Year B: January 22, 2012
First Reading: Jonah 3:1-5, 10
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (Written for ages 8-12)
Comment: In this passage from Jonah we experience two transformations. Jonah, transformed by his experience at sea, finally obeys God’s command to go to Nineveh. Miraculously, his message transforms the Ninevites, causing them to change from their wicked ways. Edward Tulane is a self-absorbed toy rabbit. The woman who had him made looks him in the eyes and says, “You disappoint me.” Soon after, Edward begins a journey of transformation when he falls overboard The Queen Mary. With each new experience, his maker’s face appears to him through various characters. Readers follow Edward as he learns about humility, love, and loss. Years later, when discovered by the girl who lost him, he truly is a transformed rabbit.
Mrs. Biddlebox by Linda Smith (Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: “For the present form of this world is passing away.” Eugene Eung-Chun Park writes that “it is remarkable that Paul’s eschatological hope envisions God’s direct intervention that would bring about a radical reconfiguration of such order, however unchangeable and invincible it may sound.” (Feasting on the Word, Year B, Volume 1, p 283) While we might not literally believe we are living in the end times, as followers of Christ, we live believing the brokenness of our present world can be healed through the transforming power of God’s love. Mrs. Biddlebox wakes up to a horrible day. Instead of accepting her world as it is, she decides to change it. She takes all the nastiness of the day and bakes it into a cake. As the day ends, her world is no longer gloomy and dark, but filled with joyful light.
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:14-20
Scuffy the Tugboat and His Adventure Down the River by Gertrude Crampton (Written for ages 2-4)
Comment: As we move into the gospel of Mark, we begin a journey. Simon and Andrew are persuaded to put down their nets and follow Jesus. They can’t know what exactly lies ahead of them, but they set off on the journey. Similarly, the tugboat Scuffy goes on his own journey. Though he is not sure where it will lead, he’s open to exploring the world. Scuffy has many adventures; some are quite scary and others make him proud to be sailing along. Scuffy’s journey teaches him that the place for a toy tugboat is in the bathtub. As disciples of Jesus, our own journeys teach us to live into the new life God gives us in Christ.
This Lectionary Links post was written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun and Union Presbyterian Seminary student Rachel Mastin.