Year A: July 24, 2011
First Reading: Genesis 29: 15-28
Love and Roast Chicken by Barbara Knutson
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: Children’s literature abounds with tales of trickery and deception. Just type the word “trickster” into your local library’s catalog and be amazed by the number of entries that appear. The interesting thing about most trickster tales is that the trick is typically done to help protect the trickster in some way. It’s one of the things that help make them loveable to the reader, even when they act dishonestly. Often we focus on Laban as being a deceptive trickster, but let’s face it, he was trying to make sure his daughters were cared for, and he succeeded. In Love and Roast Chicken, Cuy the Guinea Pig is quite the tricky little guy; he’s trying his best to stay alive! This story, melded together from Peruvian and Bolivian folk tales, will be a fun read aloud.
Second Reading: Romans 8: 26-39
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Paul recites a laundry list of the things we fear might separate us from God’s love, he then goes on to reassures us that nothing can. Children will be familiar with this fear of separation. In The Kissing Hand, Mrs. Raccoon reassures Chester of her love as he is preparing to go to school for the first time. She kisses his hand to assure him that she will always be with him, and promises a kissing hand will not wash away. “Now he knew his mother’s love would go with him wherever he went. Even to school.” Chester carries his mother’s love with him, wherever he goes; we carry God’s love in Christ Jesus with us, wherever we go. Such knowledge is a true comfort.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 31-33, 44-52
God’s Little Seeds by Bijou Le Tord
(Written for ages 3-8)
Comment: This text from Matthew provides parable after parable. In God’s Little Seeds, Le Tord explains Jesus’ use of parables through simple, lovely text and with beautiful illustrations. “[Jesus] said such wise things that all the people who listened to him opened their eyes, their ears, and their hearts.” Le Tord then goes on to illustrate the Parables of the Sower and the Mustard Seed. This story will serve as an accessible introduction to parables for young children.
This Lectionary Links post was written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun.