Year B, September 2, 2012
First Reading: Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julia Rawlinson
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: We have all experienced the joy of winter fading away when flowers begin to peak out of the ground and animals peak out of their homes. There is a sense of joy and playfulness that comes with the spring. The lectionary passage from Song of Solomon points us to the playfulness and joy that comes with the spring. This is a time when love is in the air, and children are itching to get outside, explore nature, and play. Fletcher is so excited that spring has arrived he races out the door to play, only to discover snowflakes falling. Fletcher is worried about all the flowers that have begun to bloom and the animals awaking from winter slumbers and he hurries off to warn all the animals that springtime is not quite here. Each of the animals in turn wants to tell another animal to prepare for a snow. Rabbit suggests playing in the snow before the work is begun, so they all go to play. Susan Henry-Crowe writes Song of Solomon’s “beauty is that it invites all humankind to play as if life and love depended upon it (as they do).” This is a lesson we can all learn, but is especially important to remind children that God calls us to play and to delight in life.
Second Reading: James 1:17-27
Paulie Pastrami Acheives World Peace by James Proimos
(Written for ages 5-8)
Comment: Paulie is a young ordinary boy who decides to start being kind. He faces the same struggles many children face: avoiding kisses from our aunts, putting clothes on that match, and brushing our hair so it doesn’t stick up. Yet he is different because of his desire to care for others around him. As he sees the changes that are being made by kindness, he wants to spread kindness farther. The passage from James reminds us that our actions and words are important. As Christians we are expected to live in a way that allows God to be seen in us. One of these ways is to spread kindness to everyone around us. What may seem like something small to one person might be the thing that turns their day around. Paulie and James understand how far a smile, or a kind word can go. James calls us to live out our faith in active way. This should included small things we do everyday because of our faith.
Gospel Reading: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15; 21-23
All For Me and None For All by Helen Lester
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Greed is something that is often refereed to in scripture as a bad thing for Christians to exhibit. At the end of this discourse between Jesus and the Pharisee in Mark, Jesus lists some of the things that make a person unclean and greed is among this list. Greed is something we all experience. Greed might be one of the easiest for young children to fall into as many are still learning how to share. In All For Me and None for All, Gruntly must learn this lesson the hard way. He has become so greedy that he cannot even hear the directions for a treasure hunt and ends up all alone as he searches for the treasure. Gruntly’s greediness was beginning to get in the way of his friendships, but as he learns to share, his friends become more at ease around Gruntly. Like Gruntly we all could be reminded to share what we have, and not to want everything for ourselves.
The Lectionary Links this week were written by Union Presbyterian Seminary graduate Elizabeth Boulware Landes.