Year A: November 19, 2017
First Reading: Judges 4:1-7
The Invisible Moose By Dennis Hasely
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: During the time of the judges, the Israelites found themselves in a predictable cycle. They would turn away from God, call out for help and God would appoint a judge to help the Israelites face the problem that caused them to call out to God. Peace and a focus on God would return for a while and the cycle would start all over. Asking for help is not something that is easy to do. It requires us to acknowledge we can’t do something on our own, and it means we have to be willing to listen to the answer. The Old Testament reading for today is one of these cycles. We learn that the Israelites are turning back to God in the midst of an impending war and God provides the judge and the security for the survival of God’s people. In The Invisible Moose, a moose feels like he is invisible. He feels as if no one even notices he is alive. One day he works up the courage to talk to another moose, and just as he is starting his conversation, something tragic happens to this moose. The invisible moose, was willing to go and save her, but it was hunting season. In order, to accomplish bring her back, he had to ask for help. He receives help and truly becomes an invisible moose.
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
I Am Too Absolutely Small for School (Charlie and Lola Series) By Lauren Child
(Written for ages 3-8)
Comment: Our scripture passage this morning ends ‘encourage one another” (5:11). These are important words to hear for children. It lets them know even though life can be hard, they have a community who is supporting them and encouraging them to keep going. We are not always good at that as a community, so it is helpful to hear it in the Scriptures periodically. We are reminded that we are children of the light and we are to help each other live as children of the light. In I am Too Absolutely Small for School, Lola is worried about going to school. She comes up with every reason why she does not need to go to school, and each time her brother counters with an argument on why she needs to go to school. He is working hard to encourage her and build up her confidence. This is the way we are to treat each other. When someone says I can’t do this, we are to respond yes, you can. When we build each other up, we will reflect the light in each one of us.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:14-30
The Monster at the End of this Book By Jon Stone
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: Fear can paralyze us. It keeps us from doing something we know we should, or prevents us from enjoying the moment. In There is a Monster at the End of the Book, Grover is overcome with fear. He learns there is a monster at the end of the book, and does everything in his power to get the reader to quit turning pages. As the book goes on, the fear becomes even more apparent. Grover is not able to be present in the moment because of his fear of what is to come. In the gospel reading for today, one of the master’s slaves is so overcome by fear that he does nothing. The master gave three of his slaves money, and expected them to do something with it. Two of them took what was given to them and used it. Each of them brought back more than what they started with. One of the men was paralyzed by the fear of coming back with nothing, so he just held on to his gift. Jesus has given each of us a gift and expects us to use them as we strive to participate in the life saving work of God. We do not get to allow fear to paralyze us. We must act.
Thank you to Elizabeth Boulware Landes, Associate Pastor for Children’s Ministry at Faith Presbyterian Church, Aledo, TX, for writing the Lectionary Links this week.