YEAR B: February 15, 2015
First Reading: 2 Kings 2:1-12
Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
(Written for ages 4-8 )
Comment: In Nana in the City, a little boy goes to visit his grandmother in New York City, which is full of large buildings, big crowds, and loud noises. The little boy is afraid in the city, so afraid he can hardly sleep! But his Nana makes him a special red cape to wear to help him feel brave, and when he wears it, he isn’t afraid anymore! He and Nana explore the city, this time excited to see all that it has to offer. In our passage, Elisha is afraid, too, because he knows that his mentor Elijah is leaving him today. And even though he tries to stay with Elijah, eventually they must part. But as he is leaving, Elijah grants Elisha a double portion of his spirit to help Elisha after Elijah is gone. Even though Elijah has been carried up, Elisha doesn’t have to be afraid anymore—he has the spirit of his friend and mentor with him.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
When Lighting Comes in a Jar by Patricia Polacco
(Written for ages 5-10)
Comment: Paul reminds the Corinthians that God said “Let light shine out of darkness”. God illumines our lives through Jesus Christ. God has “shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.” God is about making things clear, shining a light into darkness. In When Lightning Comes in a Jar, Tricia and her family are gathered for a reunion where they enjoy one another’s company and good food. Grandma has promised to teach Tricia and her family members how to “catch lightning in a jar”—which, of course, turns out to be lightning bugs. But, the magic isn’t lost as Tricia gazes at the shining lights in the darkness. She dreams of the time that she too will entertain family, serve good food, and send them home with “lightning in a jar”. Tricia dreams of spreading memories and light in the future. Paul says that God sends Jesus to be a light in our lives, and by proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord, we spread that light, too.
Gospel Reading: Mark 9:2-9
Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland
(Written for ages 3-5 )
Comment: In Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook, Zack thinks school, and especially reading, are boring. But he begins to change his mind because whenever his teacher, Miss Smith, reads out of her special book, the characters leap from the pages and come to life! When she finishes their story, the characters return to their book. One day, when Miss Smith is running late, the principal tries to read her storybook,and the characters overrun the school. Fortunately, Miss Smith arrives and is able to corral them back into the book once more. But Zack comes to love reading from this strange experience. Similarly, the disciples who follow Jesus up the mountain know about Moses and Elijah from their traditions and teachings, but when Jesus is transfigured, those people they’ve only heard about are suddenly there, in front of them! Much like Miss Smith’s storybook characters, whose stories eventually had to end and return to their book, this experience on the mountaintop cannot last forever. But Jesus’ disciples are changed by the amazing change they’ve witnessed, the ancestors they’ve seen, and the experience on the mountaintop.
Sara Anne Berger, Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna and pastor of the Whitmire Presbyterian Church in Whitmire, SC, has written the last thirteen weeks of Lectionary Links. We are grateful for her contributions here and look forward to more of her Links in 2015!