Year A: December 25, 2016
First Reading: Isaiah 52:7-10
Lighthouse Christmas by Toni Buzzeo
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: This text is a message of hope for people who’ve had little. The messenger bring the good news of peace and restoration to those who have suffered war and exile and their response to this news is to join their voices in praise. Peter and Frances, the children of a widowed lighthouse keeper, worry they won’t have Christmas in their new home. Their island is lonely and their pantry nearly empty. Their story shifts from grief to joy with the arrival of a special messenger– the Flying Santa Service. Through this text and story we are invited to share our own experiences of messenger who have brought good news, and moved us from darkness to light, hopelessness to joy, and mourning to celebration.
Second Reading: Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12)
Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: To speak of Jesus as “the exact imprint of God’s very being,” is to understand him as Emmanuel, God with us. As we talk about this concept with the children of our church we would do well to highlight that Jesus in his very being shows us more of who God is, even as a a little one. In Waddell’s story, animals welcome one another and “the little one who came for the world” into the stable. The glowing light and experience of peace that emanates from the small stable helps readers visualize the way Jesus, even as a baby was the very expression of God’s love and light. As you celebrate the incarnation with your congregation, reflect upon the ways Jesus has revealed God to us.
Gospel Reading: John 1:1-14
I am a Story by Dan Yaccarino
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Through this text we step into the cosmic timeline of Jesus, the Word, present from the very beginning, a light breaking through the darkness, who comes as one of the people to reveal God, yet is rejected by many. Craig A Satterlee comments that this text reveals Jesus as God’s love song that cannot be silenced, “Jesus has been singing love and bringing life from the beginning.” Yaccarino’s text parallels the poetry of John, revealing a love song for the power of stories throughout our time and history. Like the Word made flesh, stories are not always understood by the people who are meant to receive them and are at times rejected, yet their power cannot be destroyed. Gathered together on this Christmas day, may our singing and our storytelling express light and love for an aching world.
Thanks to Noell Rathbun-Cook for writing the Lectionary Links for the last ten weeks.