Second Sunday after Epiphany
YEAR B: January 14, 2018
First Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)
Quiet! by Kate Alizadeh
(Written for ages 2-7)
Comment: The story of God’s call to Samuel may be a familiar one to everyone reading or hearing this passage today. The child Samuel sleeps but hears someone calling him and thinks it is the priest Eli. After the third time of running to Eli to see what he wants, Eli recognizes that it is God calling Samuel and sends him back to listen for God’s word to Samuel. The Bible is full of stories of God’s call to different people. God speaks to Moses in a burning bush and God calls out to Paul in the midst of a bright light. God still calls his disciples today but we are required to listen to the way that God might be speaking to us and calling us to serve God. In Quiet, a little girl goes through her house listening to the various noises that it makes – the sound of her father’s feet in flip flops, the creak of a door, the sound of a refrigerator running. All of these sounds can be heard and understood by listening intently. God spoke dramatically to Moses and Paul and quietly to Samuel. Wonder with your listeners how we can listen for God’s word to us so that we can respond faithfully.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems
(Written for ages 2-3)
Comment: Paul spends a lot of time in this passage talking about sex and honoring God with our bodies, but the heart of the matter according to Israel Kamudzandu is “the limits of Christian freedom in a world of choices”. Paul is concerned that the Corinthians – and we – make participating in God’s new community more important than our own individual desires. The motivation behind our choices is God’s call to live a new life. “It’s all about me” doesn’t have a place in God’s kingdom. Gerald loves ice cream and his love of ice cream dominates his thinking about sharing. He runs through all sorts of reasons why he shouldn’t share it with his best friend Piggie. Piggie might not like the flavor and that would be wrong. Piggie doesn’t know Gerald has ice cream, so what would be the harm in just eating it? In the end, sharing the ice cream brings Gerald more pleasure than eating it by himself. Wonder with your listeners about the choices we can make each day to share our lives in God’s community.
Gospel Reading: John 1:43-51
Rain! by Linda Ashman
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: With Epiphany having just passed in the liturgical year, we have a story of a person who has an epiphany of his own. Nathanael begins his conversations with Philip about Jesus in a skeptical, somewhat combative way. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” But after meeting Jesus and sharing the briefest of conversations, Nathanael responds to Jesus in faith and joy. Another story of transformation and change is found in Rain! A grumpy older man and an exuberant, joyful boy see the same things – rain, a newspaper,a greeting from a doorman – in totally different ways. A chance meeting in a coffee house and the briefest of exchanges transforms the older man’s outlook. Wonder with your listeners about the ways in which God’s love encourages us to transform our thoughts and actions.
The Revised Common Lectionary Links this week are written by Ann Knox. Ann is a Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna and the recently retired Director of the Instructional Resource Center at the Union Presbyterian Seminary Library.