Year B: September 9, 2018
First Reading: Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
Maverick and Me by Katherine Schwarzenegger
(Written for ages 4-7)
Comment: These verses from Proverbs call for justice for the poor, for the least of these. Scarlett and her mother enter a pet supply store and see a puppy that is waiting to be adopted. Maverick, and other dogs like him, can be considered the least of these and may be a good starting point for introducing children to seeking justice for the poor.
Second Reading: James 2:1-10 (11-13, 14-17)
Shelter by Celine Claire
(Written for ages 3-5)
Comment: Claire’s story book is a parable for children about loving your neighbors. A storm is coming, and the animals in the forest seek shelter in their homes. A bear parent and child do not have a home in this area and are seeking shelter as well. They are told over and over, “Try the neighbor.” After the snow breaks the Fox families’ shelter, they too are seeking shelter. They end up knocking at the door of the igloo the Bear’s made, and they are welcomed in. For James (and Jesus) there is no distance between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots. We are called to follow the command to love neighbor, especially in the midst of storms.
Third Reading: Mark 7:24-37
Middle Bear by Susanna Isern
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Middle Bear is too small or too big to do a lot of things to help his family. He seems to go unnoticed and longs to be as special as his brothers. Things change when Middle Bear’s parents become ill. The three brothers must go into the forest to gather willow tree bark as it is the only cure. In a somewhat predictable outcome, Middle Bear is the brother who is the right size to get the tree bark. His size and status are no longer a hindrance. In these healing stories of Jesus, he tells the deaf man to “Be open!” Be open to what God can do. Be open to how God can use you. No matter how small, or big, God can use you to bring healing.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumnus Jason C. Stanley for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links this week.