Year B: October 14, 2012
First Reading: Job 23:1-9, 16-17
A Day, A Dog by Gabrielle Vincent
(Written for ages 9-12)
Comment: “If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him; on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him; I turn to the right, but I cannot see him.” At this point in Job’s story we hear of Job’s sense of utter abandonment by God. This image of God is paradoxical to the ever-present one we so often speak of and preach about. Yet many of us have experienced moments in our own life where we feel abandoned and utterly alone. Like Job, we are filled with sorrow when we cry out, “Where is God?” Though it is a wordless book, A Day, A Dog is strikingly sorrowful. A number of pages hold only the image of the abandoned dog. Whether he goes forward, backward, left, or right, he is alone.
Second Reading: Hebrews 4:12-16
The King and the Seed by Eric Maddern
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” John P. Burgess suggests that in approaching the throne of grace, we are transformed and called to new life because “God’s judgement is a reordering and reorienting power.” (Feasting on the Word: Year B, Volume 4, p160) Though he is clearly nervous, when Jack approaches the king, he is honest about his failure. Unexpectedly, his confession leads to transformation. No longer a farm boy, but a future king, Jack and the kingdom are called into new life.
Gospel Reading: Mark 10:17-31
The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: In this passage a young man is asking Jesus how he can inherit eternal life. “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’” A number of people in our congregations are sure to understand the shock and grief the man encountered with Jesus’ words. We live in a culture that equates stuff with happiness, wealth with security. Is eternal life worth it if it requires giving away our happiness and security? A wealthy king has a similar encounter with the Quiltmaker. Readers witness his struggle against and eventual acceptance of her advice. As the book ends and we might find ourselves saying, “yes, it really is worth it.”
The Lectionary Links this week were written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.