A Lonely Frog

To be as inclusive as possible, Knox has both in-person and Podcast Services. For those who can’t access these we are also posting my sermons on our Knox Talks blog. Every Children’s Sunday we have a visit from a little green frog, whose name we cannot use on the internet. His visit takes the place of the sermon. Here is the transcript of the conversation our “Mystery Frog” had with Jennifer.

A Lonely Frog

Jennifer: welcome children, say: Let’s welcome a very familiar frog: Ker . . .(interrupted).

Ker—: Shh! Don’t say my name!

J: Really? Are you still being the “International Frog of Mystery?”

K: Exactly!

J: But why? The border’s open now. You don’t need to sneak across.

K: I don’t want the crows to know who I am.

J: Crows? What crows?

K: The pandemic crows! You know, Corvid 19? Corvids are birds, like crows and ravens.

J: That’s just silly!

K: No it’s not. Alfred Hitchcock warned us! That’s why we have to wear masks, so that the crows don’t recognize us.

J: You silly frog. We don’t need to be afraid of birds.

K: Oh yeah? I could tell you things about those frog-eating herons that would curl your hair.

J: First of all, it’s COVID 19, not Corvid. It’s a corona virus. And we wear masks to stop it from spreading.

K: Really? I don’t have to worry about crows?

J: Really. And you don’t have to wear a mask, either. Frogs can’t get COVID. I checked when I heard you were coming.

K: That’s great!

J: Speaking of masks, how do you keep yours on? You don’t even have ears!

K: I have a special clip. Hey, can you help me take mine off?

J: Sure. (remove Kermit’s mask)

K: Thanks. Can you help my friends with theirs, too?

J: Where are they?

K: On the table there. They’re sharing one big mask.

J: That’s not a mask, that’s just a big piece of cloth. (carefully remove cloth from ceramic frogs)

K: Thanks, now they can all breathe easier.

J: Wow, that’s a lot of frogs. Who are they?

K: They’re my posse! My peeps!

J: Peeps? Really?

K: Spring peepers, actually. But only the little ones. There are some bullfrogs too. They don’t peep. We hired a tour bus and came up together.

J: Um, you do know that they’re all statues, except for the ones that are stuffed, right?

K: Hey, there’s no need to comment on their eating habits!

J: You know what I mean. They’re not alive! These are all faux frogs!

K: (sadly) Yeah, I know. But it’s been such a long pandemic, that I got lonely. So I gathered all these frogs around me for company.

J: That’s so sad. I’m sorry you had to do that.

K: Well, it gave me someone to talk to. They’re all pretty good listeners.

J: Did any of them talk back?

K: Hey, I’ve got a good imagination. Not only can they talk back, but we even sing together as a frog chorus sometimes. Didn’t you ever have an imaginary friend?

J: I still do. We act out scenes together.

K: (laughs) That’s great. Imaginary friends are good. But I’m glad we can get together in person, again.

J: It is better to get together, but some people still can’t. They’re being extra careful until they know it’s safe and they won’t get sick.

K: Wow. I didn’t know that. I just thought they had to avoid the crows.

J: It’s not crows, remember? It’s a virus.

K: Right. So it’s good to be careful. I guess a lot of people have been lonely and apart.

J: That’s right.

K: Do you think God knows how people feel?

J: Oh, I’m sure God knows. Did you listen to our Bible lesson today?

K: Yeah, but it wasn’t about a pandemic.

J: Close enough. It was a time when God’s people had been taken away from their homes, and scattered through a lot of different countries. People were separated from family and friends, and phones hadn’t been invented yet, so they were worried about each other, and sad, and alone.

K: That’s terrible!

J: But in our lesson today, God promises to bring everyone back together, so they don’t have to be so far apart anymore.

K: Yay!

J: What I really like is that God promises to include everyone: not just the ones that can get home easily, but everyone: the old and the young, the ones who need to be helped, who have a hard time getting around.

K: Why is that so important?

J: Not everyone is big and strong. Not everyone can run, or walk easily . . .

K: . . . or hop . . .

J: . . . right, or hop. There are lots of people who need help with basic things. Those people often feel like they are left out, or worse: not welcome.

K: I never thought of that.

J: But God knows all about it. And that’s what’s so important about this reading: God really wants us to hear that everyone matters, and that everyone is included in the promise that we will get back together. No one is left out.

K: Well, that’s good news. I know I’ve been feeling homesick. I’ve had to stay away from where I grew up, and all my friends.

J: Where’s that?

K: Where else? The swamp!

J: That makes sense.

K: It’s a great place, and I really want to go back for a visit. Do you want to hear about it?

J: You want to talk about the swamp?

K: No! I want to sing about it! (sings)

The Frog Chant” (From the Frog Prince)

Sing out for the swamp and sing out for the ooze

The life of a frog is the life you should choose

Sing out for the mud and sing out for the bog

It’s ever so jolly just being a frog (frog, frog, frog, gloonk, frog, frog, frog)

We love the old mudhole, we sit and we soak

The feeling’s so good that we just gotta croak

The muck and the mire, the slush and the slime

Are the reasons a frog has a wonderful time (time 3x, gloonk, time, time, time…)

O what could compare with a day in the swamp

The snakes and the spiders, the cold and the damp

I’m fond of the pond, be it ebb tide or flood

I love the old swamp, O there’s mud in my blood (mud 3x, gloonk, mud 3x)

Sing out for the swamp and sing out for the ooze

The life of a frog is the life you should choose

Sing out for the mud and sing out for the bog

It’s ever so jolly just being a frog!

J: That sounds great, but when you go back, won’t all these friends of yours sink?

K: Going under water is what being a frog is all about.

J: Yes, but they can’t swim back out. You’ll have to help them.

K: I never thought of that. That sounds like a lot of work.

J: True. Maybe you could get your other friends to help.

K: Or maybe these guys could stay in the bus.

J: Remember our Bible reading today? Wasn’t it about making sure that everyone got to come home? Even the ones who had trouble moving?

K: Yeah. Leaving them in the bus wouldn’t be good. I’ll bring them and our whole frog community can help them move.

J: I’m proud of you, Mystery Frog.

K: Hey, I’ve just thought about something. If everyone is welcome, does that mean that crows are welcome too?

J: Will you stop it with the crows? Crows are not a problem!

K: What about herons?

J: Everyone is welcome. Even herons.

K: That’s going to be a hard sell at the swamp. Those birds can get hungry.

J: Do they eat more than some of the monsters you’ve worked with?

K: Good point! I never thought of that. Okay, you’ve convinced me. Everyone means everyone. They’re all welcome.

J: Good for you.

K: That means you too. When are you coming to the swamp?

J: Um, that’s very kind, but I don’t think so. When I cross the border, I’m going to the New Kids on the Block concert, not the swamp.

K: You don’t know what you’re missing!

J: Yes I do, I heard your song!

K: Oh. Right. Oh well, I’ll just have to keep showing up here, then.

J: We’d all like that, Mystery Frog.

K: See you next time. I gotta go and get the bus warmed up.

J: Bye froggy.

K: Bye! (exits)

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