Year 1: June 9th, 2019
The Dark by Lemony Snicket
(Written for ages 5-6)
Comment: The Narrative Lectionary offers two texts for Pentecost: the first an excerpt from the Pentecost story in Acts, where the Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples; and the second from the letter to the Romans, where the Spirit is described as helping us in our weakness. In the Acts passage, the Spirit helps the disciples, but is also described as being like “a violent wind”. That is, the Spirit, for the disciples, while helping them, also came in a way that was unnerving and maybe a little scary. But this same Spirit also helps us in our weakness. Both things are true of the Spirit. In The Dark, we see this same dynamic. A little boy, Lazlo, is afraid of the Dark who lives in his house. The Dark seems to be everywhere and is unnerving and scary. But when the nightlight goes out in Lazlo’s room, the Dark helps him find his way through the house to the drawer which contains lightbulbs for the night light. After that, Lazlo feels some peace with the Dark, knowing both its fearsome and helpful qualities. Like Lazlo’s experience with the Dark, we know that the Holy Spirit is both fearsome and helpful. The Holy Spirit comes to us like a violent wind, something perhaps unnerving and maybe even scary like the Dark. But the Spirit, as Romans says, also helps us in our weakness, like the Dark helped Lazlo. The Holy Spirit is not tame and we should be filled with awe and holy fear at the Spirit’s power and ability to bring change. But we can also trust that part of the Spirit’s job is to help us in our weakness.
Thanks to Sara Anne Berger, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Nachitoches, LA, for writing the Year 1 Narrative Lectionary Links this year.