Year C: October 30, 2016
First Reading: Habakkuk 1:1-4;2:1-4
Click Clack Moo by Doreen Cronin
(Written for ages 2-5)
Comment: “How long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?” There’s certainly a place of connection for words like these in our current context. Daily we hear and read stories in the news of violence, injustice, and lament. While it’s important for us to use texts like these to facilitate discussions of violence and injustice, that is probably not the best point of connection for young children. Help the children of your church connect with this text by exploring the concept of lament. Farmer Brown’s cows provide a humorous example of lament as they cry out for an end to cold nights in the barn, via electric blankets. Their cries turn to action, they go on strike, and eventually their “how long” comes to an end. As you read this text and story, invite the children of your church to share their own stories of lament and working for something unfair to change.
Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12
Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson
(Written for ages 7-11)
Comment: “Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring.” Paul is encouraging the faith of the Thessalonians as they face persecution for their identity. When their school is closed due to a new Missouri law, Reverend John and his students remain steadfast and faithful. They endure in the midst of persecution by building a school in the middle of the Mississippi River. Hopkinson’s book reminds readers that the bravery require to endure may sometimes be large, but it might also “be a small thing, like lighting a candle, opening a book, or dipping and oar into still, deep water.” As you read this text and story, invite your congregation to share stories and steadfast faith, endurance, and courage.
Gospel Reading: Luke 19:1-10
Mustache! by Mac Barnett
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: Educator Carolyn Brown points out one of the themes of Zacchaeus’s story that speaks to children: “People CAN change. Zacchaeus changed. You can change. People around you can change.” Mustache is the story of a king so self-absorbed he fails to meet any of his subjects needs. The people hate his greed and thoughtlessness. The story closes hinting at the king’s transformation–yes, even a greedy, self-absorbed king can change! We can experience this text and story from the perspective of the crowds, or the ones being transformed. As you reflect on this text and story, wonder together with your congregation about what it is like to witness or experience great transformation.
Noell Rathbun-Cook, Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna and Minister of Children at Grace Baptist Church in Richmond,VA, will be the writer for the Lectionary Links (RCL) for the next nine weeks.