Year B, August 6, 2012
First Reading: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
Franklin Says Sorry by Paulette Bourgeois
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: This passage begins with a reminder of the unimaginable things David has done as king. Nathan visits David, upon God’s direction, and tells a parable in which one man is obliviously evil, and the other is obliviously good. As David learns that he is the evil man in the story, he responds with a confession to the Lord. Like David, Franklin, in Franklin Says Sorry, has made a mistake that hurt people around him and is only able to respond with a confession after being encouraged by a friend. Franklin and David both learn the important skill of being able to acknowledge what you have done and to say sorry, but both need the help of a friend to show them the way. We are reminded with both of these texts, that sometimes we need our friends to help us say we are sorry when we make mistakes.
Second Reading: Ephesians 4:1-16
The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane DeRolf
(Written for ages 5 – adult)
Comment: Paul is reminding the church in Ephesus of the importance of being unified while at the same time highlighting the diversity and unique gifts each person brings to the church. Working towards unity in a group does not mean that everyone is exactly the same. What is does mean is that as we work towards the unity of the community, we each share the gifts we have for the benefit of the whole community. The individual crayons in The Crayon Box That Talked must learn this lesson. Before they are able to see what each crayon brings to the picture they talk negatively to one another, yet after they have been given the opportunity to see a whole picture come together, they begin to speak positively to one another. This book reminds us to keep an open mind to what each person can offer to the group to make our picture complete.
Gospel Reading: John 6:24-35
The Lost and Found Tooth by Louise Borden
(Written for ages 7-10)
Comment: Lucy wants desperately to add her name to the lost tooth calendar. It seems like almost everyone else in her class, maybe even in the second grade, has had the honor of writing their story about losing a tooth except her. In reading the passage from John, I get the sense that this feeling of being left out is something the crowd is experiencing. They had just been taught and fed by Jesus and the disciples, and then he disappears with the disciples. When they finally find Jesus, in the midst of the conversations the crowd asks for a sign so that they may believe. Lucy and the crowd have in common a deep desire to be a part of something. Lucy is finally able to add her name to the list, but the crowd does not receive the sign they are expecting. Instead Jesus responds to request with words culminating in “I am the bread of life” (v35).
With today’s Lectionary Links, we welcome recent Union Presbyterian Seminary graduate Elizabeth Boulware Landes as our guest writer for the next thirteen weeks. Elizabeth has had a great deal of experience in working with children and youth and is currently serving as Pastoral Intern at First Presbyterian Church, Ft. Worth, TX.