Year B: January 13, 2013
First Reading: Isaiah 43:1-7
Homemade Love by Bell Hooks
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” There is comfort in this passage for children and adults alike. Despite our own brokenness, despite the darkness in the world, we belong to God. In this sense of belonging we find comfort and hope. Homemade Love is the story of a girl who knows she belongs and knows she is loved. The story closes with the girl tucked in bed: “No need to fear the dark place. ‘Cause everywhere is home.” This simple story opens up possibilities for conversation with young children to wonder about the ways we are loved and care for at all times, whether we’re well behaved, naughty, happy, or afraid.
Second Reading: Acts 8:14-17
The Baabaasheep Quartet by Leslie Elizabeth Watts
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: According to Raewynne J. Whiteley, the power this brief text can be found when look at it through the eyes of the Samaritans. “[The] giving of the Holy Spirit validated the Samaritans as full members of the newborn Christian church. This was one church, composed of Jew and Samaritan alike, whose former hostility turned to unity through the gift of the one Spirit.“ (Feasting on the Word, Year C, Volume 1, p 235) When we look at the experience of the Samaritans, it might help us to think today how baptism through the Spirit unifies us to one another in the church. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we find a sense of belonging, potentially in relationships that are historically tumultuous. The Baabaasheep Quartet are looking for a sense of belonging, too. Eventually, through the power of song, they find they are connected and members of this community where they once felt out of place.
Gospel Reading: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
Water Boy by David McPhail
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: “[When] Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’“ Following his baptism, we see as Jesus prays, the Holy Spirit opening his understanding that he is God’s son. On Baptism of the Lord Sunday, we explore the way our baptism explains our identity. Through our baptism we come to understand that we are claimed and loved by God. Baptism, according to Robert M. Brearley, tells us that “Human existence has its origin not in the accidents of history and biology, but in the will and intention of the Lord God, creator of heaven and earth.” (Feasting on the Word, Year C, Volume 1, p 240) Water Boy is the story of a boy who discovers his identity and relationship to the world around him through his own experience of water.
This week’s Lectionary Links were written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.