Year 2: February 16, 2020
That’s Not How You Do It! by Ariane Hoffman-Maniyar
(Written for ages 4-7)
Comment: One approach to this passage is to talk with children about the difference between obeying rules and being bossy. The Pharisees have taken something good (making sure dishes are clean) and turned it into something bad and oppressive by being bossy. Rules are meant to help us live better, not make other people’s lives more difficult. In Hoffman-Maniyar’s book, Lucy is a know-it-all who wants to tell everyone how to do everything. Then Toshi arrives and begins doing things differently. By the end of the story, Lucy realizes that Toshi has some expertise that she lacks, and can teach her how to do things as well. The concept of hypocrisy, which is at the heart of Jesus’ critique of the Pharisees, may be difficult for younger children to grasp; however, they can still understand the idea that rules are meant to protect us, not to be used to hurt and belittle others. Rules are important, but they must be applied with kindness and generosity.
Thanks to Joshua Andrzejewski, Union Presbyterian Seminary alumnus and chaplain for the pediatric and women’s health units in the VCU Medical Center, for writing the Year 2 Narrative Lectionary Links.