First Sunday of Advent
Year 3: December 3, 2017
Preaching Text: Daniel 3:1, [2-7] 8-30
Refuge by Anne Booth
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Throwing people into a firey furnace as a punishment for remaining true to their faith was certainly not a way of welcoming outsiders. This text servers to remind us that God cares how we treat immigrants and refugees. Do we respect the cultural practices and religious beliefs of those we consider outsiders, or do we, like King Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans, expect them to conform to our ways? Professor Juliana Claassens reflects that, “This interpretation is especially important in this time of Advent when we remember that Jesus and his family were refugees.” Refuge tells the story of Jesus’ birth and flight into Egypt in a way that helps young readers picture his family as refugees seeking “the kindness of strangers… and the love of warm hearts.” This texts and story challenge us to offer this kind of refuge, kindness, and love to the outsiders in our midst.
Thank you to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Noell Rathbun for writing the Year 4 Narrative Lectionary Links.