22nd Sunday after Pentecost
YEAR B: October 21, 2018
First Reading: Job 38: 1-7 (34-41)
We Are in a Book by Mo Willems
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: As the book of Job concludes, God finally responds to the speeches of Job and his friends. God says that for all their speeches, Job and his friends are still speaking “words without knowledge”. From God’s point of view, these humans do not really understand what is happening in the world and what is going on around them. But God does. God expands Job’s view to point out the foundations of creation, the heavenly beings who saw the beginning of the world. There is so much more beyond Job than Job can imagine. In We are In a Book, Gerald and Piggie, the main characters of several of Willems’ stories, suddenly realize that someone is watching them; in fact—someone is reading them. They realize they are in a book, and there is a wider story going on around them of which they are a part. Like Job and the characters in the book, as people of God, there is so much more to the world, so much more than we can know, going on all around us.
Second Reading: Hebrews 5:1-10
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
(Written for ages 4-7)
Comment: In The Little House, a small pink house is built on a hill surrounded by beautiful countryside. But over time, the city near the little house expands and surrounds the house. The little house is stuck in the middle of an unfamiliar setting and feels sad because the beautiful scenery is gone. One day a woman notices the little house in the midst of the city and rescues it, moving the little house back out into the countryside once again. The book of Hebrews describes Jesus as someone who, though he had every right to be glorified and exalted as the son of God, instead was submissive and humble, and in his humility he prayed, asked, and cried. Our passage says that in his distress, God heard him, and designated him a high priest. Like the little house, Jesus was in a lowlier and more difficult place, but was noticed and taken to a higher, better place. Jesus is our source of eternal salvation, and that means he is our source in our times of distress, and that he sees and raises us to better places.
Gospel Reading: Mark 10:35-45
The Spiffiest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: Jesus tells James and John that if they want to be the greatest of all, to sit by his side in God’s reign, then they will have to serve. Jesus came to serve, so as his disciples, they must also serve. In The Spiffiest Giant in Town a giant named George gets all decked out in new fancy clothes,and he is quite pleased with himself. But as he walks through town, he keeps finding animals who need help for various problems, and his giant-sized items of clothing are the perfect solution. Each time, he willingly offers what he is wearing so that the little animals can solve their problems, without any hesitation. George serves the animals rather than thinking of himself. As Jesus’ disciples we, too, are called not to be served, but to serve, and to do so with willingness, like George the giant.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Sara Anne Berger for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links this week.