Year C: March 3, 2013
First Reading: Isaiah 55:1-9
The Magic Gourd by Baba Wagué Diakité
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: Isaiah invites readers to a feast of abundance, provided not because of the money they can give in exchange, but because of the grace of the one who prepares the feast. God’s thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways. Surely, we think, one must earn their feasting through hard work or riches. It is difficult for us to accept grace. It is also difficult for us to believe we have enough when our culture tells us we should have more. In The Magic Gourd, Rabbit, his family, and his neighbors experience the bounty of grace as they eat and drink their fill from the gourd. The greedy king, influenced by the world’s desires for power, wealth, and more, steals the gourd. In the end, the gourd is returned to Rabbit, and the King is changed by an experience of grace in which he learns the value of generosity and friendship. Like the King, may our thoughts and ways be shifted by the experience of grace.
The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Paul warns of the dangers of idolatry, a common temptation known to our ancestors and to us today. The groundhogs learn of the danger of idolatry in The Great Fuzzy Frenzy. Originally a kind community focused on the needs of one another, their adoration of the fuzz from a tennis ball begins to fracture their community, turning their peaceful town into a battleground. Eventually they are freed from the fuzz and their community is restored. This story and Paul’s warning invites us to think about the fuzz that entraps our own communities. It is valuable for us to reflect upon our life and priorities and to ask ourselves, “What is it that we worship?” The answer shapes the way we live and act in the world. We are being called to refocus our worship and our way of life towards God. In worshiping God, may we be led to live and act for God’s kingdom.
The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: In her reflections on this text, Barbara Brown Taylor explains that Jesus knows we cannot always protect ourselves from our fears; rather, his focus is on the way we respond to them. “That torn place your fear has opened up inside of you is a holy place. Look around while you are there. Pay attention to what you feel. It may hurt you to stay there and it may hurt you to see, but it is not the kind of hurt that leads to death. It is the kind that leads to life.” (“Life-Giving Fear,” The Christian Century, March 4, 1998, p 229) In The Monster Who Lost His Mean, Monster experiences the life-giving fear described by Taylor. He frantically searches everywhere for his mean and is ostracized by his community. Eventually he lives into this change, and in becoming Onster, he is able to celebrate the new life and community he finds.
This Lectionary Links post was written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.