Stand Up and Say Something!

Year B, Palm/Passion Sunday; Lectionary reading for March 28, 2021

Last week I confessed I buy Peter Reynolds’s books as soon as they are released when I featured a book he illustrated. This week, I’d like to introduce you to a book he both wrote and illustrated, Say Something.

When we hear the word ‘prophet,’ we tend to equate it with fortune telling, and yes, the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures did their fair share of predicting the future. However, their role was far more significant than gazing into a crystal ball and warning the Israelites of calamities to come.

Prophets like Isaiah were more like divinely appointed critics than fortune tellers. Isaiah’s role was to steer Israel’s leaders and the people towards God, and that meant pointing out all the ways in which they had failed to live up to God’s expectations. In this brief passage, Isaiah tells the Israelites that no matter how they might despise and torture him, he will hold fast to God’s message.

Essentially, a prophet is one who challenges those in power and stands up for what they believe is right. Challenging the status quo or speaking truth to power isn’t reserved for ancient men who heard directly from God. The children in our ministries should know that they, too, can speak up when they see injustices in their communities.

Peter Reynolds reminds children (and their families!) that everyone’s voice deserves to be heard. This book encourages readers to express their creativity, advocate for peace, and fight injustice. While this book fits well with today’s scripture, you might also set it aside for the next time there are protest marches in your community or on the news, to help the children in your care understand what is happening.

Questions to ask before you read:

  • How would you feel if you saw someone bigger and stronger than you do something terrible, like hurting a little kid? What would you do?
  • What are some problems you see in your community?

Questions to ask after you read:

  • What ideas do you have that could improve our community?
  • What would you put on a sign if you could tell the entire world something?

Reynolds, Peter. Say Something. Scholastic Canada, 2019

Friendly reminder that if you click on the book images, you can buy the book through Amazon and I earn a small commission to support the website. Or use your library, that’s great too.