Year B: December 25, 2011
First Reading: Isaiah 52:7-10
Cock-a-doodle Christmas by Will Hillenbrand
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news…” It would not be odd to wonder at the ways the content of the message being shared might affect the messenger. Poor Harold can’t seem to fill the role left for him by Old Rooster. No matter how he tries, his cock-a-doodle doesn’t wake a soul! Everyone on the farm is frustrated with Harold—he’s just not a good messenger of the new day. Then, one night, he encounters the baby Jesus and he is changed. “This day and every day were going to be different!” Finally Harold experiences news he can’t wait to share. “Cock-a-doodle-doo! Good news for you!” he cries, and his call echoes through the mountains and valleys.
Second Reading: Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12)
The Light of Christmas by Richard Paul Evans
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: When approaching this text with children, it might be helpful to reflect on what it means for Jesus to be the reflection and imprint of God. Therefore, we seek to know and follow God by knowing and following God’s son. To follow Jesus is not always easy, but it is good to direct our lives towards the righteousness God loves. Although it means he’ll miss the lighting of the Christmas torch, Alexander decides to help an old man in need. He is in the end, given the honor of lighting the torch because the Keeper of the Flame saw that the light of Christmas burned within the boy when he was willing to give of himself. At Christmas we, too, are reminded that we have the opportunity to prioritize our lives and live in a way that might bear God’s light to the world.
Gospel Reading: John 1:1-14
Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “In the beginning was the Word… all things came into being through him…and the Word became flesh and lived among us…” The opening to John’s gospel might not be what we were expecting to read on Christmas day, but it is a powerful message of the incarnation. How beautiful it is to stop and reflect on the fact that “the One who made us has come to live with us!” This is the message shared by all of creation in Song of the Stars, a story that displays creation coming to praise the light of the world-the Word made flesh. This beautifully illustrated book grounds the story of Jesus’ birth in the imagery of today’s text from John. As the book ends, we gaze together at “Heaven’s Son sleeping under the stars that he made.”
This Lectionary Links post was written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun.