Friday, September 29, 2017

Obsession and Friendship

If your church uses The Revised Common Lectionary for planning your messages, you’ll find that today’s simple story perfectly illustrates verses from one of the selected scriptures for this week, Philippians 2.
Picture Book: We Found a Hat
Author & Illustrator: Jon Klassen
Summary: Two friends on a journey, who happen to be turtles, find a hat -  one hat, two turtles. 
Each tries on the hat, 
and each declares it looks good on the other. 
They know it would be wrong for only one turtle to have the hat. 
Solution: They must leave the hat behind. 
They don't go far. The hat is still in plain site which proves to be really hard for one turtle. 
The two turtles watch the sunset together. 
It is clear that their company is important and this daily event worth their attention. 
But once the sun is down, that one turtle's eyes look back... 
to the hat, a new obsession. 
Both turtles turn and prepare to sleep, one turtle sleepier than the other. 
After a while, a night time excursion is inevitable. 
The sleeping friend is neither far in distance nor far from the thoughts of the secretive turtle. 
Next is a sort of confession. Dreams of owning the hat are declared. But... 
quickly that dream expands to both turtles owning hats and wearing them very well. 
The hat is considered again. What's this hat worth? An important friendship? 
No. 
The turtle returns to the more important relationship and settles in for a good night's sleep. 
Still there is the dream.
Hanna’s Comments: Be sure to point out the eyes as you read to your audience for they are crucial to the story. Klassen is known for his simple but profound books. This book is part of Klassen’s Hat Trilogy, but the stories are not connected - different hats, different animals. This is Not My Hat is about a fish stealing a hat. A great PBT option if you are looking for a book about “Thou shalt not steal.”  I Want My Hat Back offers another great PBT experience for exploring The Parable of the Lost Coin.
Original Publisher & Date: Candlewick, 2016
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: The story of Lot's wife (Genesis 19:15-26); Be of one mind; don’t do anything out of selfishness. (Philippians 2:2-5)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of people of any age and then explore ideas of obsession, selfishness, or greed and how these can harm important friendships and be obstacles to spiritual formation.