25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Year B, September 23, 2012
First Reading: Proverbs 31:10-31
Little Yau by Janell Cannon
(Written for ages 5-8)
Comment: This passage highlights the importance of seeking God’s wisdom for everything we do in our lives. This woman described in the poem is characterized by her care for others, compassion, and humility. She serves as an exemplar for all who read her story. Kathleen O’Connor writes “the poem invites all readers to search for wisdom as if for a precious stone.” Wisdom is something precious and valuable that we should be seeking to direct how we live our lives. Yau learns this lesson in the midst of a crisis in Little Yau. After failing a big test, Yau finds a friend in trouble, and is willing to do what ever it takes to find the herb needed to make him better. Yau searches and searches until finding the thumbfoot leaf. Yau never gives up and in the end, Yau finds something greater than the thumbfoot leaf. It took a crisis for Yau to understand the wisdom of the wise ones. We do not have to wait for a crisis to discover God’s wisdom in our life. We can look to the women in Proverbs 31 for an example. (Feasting on the Word, Year B. Vol 4, pg 79)
Second Reading: James 3:13-4:3, 4:7-8a
The Girl Who Drew a Phoenix by Demi
(Written for ages 7-10)
Comment: Wisdom is a central theme in much of James. We as Christians are to seek God’s wisdom, and live a life shaped by it. When we talk about being wise in the church, it is not based on how much we know. Christian wisdom is seen in how we act. James writes, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace” (17-18). Feng Huang learned the lesson about wisdom from above being based on our actions in The Girl Who Drew a Phoenix. In order to draw a phoenix Feng must uncover the true spirit of the phoenix represented in clear sight, equality, generosity, and right judgment. Once she is able to draw these, the spirit of the Phoenix comes through in her drawing. Feng must practice drawing the Phoenix and we must practice following God’s wisdom to truly uncover the spirit and allow it to direct our lives.
Gospel Reading: Mark 9:30-37
At Jerusalem’s Gate: Poems of Easter by Nikki Grimes
(Written for ages 10-13)
Comment: In the Gospel reading for this Sunday we hear Jesus predict his death and resurrection for a second time in Mark. Again the disciples do not understand and do not question Jesus about it. It might seem a bit odd to discuss Easter in the middle of September, but this reading gives us the opportunity to talk about the message we hear on Easter morning, disconnected from the Easter bunny, Easter eggs, and Easter candy. Nikki Grimes’ collection of poetry opens the doors to discussions on all aspects of Holy Week, but two of the poems seem to connect with the emotions of Mark 9. “From a Distance” and “To Be Continued…” both highlight confusion about the story. The first shows the disciples unwillingness to engage with what is happening around them. Instead they look on from the edges in the poem, and change the subject in the scripture. The second poem highlights our lack of understanding what Jesus’ death and resurrection mean. We are told the disciples in Mark, after hearing Jesus predict his death do not understand, but are afraid to ask questions.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by Union Presbyterian Seminar graduate Elizabeth Boulware Landes.