Year B: October 28, 2012
First Reading: Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
(Written for ages 13 and up)
Comment: In his commentary, Gary Charles invites preachers to consider the way pastoral theology is informed by the lectionary’s final reading from Job, rather than jumping to happily ever after conclusions we might find in fairy tales. Ministers may use the text to connect with the people in their congregations who now find themselves “on the other side of the ‘ash heap.’ Suffering has happened and people are trying to reconstruct their lives and their faith.” (Feasting on the Word: Year B, Volume 4, p 196)This reconstruction will include new beginnings, new hope for life, but certainly will also always hold space for remembering the suffering and losses connected to the ash heap. Katniss Everdeen sits on the other side of the ash heap in the Epilogue of Mockingjay. “My children don’t know they play on a graveyard… one day I’ll have to explain… I’ll tell them how I survive it…” Her survival is a repetition of memories from the past blended with hope for a different future for her children.
Second Reading: Hebrews 7:23-28
Bluebonnet Girl by Michael Lind
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself.” David S. Cunnigham explains that this “passage emphasizes that Christ’s sacrifice is definitive and final; as a perfect sacrifice, it puts an end to sacrifice” (Feasting on the Word: Year B, Volume 4, p 210) He goes on to explore how Christ’s actions reorient our way of life and have the potential to end cycles of violence. The bluebonnet girl makes a once and for all sacrifice when all the others in her tribe, facing hunger and drought due to selfishness, are unable to part with their prized possessions. Through her sacrificial act, she saves the tribe.
Gospel Reading: Mark 10:46-52
Elfwyn’s Saga by David Wisniewski
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “Bartimaeus, in identifying Jesus as the son of David, demonstrates that he really does see; despite his physical blindness he can see what others who meet Jesus cannot.” (Feasting on the Word: Year B, Volume 4, p 214) Seeing is more than what we take in with our eyes. Though this story addresses the healing of a physical blindness, it invites us to consider how it is we see with or experience blindness in our hearts. Readers experience this in the story of Elfwyn, a princess born blind. Though she cannot physically see, her heart vision remains clear, even when others in her village become blind to the truth and their way of life.
The Lectionary Links this week were written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.