Year 2: December 1, 2019
Howard B Wigglebottom on Yes or No by Howard Binkow
(Written for ages 4 to 8)
Comment: This passage does something remarkable, at once looking both backward and forward in time in order to discover hope. Jeremiah, writing from prison during the exile (33:1) looks back to the glory days of David’s rule. God installed David on the throne and made a promise that there would always be a ruler to “sit on the throne of the House of Israel” (33:17). At the same time, Jeremiah looks toward the future, to the days that are “surely coming” (33:14), and anticipates a restoration of divine leadership as the trustworthy fulfillment of that promise. This dual vision is a great way to enter the season of advent: remembering God’s faithfulness in the past helps us hope for God’s faithfulness in the future so that we can be faithful in the present. The story by Binkow is designed to teach children how to decide who they can trust. It highlights the idea that trust is to be earned, and that we need to discern how people have acted in the past to see if we can trust them. It also emphasizes the idea that children shouldn’t trust (or talk to!) adult strangers. Howard helps his friend Buzz learn how to develop trust over time. This is a good opportunity to ask children who they trust, and why. It’s also an opportunity for adults to share with children why they trust God. Can you think of a time in your past when God was helpful or supportive to you? Sharing these stories with children will help them look for ways to trust God in their own lives.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumnus Joshua Andrzejewski for writing the Year 2 Narrative Lectionary Links this year.