matter our age. God calls and send his servants, and we are next. William looks out his window one morning and notices a tree that has been transformed into a work of art. Young William responds to a call from the Night Gardener and becomes a co-creator with the Gardener. When we respond to God’s call on our lives, we become co-creators of peace, love, and justice.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:5-12
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
(Written for ages 3-5)
Comment: In these verses, Paul reminds the Corinthian church that the message they are proclaiming is not about them, but about Christ. He urges readers then and now to have a servant’s heart when it comes to proclaiming the Gospel. No matter who we are, or what challenges we face, God can use us. Diane Chen writes about this text, “In God’s economy, things are not what they appear on the outside.” This is true for CJ and his Nana in Pena’s award-winning book. After church, the boy and his grandmother take the bus to the last stop on Market Street. The reader is led to believe that the couple is headed to a soup kitchen for Sunday lunch. While they are headed to a soup kitchen, they are doing so to serve Sunday lunch. Nana is teaching CJ about what it means to have a servant’s heart and that there is treasure in all clay jars.
Third Reading: Mark 2:23-3:6
Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss
(Written for ages 3 and up)
Comment: In the cool of the day, in the Jungle of Nool, Horton the elephant hears a small Who. Horton decides to do all he can to carry the small clover with a big city on it to safety. But the sour kangaroo and others tell Horton that he is being foolish. He should not be worried about the clover. This classic tale from Dr. Seuss reminds us that a person is a person no matter how small. In today’s gospel lesson, the sour Pharisees tell Jesus that he should not allow his disciples to pluck grain nor should he heal the man’s writhed hand on the Sabbath. Jesus responds, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm?” Jesus and Horton point us to a gospel truth; it is right to do good not harm, even on the Sabbath.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumnus Jason C. Stanley for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links this week. Jason blogs about books and other things at http://jasoncstanley.com/.