18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Year B: August 5, 2018
First Reading: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon
(Written for ages 3 and up)
Comment: After being confronted by the prophet Nathan, David acknowledges his sin against God. While younger children will not understand the parable Nathan tells, this story can highlight the importance of being honest and “confessing” when we’ve “sinned” (abstract terms that could be taught to older children through this biblical story). The main character in this book is also named David, and he can’t admit when he’s done wrong either. Instead, he offers excuses such as “it’s not my fault” and “I didn’t mean to!” It’s only when he is able to say “Yes! It was me!” (as his biblical namesake does) that David is able to get a restful night’s sleep.
Second Reading: Ephesians 4:1-16
One Light, One Sun by Raffi
(Written for all ages)
Comment: This book contains the lyrics to Raffi’s popular song, along with illustrations that support the theme of unity found in the epistle to the Ephesians. The passage acknowledges that different people may have different jobs and functions, but we are called to “bear with one another in love … in the bond of peace.” The illustrations show people of different ages, races, and physical abilities (one child is in a wheelchair) living alongside one another in harmony. The simple, catchy lyrics are easy for young children to read and memorize. The complex drawings will provide ample opportunities for interactive reading (“Show me the cat.” “How many balloons do you see?”).
Gospel Reading: John 6:24-35
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
(Written for ages 4 and up)
Comment: In this passage, Jesus consistently reinforces the idea that the people don’t have to “do” anything to earn God’s love. In fact, Jesus himself is God’s revelation of love to the world. In the classic (and polarizing!) book by Munsch, a mother shows her love for her child as he grows up. No matter what he does or where he goes, his mother sings: “as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” Loving her child is an immutable, defining characteristic of this mother, just as it is of God. Such love caused God to “come down from heaven and give life to the world.”
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumnus Joshua Andrzejewski of Charlottesville, VA for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links this week.