Year A: October 15, 2017
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Isaiah 25:1-9
Home at Last by Vera B. Williams
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Isaiah’s apocalyptic message serves as a message of hope for readers and parishioners. Isaiah writes of refuge, feasts, shelter, wiping away tears, faithfulness; all words of certainty and security in the midst of hardship, predicament, uncertainty, and fear. Knowing that there is a way out of predicament is half of the faith battle, and Isaiah encourages us to exalt “…our God, we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Lester is overjoyed to be adopted by Daddy Albert and Daddy Rich, but shortly after arriving in his new home he realizes he can’t sleep. Lester is afraid that something bad might happen to him again. He loves his new family and their life together (note: two dads, stay home on Sunday morning) but he is afraid of the unknown. Together, the family overcomes the Lester’s fears and recognizes that Wincka is the anchor of comfort and security Lester needs.
Second Reading: Philippians 4:1-9
Two Mrs. Gibsons by Toyomi Igius
(Written for ages 5-8)
Comment: In this epistle passage Paul introduces us to Euodia and Syntyche “who have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel” (v.2-3). A familiar text that encourages us to be excellent and praise-worthy opens with a note about specifically lifting up two women as examples. Followers of Jesus are to assist one another in following the examples of Jesus Christ’s gospel. Two Mrs. Gibsons is a lovely story of the two most important women in the author’s life and their impact on her: a Japanese mother and an African-American grandmother. Both of the women passed on unique cultural traits which helped to shape the biracial author. Paul desires for us to lift one another up, specifically naming two sisters in the faith who have been important to his gospel work. Igus lifts up the Two Mrs. Gibsons who have been important to her life. Who do we lift up and how have they impacted our lives to this point and looking ahead?
Gospel Reading: Matthew 22:1-14
A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon
(Written for age 4-8)
Comment: Matthew continues his hard conversations with the chief priests and Pharisees with this parable about election. This is a difficult parable to use with children and simply “just tell the story” as it involves deep theological themes of election, salvation, obedience, and faithful response – not nicely wrapped in a bow for us. It seems difficult to choose one theme over the other for fear of missing the point of the parable. Relatively simplified, the parable is a message to accept your election or expect harsh judgment awaiting those who reject God’s invitation to kingdom life. Camilla Cream refuses to eat the lima beans she loves because other kids make fun of her. When she refuses to eat the lima beans, a series of rejections take place in her body, room, and even house. No matter how many experts come to check her out, nothing changes her back to herself. Camilla comes down with a bad case of the stripes, until finally she’s able to cure them.
Our writer this week, Rev. Katie Barrett Todd, has recently moved to Greensboro, NC to serve as Executive Director/Campus Minister for UKIRK Greensboro. She will be writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links for the next 7 weeks.