Year 1: March 24, 2019
Preaching Text: Matthew 22:1-14
Please, Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: This parable is very scary and hard to hear. It’s also hard to find good news in it. With younger members of a congregation, it may not be possible to talk about some elements of this story without inspiring fear. But there is something we can pay attention to: the theme of invitations. In the story, it says that the king had issued invitations to a group of people and that he invites other people later. The other part of this is that the initial invitees “make light of” the invitation when it is offered. Jesus’ scary story seems to be telling us that “making light” of an invitation from the Lord is very unwise, but accepting an invitation leads to a banquet, that is, to something good. Adam Lehrhaupt’s Please Open This Book contains an invitation on the front cover. “Please, open this book”, it says. The animals inside the book are thrilled when the reader accepts the invitation, because now they are saved. Before, they had become trapped in the book, because no one would accept the invitation to open it. And at the end of the story, it contains another invitation to open it again and re-read. By ignoring the invitation, the animals are left trapped in the dark. Jesus says in his parable that it isn’t wise for us to make light of or ignore an invitation, that an invitation from the Lord, like the invitation to open the book, is worth accepting for something good to happen.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Sara Anne Berger for writing the Narrative Lectionary Links this week.