Year B: June 14, 2015
First Reading: 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13
Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
(Written for ages 8-12)
Comment: In this text, God is calling Samuel to expect the unexpected, to look beyond the things we commonly believe signify greatness, and to see the signs of leadership written on the heart. In DiCamillo’s humorous tale, Flora has the ability to expect the unexpected and sees that Ulysses is more than a squirrel, he is actually a superhero. “The squirrel certainly didn’t look very heroic. But then, neither did [her favorite superhero].” (Chapter 11) This text and story invite us to consider the ways God gifts and sends those we least expect to make a big difference in the world.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (11-13), 14-17
Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
(Written for ages 10-14)
Comment: In hearing this text we are challenged to consider what it means to be a new creation, transformed by our relationship with Christ. In Counting By 7s, a number of characters are transformed by their relationship with Willow Chance. This transformation is particularly poignant for the odd guidance counselor, Dell Duke. “He was changing. He was capable of that… It was on the inside… Because for the first time, in as long as he could remember, Dell belonged…” (Chapter 44) In the same way belonging changed Dell, the belonging we find in Christ changes who we are. This text and novel invite us to consider the way our relationship with Christ and with others has transformed us into new creations.
Gospel Reading: Mark 4:26-34
We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: Jesus describes the tiny mustard seed sprouting and growing great. The tiny seed holds so much hope and it tells us that God can bring about God’s kingdom through the smallest action, from the smallest person, and it will spread. Muldrow’s book feels much like an extension of this parable.Readers see people of all ages around the world planting trees. The story explores many of the wonderful ways planting a tree can make the world a better place and help to heal the earth. We Planted a Tree is a lovely picture book to help people visualize and consider the way God’s kingdom is being cultivated around the world.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Noell Rathbun-Cook.