Year 1: October 7, 2018
Preaching Text: Exodus 19:3-7; 20:1-17
Bedtime is Canceled by Cece Meng
(Written for ages 4-7)
Comment: No matter how old we are, it can be hard to remember that sometimes limits come from love—that boundaries, instructions, and rules can come from a place of care and concern for our well-being. We don’t always remember this, but God does. In our passage, God lays out the ten commandments for the Israelites as they come into the wilderness. This might seem like a lot of limits on people who have just escaped from the oppression of Egypt, but God knows what is best for the Israelites, and God knows that complete freedom to do as they like would not be for the best. God makes clear to Moses and the Israelites that these limits come from God’s love. God says, “I am the Lord God”, and describes how God rescued them from Egypt, bore them on eagles’ wings, brought them to the Lord, and regards them like a treasured possession. God cares for them, and so that’s why God sets limits for them. We see the consequences of living with no limits in Bedtime is Canceled by Cece Meng. A pair of siblings decide to push back against what they regard as the unfair limitation of bedtime, and they manage, through various means, to convince everyone that bedtime is canceled. So, no one goes to bed. At first the complete freedom seems good, but then everyone grows tired and exhausted, and they realize that bedtime is there for a reason—so now, bedtime is not canceled! We might push back against the limits of life, the commandments of God, but we would not really want to live in such complete freedom, like in the book. God’s commandments come from God’s care for us, God’s limits come from love. Because the Lord is our God, and we are God’s treasured possession, we value and keep those commandments.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Alumna Sara Anne Berger for writing the Year 1 Narrative Lectionary Links.