Year B: February 12, 2012
First Reading: 2 Kings 5:1-14
Miro in the Kingdom of the Sun by Jane Kurtz (Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: Naaman is a powerful and mighty man who would do anything to be healed. It’s interesting to see that his healing takes place because of the actions of those typically viewed as neither powerful nor mighty. Ultimately, Naaman is healed because he trusts his servants and listens to their advice. Miro in the Kingdom of the Sun is also the story of healing waters for one who holds status of power and wealth. Ultimately, the prince is healed because his father trusts Miro, a little girl from the country, and accepts the gift she shares. Both stories are examples of how God’s work is often accomplished through those whom society deems as powerless.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
The Tortoise and the Hare by Aesop (Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: When thinking about exploring this text with children, I’m drawn to Eugene Peterson’s interpretation of verses 26 and 27 in The Message: “I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.” This instantly brings to mind the braggart Hare, quick to boast about his race-running abilities. Though he is a skilled runner, he lacks discipline and diligence, is caught napping and fails to win the race. He thought it would be easy, but the process of winning a race is no easy task, even for a hare. Likewise, living the Christian life is no easy task for we in the church. According to V. Bruce Rigdon, “that is why Paul suggests that we must stay in shape, work hard at our tasks, and keep our eyes on the ultimate goal.” (Feasting on the Word, Year B, Volume 1, p 354.” May we, like the tortoise, seek to stay on the path, even if the running is slow.
Mark 1: 40-45
Vive La Paris by Esme Raji Codell (Written for ages 9-12)
Comment: “I do choose. Be made clean!” Although it is hard to stand up for what is right, as followers of Christ, we are called to make choices. Paris is a fifth grader learning about choices from her family, friends, and teachers. This books covers a number of difficult topics, including bullying, the holocaust, and racism. Through her learning, Paris discovers what it means to seek justice in an often unjust world. As the story ends, she makes a choice to help others. “I thought about a man at a pulpit preaching things I only half understand, things I want to understand so, so much, things that I will only begin to understand if Louis takes this money… I put on my rose-colored glasses once more, though nobody could see them. I put them on my heart.” (Chapter 24) Through the lens of the rose-colored glasses, Paris seeks to choose justice. We too, have choices to make, with Christ as our lens.
This Lectionary Links post was written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook and Union Presbyterian Seminary student Rachel Mastin.