Year C: July 17, 2016
First Reading: Amos 8:1-12
The Legend of Robin Hood by Julia McDonnell
(Written for ages 7-12)
Comment: Amos warns those who “trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land…” not to become comfortable in a lifestyle built upon the backs of others. Messages like this have continued to ring out from prophetic voices throughout history. In the Middle Ages, legends of Robin Hood, a man who stole from the rich to help the poor, arose. His stories continue to circulate because “the acts of fighting injustice [and] helping the poor… appeal to many people, no matter the time period.” Inspired by this text and story, weave together the many stories of those who have spoken out and continue speak out against trampling on the needy and bringing ruin to the poor.
Second Reading: Colossians 1:15-28
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On: Things About Me by Jenny Slate & Dean Fleischer-Camp
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Like a number of epistle lessons, we might find ourselves stumped when considering what message the text speaks for young children. Point out that this text begins with a hymn describing and celebrating Jesus and who we are in relation to him. Marcel is a shell who describes and celebrates his life with readers in Slate and Fleischer-Camp’s goofy story, which was created in the aftermath of a viral video documenting the life of Marcel the Shell. Using this text and story, invite the children of your church to create their own Things About Me stories and wonder together how their stories connect to the story of Jesus.
Gospel Reading: Luke 10:38-42
Three Hens and a Peacock by Lester L. Laminack
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: Martha expresses frustration that her sister sits lazily at Jesus’ feet while she carries out the many tasks of hosting a guest. Russell Rathbun suggests that Jesus’ response to Martha is not about whose actions are more desirable, but about the rivalry being expressed. “Living our lives in competition with, in opposition to, in judgment of, institutions and individuals, keeps us worried and out of earshot of the words which lead to the fullness of the life of the Kingdom of God.” (http://thq.wearesparkhouse.org/yearc/ordinary16gospel/) The three hens in Laminack’s story complain: “That lazy peacock gets all the attention and we do all the work!” After attempting to trade roles with the peacock, they all discover they are most suited for their particular gifts, and indeed life on the farm thrives when the hens are laying and the peacock is displaying tail feathers. After reading this text and story, invite your congregation to step out of competitive rivalries and celebrate the variety of gifts for ministry present in your church.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.