Year C: September 18, 2016
First Reading: Jeremiah 8:18 – 9:1
Ben’s Flying Flowers by Inger Maier
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: With today’s passage, Stephen Breck Reid suggests Jeremiah is bidding us “to pause for a moment and observe God’s grief and God’s love for the poor people of God.” (Feasting on the Word, Year C, Vol 4, 78) Grief can be expressed in a variety of ways. When Emily’s brother Ben dies, she no longer draws happy pictures; instead her drawings are filled with dark clouds and rain. Emily expresses her grief through pictures, God and Jeremiah through weeping and words. What might it look like to share in God’s lament? As you reflect on this passage and story with the children of your church, wonder together about the things that make us and God really sad, then invite them to express their grief through pictures, words, or other forms of lament.
Second Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-7
Bring Me a Rock! by Daniel Miyares
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: In this text we are urged to pray for those in high positions. Sometimes people in high positions are hard to pray for, like the grasshopper in Miyares’s tale; he is so demanding and ungrateful that when his throne of rocks begins to tumble, you might not feel so bad. Yet a tiny bug chooses not to ignore grasshopper’s cry for help, and by the end of the story, all of the bugs find they are equals with the grasshopper. When we pray for someone who is difficult to pray for, we are moved to see them in new ways, as beloved by God. Make space for your congregation to pray for people who are difficult to pray for, then meditate on what it means to call even these people children of God.
Gospel Reading: Luke 16:1-13
The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: In her commentary on this text, educator Carolyn Brown points out that wealth in itself is not the problem, rather it’s how we use it. She mentions several ways we can misuse wealth including “[spending] all our time thinking about and messing with our stuff, never taking time to see what people around us may want and need from us.” (http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2013/08/year-c-proper-20-25th-sunday-in.html) This is the king’s problem in The Cloud Spinner; he is so blinded by his love of beautiful garments spun from clouds that he doesn’t recognize how his greed has destroyed the ecosystem of his kingdom. Fortunately, for the sake of the kingdom, the young princess is wise enough to know that “enough is enough and not one stitch more.” Using this text and story, wonder with the children of your church about the ways they can be generous with their own forms of wealth.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna and regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.