23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Year A: November 12, 2017
First Reading: Joshua 24:1-3a; 14-25
The Story Book Knight by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty
(written for ages 4 and up)
Comment: Joshua tells the Israelites that they must choose between worshiping God and worshiping other gods. The decision lies with the people; Joshua cannot decide for them. Leo is a gentle mouse knight who would prefer reading over fighting. His parents and the townspeople believe that for him to be recognized as a brave knight, he must fight a dragon. Leo is faced with making a choice. He goes out to confront the dragon, but instead of fighting, Leo chooses to read to the dragon. This peaceful act/decision tames the dragon and saves the town from destruction.
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Ida, Always by Caron Levis
(written for ages 4-8)
Comment: What happens to our loved ones when they die is a question that Christians have been asking since the days of Paul. Here in 1 Thessalonians, Paul addresses a similar concern. One of the purposes of Paul’s response is to offer comfort in the midst of persecution and death. The polar bears Gus and Ida ponder the same question when they learn that Ida is sick and will not get better. The zookeeper Sonya offers Gus comfort as he adjusts. Even in her absence, Gus is reminded that Ida is with him always.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:1-13
Wait by Antoinette Portis
(written for ages 4-7)
Comment: The ten bridesmaids in Jesus’ parable are preparing for the arrival of the bridegroom. Yet, they do not know when he will arrive. It is a parable about waiting. The little boy in Wait is being hustled through the streets to catch the train. Mom says, “Hurry,” and the son says, “Wait.” Wait is not a passive word. There is a sense of being engaged in the present while waiting for the not yet. The little boy seeks to wait and pet the dog. Wait and feed the ducks. Wait and touch a butterfly. The boy’s call to wait eventually stops the mother to see a double rainbow, a reminder of promise fulfilled.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumnus Jason C. Stanley for writing the Lectionary Links for us this week. Jason serves as the Coordinator for Church Revitalization in the Elizabeth River District in the Virginia Conference.