Year A: January 26, 2020
First Reading: Isaiah 9:1-4
Night Out by Daniel Miyares
(Written for ages 4 and up)
Comment: These words were probably written before the people of Judah went into exile, before Babylon had conquered them. The future looked bleak. But Isaiah had good news. In the past, Assyria had conquered the lands of Zebulun and Napthali. These lands will be restored. Gloom will be gone and all of the things that caused such darkness will be broken and gone.t Irwill be as if a light switch has been turned on in a dark room, as if you found your flashlight when you were camping out with no moon. A young by lies in his bed in the darkness in something like a dormitory. A few pictures show him eating by himself, isolated and lonely. One evening, a great light comes through his window, beckoning him to leave his room and follow the light. The light leads him to a community of animals with whom he shares tea and games before the light leads him back home again. The next morning, however, the last picture of the book shows him sharing stories with the other boys in his room and one senses that joy has come back into his life.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18
When Pencil Met Eraser by Karen Kilpatrick and Luis O. Ramos, Jr.
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: The church in Corinth is quarreling. Chloe’s people have brought Paul news of a church dividing into factions as people choose different leaders to follow-Paul, Apollos, Peter, Christ, as if Christ was divided into separate groups. “Remember your baptism,” says Paul in this letter. Paul begs the people to be united in the same mind and purpose. The story today opens with Pencil drawing pictures. But then Eraser appears, erasing as he goes, and creates an entirely different picture. When Pencil draws a page of tall skyscrapers, Eraser removes half of them, saying, “Look, you can see the sky!” Pencil draws a field of flowers. Eraser erases a path through the field. Their bickering about what who is right goes on and on, until Eraser does something that helps Pencil realize they are better together. What might churches disagree about today? What does Paul say about how we get direction for resolving our conflicts?
Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:12-23
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: In these verses in Matthew, Jesus begins his ministry in Galilee, and he starts off with a bang! In 12 verses, he moves to Caperneum, begins calling disciples to share his work, and travels around Galilee teaching, preaching and healing those who are sick. Up to this point, Jesus has spoken to John the Baptist and to the tempter in the wilderness. But the first words we hear Jesus say to everyone involve a call to change. “Change your lives. The Kingdom of Heaven is coming.” To be a part of God’s work is to make a change in the way we view the world and participate in it. Sam-I-Am is determined to make an unnamed character like green eggs and ham. Sam offers the creature more and more places to try the food –in a house, in a box -and others to share the food with –with a mouse, with a fox. In an effort to get Sam-I-Am to leave him alone, the creature agrees to try green eggs and ham and discovers to his great surprise that he does indeed like them and wants to share them in all the places and with all the others that Sam has mentioned before. Like the unnamed character in this Dr. Seuss classic, Jesus calls us to accept his invitation to change our lives and follow him to all the places Christ goes and with all of those to whom he ministers.
The Revised Common Lectionary Links this week are co-written by Union Presbyterian Seminary graduates Virginia C. Thomas and Ann Thomas Knox.