Year A: March 9 2014
First Reading: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7
Making the World by Douglas Wood
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: In Making the World, Douglas Wood shows how all aspects of creation are intertwined in such a way that we each contribute to the world’s continued creation. Each day is a new creation. Wood begins his text with these words. “There is a secret that almost nobody knows. I will tell it to you, if you promise to tell someone else: The world isn’t finished yet, it isn’t quite complete. It’s still being made.” Creation is not a once and done event, yet many people live in a way that points to a creation which happened a long time ago. The Old Testament passage for the first Sunday in Lent places us in the Garden of Eden. Gen 2:15-17 sets the scene for Eve and the serpent’s exchange. We are reminded of the purpose God gave to humanity in the Garden. Adam is commanded to till and keep the garden. God is asking humanity to be a part of the continuous creation of the earth. Wood brings this theme alive by drawing on different strengths of each creature. This truly is a secret that needs to be shared with everyone we meet.
Second Reading: Romans 5:12-19
I Love you Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak
(Written for ages 0-3)
Comment: The one part of worship I long for the most is the confessional sequence. This passage in Romans provides a starting place to talk about confession and assurance of pardon with children. There is something special about coming together in a group of people that seem to have it all together and owning up to our mistakes, and then hearing that God still loves you. Christ offers you forgiveness. For children it is important for them to hear these words and the fact that there is no string attached. I Love You Through and Through reminds children that they are loved when they are happy and sad, silly and mad. They are loved when they are walking, silent and talking. The text ends “I Love you through and through, yesterday, today and tomorrow too.” This is what the assurance of pardon tells us. No matter what we did God still says, “I love you through and through, yesterday, today, and tomorrow too.”
Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:1-11
The Dark by Lemony Snicket
(Written for ages 3-6)
Comment: The wilderness in scripture is a common place to find God and God’s people. Each time we encounter the wilderness there are struggles, accomplishments, and God’s presence. The Gospel passage this morning places Jesus in the wilderness. While in the wilderness he is challenged and tempted with power. While children and youth may not be able to connect with the temptations Jesus faces in the wilderness, they can connect with being in the wilderness. We all have places that scare us, challenge us, and tempt us. We do everything in our ability to avoid these places, but sometimes we have to face the wilderness and walk through it. Laszlo learns this in The Dark. His wilderness is the basement of his house. He is afraid of the dark, and believes it lives in the basement. One night the night light in his room goes out, and he has to venture into the basement. There he finds a drawer full of lights and peace in his basement. Like Laszlo, when we venture into our wilderness we find what we need to make it through as well as God’s presence.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Elizabeth Boulware Landes, Director of Children’s Ministry at Faith Presbyterian Church, Aledo, TX.