YEAR C: March 6, 2016
First Reading: Joshua 5:9-12
Lenny and Lucy by Philip C. Stead
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: In Lenny and Lucy, Peter feels apprehensive about moving to a new house in the woods. His family is excited, but the unknown makes him nervous. So, he creates two friends to comfort him: Lenny and Lucy, made of pillows, who will watch over and protect him in this strange new place. In our Joshua passage, the Israelites are entering a new land, after forty years in the wilderness. In this new, promised, land, many things will be different: a settled life, an abundant land, and instead of manna, they will eat the produce there. Surely, the Israelites, even as they rejoiced at the end of their forty year wandering, felt some apprehension about this new place, some nervousness about a change to their lives. But just as Peter had his friends, Lenny and Lucy, to comfort him in a new home, the Israelites continue to have the Lord watching over them, guiding them, protecting them and comforting them in a new land.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Tawny Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: Paul tells the Corinthians that they are to look at everyone differently, now that they are in Christ; that is, they regard everyone through the eyes of Christ, and in Christ, everything is made new. This newness necessitates the ministry of reconciliation for each disciple to engage in, as God’s ambassadors. In Tawny Scrawny Lion, little rabbit is initially, unwittingly, chosen as dinner for the Tawny Scrawny Lion who has terrorized all the animals. The rabbit, believing he is merely going to chat with the lion, doesn’t see him as a scary lion. Because he doesn’t see the lion as scary, he invites the lion to supper. Over the course of this meal, the lion changes and becomes reconciled to the rabbit and all of the other animals. Paul says we are to be ambassadors for reconciliation, to regard everyone through the eyes of Christ, to always look for possibilities of being made new, just as the rabbit did for the tawny scrawny lion.
Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: In Where the Wild Things Are, Max misbehaves and is sent to his room, where he decides to run away from his mother and escape to where the “wild things” are. But after awhile he misses his mother, and so, he sets sail, and returns to her, “who loves him best of all”. Jesus tells a similar story about a son who runs away from his father, to his own kinds of wild living. He, too, eventually, misses his father and returns, hoping for merely being allowed to enter, and instead is shown overwhelming love, and forgiveness. Like the story of Max, who misbehaved and ran away, Jesus didn’t tell stories about perfect people who never mess up. Instead, he told stories about people who made mistakes, but were always loved and welcomed back and forgiven. As his people, we, too, make mistakes, but like Max’s return to the one who loved him best of all, and the prodigal’s return to his loving father, we are always loved and forgiven.
Thanks to Sara Anne Berger, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Nachitoches, LA, for writing the Lectionary Links this week.