Fifth Sunday in Epiphany
YEAR B: February 4, 2018
First Reading : Isaiah 40:21-31
God Created by Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: In his reflections on this text, professor Charles Aaron says the message for Christians today is to hold onto the faith that formed Church; “That faith includes God’s power and creativity as well as the affirmation that God sees and knows us. God cares for us.” Help children explore this message through Bozzuti-Jone’s celebration of creation and sees God at work in all of life, from our being, to our feelings, to our stories; all that we can imagine, God created. And that same God created me and you. This text and story invite us to trust in the care of our powerful, creating, loving God.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23
Pete the Cat and the Lost Tooth by James Dean
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Paul is excited and zealous to share the blessing of the gospel with everyone, not just some. When Pete the Cat steps in for the tooth fairy, he runs into a problem at the last house on his list. It turns out his friend Gus doesn’t have teeth, but Gus didn’t want to miss out on the fun. Just as Paul wishes everyone to experience the blessing of the gospel, Pete wants everyone to feel included in visits from the tooth fairy. Pete shares a coin with Gus because “not everyone is the same. But being kind is always cool.” This text and story challenge us to share God’s love and blessing with people who might not be just like us or believe exactly as we do.
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:29-39
Mogie: The Heart of the House by Kathi Appelt
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: In this text, healing is tied hand in hand with the message Jesus has come to proclaim. People’s bodies, their spirits, and their wellbeing matter to Jesus. Similarly, the bodies, spirits, and well-being of the children in the Ronald MacDonald House matter to Mogie. She is a dog who will do whatever she can to help children heal. In our own experiences of healing it may come in ways we expect, sometimes healing comes through mystery or a miracle, sometimes healing is connected to the way someone like Jesus or Mogie reaches out in love. This text and story invite us into the ministry of healing, to say to those who are sick or suffering that we see them, and they matter to Jesus, to God, to us.
Thanks to regular contributor and Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Noell Rathbun for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links this week. You can read her other Links weekly as she is our Year 4 Narrative Lectionary Links writer as well as occasional bibliography creator and Revised Common Lectionary Links writer.