Year C: August 11, 2013
First Reading: Isaiah 1;1, 10-20
Brother Bartholomew and the Apple Grove by Jan Cheripko (Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: This text calls us to recognize that worship is meaningless unless it is rooted in justice. Often we think we have all the answers and the right way to do things, but our visions are turned upside down so that we might begin to instead center ourselves on God’s vision. In many ways, this is what happens to Brother Bartholomew when he becomes caretaker of the apple grove. He is sure his ways are the right ways to make the grove productive and fruitful. Certainly he will be praised for the good work he is doing. In time, Bartholomew lets go of his grand ideas and begins to care for the apple grove following God’s vision of justice rather than his own vision of greatness.
Comment: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In this selection from the letter to the Hebrews, we hear of the way faith leads to action, even when the results of those actions cannot yet be seen. This is a wonderful opportunity to share stories of faith with your congregation. Faith the Cow tells how one man’s faith eventually led to the development of Heifer Project International. In hearing this story, children will experience the way faith empowers people to change the world.
Jojofu by Michael P. Waite (Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes.” In our cultural setting, the idea of slaves and masters is less accessible to children. Consider re-imagining the characters through the use of the story Jojofu to help them connect to Jesus’ parable. In this story, a hunter has many dogs to help him do his work in the mountains. One dog, Jojofu, is always alert and on guard, ready at all hours to guide and protect her master. Her consistency leads her master to trust her greatly, constantly keeping her by his side. Wonder together about the work God entrusts us to do and how we might approach it with an attitude like Jojofu’s.
The Lectionary Links this week were written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.