Year B, Lent 5; Hebrews 5:5-10; Lectionary reading for March 21, 2021
If Jesus is the Word, the Logos, the blueprint for our lives, we too must suffer and sacrifice ourselves for others. For most of us, that doesn’t mean sacrificing our actual bodies, but we must learn that sometimes we have to put our own comfort aside for the benefit of other people. Many adults struggle with offering their time, talents, and treasures to help others, so how can we teach young children, who are naturally self-centered, this tricky idea? Once again, a storybook to the rescue!
When I first read Manjhi Moves a Mountain, I thought it was a beautiful allegory. The people of a mountain village struggle to go about their daily lives, climbing over a mountain top to get to school, medical care, and jobs. Manjhi decides that life would be easier if there was a road through the mountain and sets about to build one with the hand tools he has. The villagers think he’s crazy, but after years of sacrificing every spare moment to the task, a road begins to take shape.
The best part? It’s not just an allegory; it’s a true story!
Questions to ask before you read:
- Tell me about a time you helped someone else. Did you have to give up something you wanted to do in order to help them?
- Tell me about a time someone helped you. What fun things could they have been doing instead?
Questions to ask after you read:
- How did Manjhi have the courage to keep going with the villagers made fun of him?
- Why do you think it took so long for the villagers to start helping Manjhi?
- How did Jesus have the courage to stand up to the religious authorities?
- How can you find courage to help you through the tough things you know you have to do?
Churnin, Nancy. Manjhi Moves a Mountain. Creston Books, 2017.
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