Year B: October 7, 2012
First Reading: Job 1:1; 2:1-10
A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snickett
(Written for ages 9-12)
Comment: In today’s text, it seems the faithful Job has unfairly become a pawn in a game of which he has no real understanding. Readers encounter Job’s tale with a bleak beginning full of misfortune. The opening story of the Baudelaire children is, likewise, a bleak beginning. Though they are intelligent, charming, and resourceful, “most everything that happened to them was rife with misfortune, misery, and despair.” (Chapter 1) Neither Job nor the Baudelaire’s seem to have any real support from their communities and, in many ways, face their suffering alone. While these stories are unpleasant, they lead us to ask the age old question: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” We may not have the answers, but we can certainly seek to be present with those who, in their suffering, feel they are alone.
The Brave Little Parrot by Rafe Martin
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: This text, confessional in nature speaks of “the salvation God has achieved through Jesus Christ.” (“Homiletical Perspective.” Feasting on the Word: Year B, Volume 4, p135) It emphasizes that Christ’s saving power was perfected through his suffering death. Martin’s retelling of a Buddhist folk tale from India is the story of a forest ablaze and sure to be destroyed. Rather than staying safe by the river, a little, gray parrot places herself in danger in order to save the forest. “Her eyes burned red as coals. Her feathers were charred. Her claws cracked. She coughed and choked. But still the little parrot flew on.” Through her faithfulness the forest is saved, and she is crowned with glory by her new, colorful feathers.
I Have Two Homes by Marian De Smet
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: The disciples thought being with Jesus should be something that was just for grownups. Likewise, we sometimes think divorce is a topic just for grownups; by acknowledging and discussing it with children in church, we are participating in the act of letting the children come to Jesus. Bless the children of your church by providing them with a safe space to talk about their experiences and concerns. Consider opening this kind of discussion by reading De Smet’s story of a girl who shares her experience of having divorced parents.
Loaves of Fun by Elizabeth M. Harbison
(Written for ages 6-12)
Comment: Loaves of Fun is an activity and history book rolled into one. It presents a timeline of the history of bread along with various bread recipes from around the world. You might consider inviting various families to bake different kinds of bread for the communion table by using some of the recipes provided. Remember to look back at other books related to communion that have previously been highlighted on the blog: The Greatest Table, Bread is for Eating, and Bread Bread Bread.
The Lectionary Links this week were written by regular contributor and Union Presbyterian Seminary graduate Noell Rathbun-Cook.