Year 1: April 14, 2019
Preaching Text: Matthew 21:1-17
They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
(Written for ages 5-6)
Comment: In this Palm Sunday passage, Jesus is assessed by a variety of people. He enters Jerusalem on a donkey, and some in the crowd are crying out to him because they see him as a Savior, the son of David, the one who comes in the name of the Lord, and a prophet from Galilee. But the passage also says that the whole city is in turmoil because some people don’t know who he is at all and have to ask. Later on, after he cleanses the temple, those in need of help come to him because they see that he is a helper. But the chief priests and scribes (and probably the moneychangers and the dove sellers) look at him with anger. Jesus is one man, but he looks different depending on who is looking at him, depending on whether they know him or not, whether they see him as a Savior and helper or not, whether they are a scribe or money changer or someone crying out “Hosanna!”. In They All Saw a Cat, all kinds of creatures—people and animals—see the same cat, but the illustrations show us that each of them sees the cat differently. In the story, a fish sees the cat as enormous, a bird sees the cat from above, a bat sees the cat through echolocation. The story says, “They all knew the cat”, but they all see the cat differently, depending on who they are. Like all the creatures saw the cat differently, the people in Jerusalem saw Jesus differently. The same is true for us, today. Even within our churches and communities of faith, we are going to bring different stories of Jesus, different viewpoints, and together we can discover the answer to the question “Who is this?”. Part of our calling as disciples of Jesus is to know him well, and to consider the perspectives of him that other people bring, as one body in Christ.
Thanks to Sara Anne Berger, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Nachitoches, LA, for writing the Year 1 Narrative Lectionary Links.