Year B: March 29, 2015
First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a
Cake Girl by David Lucas
(Written for ages 3-6)
Comment: All children can relate to the idea of teacher. Most children will be able to name at least one amazing teacher. We typically look to our teacher to be the one who knows all the answers and has something to teach us, but it is the ones who admit their limitations that stand out in our mind. In Cake Girl, the wicked witch created a girl to be at her beck and call. The witch was the in the teacher role, but the young cake girl quickly began to teach the witch about life. The student becomes the teacher. Our Old Testament passage this morning has Isaiah describing himself as a teacher and a student in the same breath. Isaiah is called to teach, but every morning he looks to God to learn something new. Isaiah never stops being a student and a teacher. Like Isaiah, we can all teach those around us and learn while doing so.
Second Reading: Philippians 2:5-11
The Boy Who Wouldn’t Swim by Deb Lucke
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Sometimes we find ourselves paralyzed by our fear of something, and we must deliberately think of and choose each move we make. Eric Dooley has found himself in that position in The Boy Who Wouldn’t Swim. He is so fearful of getting in the pool that he begins to call out problems warranting everyone to evacuate the pool. Eric is miserable sitting on the edge watching everyone else enjoy the pool. As the summer progresses, something changes in Eric that allows him to overcome his fear and swim. The reading from Philippians this morning brings to the forefront Jesus’ active participation and choice in God”s plan. Jesus could have allowed his fear of the cross to overtake him, but he chooses to keep moving forward even knowing what is coming.
Gospel Reading: Mark 14:1-15:47
The First Easter by Lois Rock
(Written for ages 5-7)
Comment: The Gospel reading assigned for Passion Sunday begins with Jesus being anointed and ends with Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus seeing where Jesus is laid after his death. For many children this will be the only time they hear the entirety of the events leading up to Jesus’ death, as many will not be present on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. It is important to hear all the events in sequential order. I would suggest telling the story to the children using a Children’s Bible or other retelling of the story. There are many children picture books retelling the Easter story. I suggest The First Easter by Lois Rock because she does a nice job of retelling the story in words a majority of children will be able to understand. Rock also sticks to the biblical text and does not add in excess theological comments. A nice detail would be to stop reading the story in the same place the scripture stops the story. Let the children rest in the death of Christ for the week. When they come back for Easter Sunday, the story can be continued.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by Union Presbyterian Seminary alimna Elizabeth Boulware Landes.