Year B, Lent 5; John 12:20-33; Lectionary reading for March 21, 2021
Please, plant some seeds. Right now, go to the store and buy some nice big seeds, or better yet, ask a farmer in your congregation to give you some actual wheat seeds, and plant them with your little ones. Fill a jar with dirt, push some seeds down along the sides so you can see them, and witness death and resurrection.
Once you’ve done your planting, choose one of the dozens of great storybooks about seeds and gardens. Some that I wanted to write about but didn’t:
Seriously, so many splendid books. But today, we will plant something a little… unorthodox.
As a general rule, I add every new Peter H. Reynolds book to my library, and when he works with Amy Krouse Rosenthal, it’s twice as magical. Plant a Kiss features simple rhyming text to capture the attention of very young children, but the illustrations and the message will equally interest older children.
Rather than plant a seed, a little girl plants a kiss to the skepticism of those around her. But just as one kernel of wheat that falls and dies produces many seeds, the one kiss multiplies to bring joy to everyone in the community. Towards the end, the little girl runs out of kisses to share and walks away from her empty bowl. Take that opportunity to ask how the little girl might feel, having given away everything she harvested. How would the children in your congregation feel if they made a batch of cookies and gave them all away, getting none for themselves?
Questions to ask before you read:
- How do you think a seed feels when it is planted?
- What happens to the seed underground?
- How does a seed transform into more seeds?
Questions to ask after you read:
- We can’t really plant kisses, but what are some ways we can spread love?
- If you could plant things other than seeds to make the world a better place, what would you plant?
Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. Plant a Kiss. HarperCollins, 2011.
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