15th Sunday After Pentecost
Year 3: September 17, 2017
Preaching Text: Genesis 21:1-3; 22:1-14
Not in Room 204 by Shannon Riggs
(Written for ages 6+)
Comment: This reading has always been a text of terror for me. Professor John C. Holbert describes a similar struggle and says, “Never again will I preach a sermon based on this story, unless I use it to repudiate its horrors…” He goes on to urge preachers “to look with great care at this famous story and to ask [themselves] whether it can be preached in a modern world that cries out for aid for abuse victims too many to number and name.” In the forward to her book, Riggs, describes childhood sexual abuse as a taboo subject that must be talked about in meaningful ways in order to overcome it. As the teacher in room 204, Mrs. Salvador uses her authority to name many types of inappropriate behaviors, including abuse. In doing so, she becomes a safe person for Regina to share her own experience of abuse. As you reflect upon this text and story, consider how you, like Mrs. Salvador and Professor Holbert, can use your authority to call out the horrific and inappropriate behavior described in today’s text.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Noell Rathbun for writing the Year 4 Narrative Lectionary Links.