Second Sunday of Lent
First Reading: Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Dusk by Uri Shuleitz
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: The covenant story with Abram reminds us that even God’s most faithful sometimes question the Lord. It’s okay to be uncertain, it’s okay to doubt, and it’s okay to share your concerns and fears with God. Although questioning, Abram trusted that God would be faithful to him as he was to God. The Lord covenants with Abram despite Abram’s queries and wavering trust; he would bear descendants as great as the stars. Trust, believe, and watch God work. Dusk shares the story of a boy, his dog, and his grandfather going through a walk one cold winter evening. They reach the river and the sun begins to set, leaving the boy a bit sad that the day was ending and the darkness was upon them. As they walk back to town, the boy and his grandfather discover lights in the city and people enjoying seasonal holiday celebrations through the lights. The boy experiences sadness over the impending darkness, and then joy over the light that was to come. Trust, believe, and watch the light return…in a new way.
Second Reading: Philippians 3:17-4:1
Say Something by Peggy Moss
(Written for ages 5-10)
Comment: Sometimes the hardest thing we can do is stand firm in our beliefs in the face of teasing, until we become the object of criticism. At school, a young girl notices others being picked on and she does nothing to change the behavior of the other students. That is, until she begins to become the object of the bullying one day when her friends are gone. She discovers how painful the behavior is, and after discussing it with her brother, she becomes determined to stand up against the bullying and befriend the other children. This particular portion of Paul’s letter encourages the church to stand firm in their beliefs and follow the example of other believers who can show them how to live like Christ. One of the easiest ways we can work to live like Christ is to help students of all ages learn the power of speaking up and protecting other children of God when they see bullying take place. Say Something includes an index of several suggested phrases students can uses, as well as resources to find out more about speaking up against bullying.
Gospel Reading: Luke 13:31-35
I Don’t Like Koala by Sean Ferrell and Charles Santoso
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Jesus’ lament for Jerusalem points the reader to the two-facedness present in both ancient Jerusalem and our lives today, too. We say we want one thing and act differently. We become so blinded by our hypocrisy that we don’t even recognize the behavior anymore. Jerusalem says that it wants a savior but quickly does away with anyone who represents salvation or speaks for God. Too often, we are products of this type of behavior as well. Adam has a semi-creepy stuffed animal, Koala, who just seems to constantly hang around and stare. It bothers Adam a lot. He throws Koala away. He yells his disgust, he hides Koala, but Koala just seems to keep coming around. As much as he wants to be rid of Koala, when something else scares him, he seeks Koala for comfort. Adam decides that Koala isn’t so bad after all. In fact, he professes his love for Koala to the dismay of his parents. Like Adam, when something is different from what we expected, or even just won’t go away, we behave one way. But, when that something offers us protection, comfort, and salvation from something else, we behave differently. Jesus laments over the hypocrites in Jerusalem. Do you think Jesus laments when we say one thing and act another?
Thanks to Katie Barrett Todd, Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna, for writing the Lectionary Linksfor us these past four weeks.