Year A: August 24, 2014
First Reading: Exodus 1:8-2:10
Peggy: A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure by Anna Walker
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: You cannot read the story of Moses’s birth without reading about the bravery of the women. This is a story of oppression and ethnic cleansing by a powerful leader and the women who undermined that leader through their strength and courage. The midwives refuse to kill the Hebrew boys as Pharaoh’s edict demands. Next, Moses’ mother raises her son for three months in hiding, and then sets him afloat in the river to safety from the law calling for his death. Moses is found by Pharaoh’s daughter who raises him as her own child with the help of Miriam, her servant, and Moses’ own mother as the wet nurse. The women bravely defy the law and thus allow Moses to live. Peggy is a chicken who has her routine interrupted one day by a strong gust of wind that carries her away from home into the big city. She is lost and unable to find her way home, but does her best to make herself comfortable as she searches for home. Peggy finds a flock of pigeons that show her the way back home, and a new friendship begins. Like Moses, Peggy is taken away from home only to be rescued. Moses’ rescue sets his life in motion for the work of God. Peggy’s rescue allows a new friendship to begin. Both stories show how salvation arises from God’s agency combined with human (or bird) agency. When we work together in accordance with God, salvation and new life become possible.
Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
(Written for ages 14 & up)
Comment: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (v. 2) This portion of Paul’s letter to the Romans speaks to all being individuals but also members of one body. Paul warns us to not think highly of ourselves but to be sober in our thoughts, and also to recognize that every person has unique gifts that help to make the body complete. While we are all individuals, we are all members of each other and we must allow ourselves to be impacted and transformed by the others as we all seek to live into God’s will. Tabitha is a teenager in every sense of the word. She’s struggling to find an identity while dealing with friends who desert her for “no reason.” She likes a boy, but the boy already has a girlfriend. Her parents were teens when they had her, so her relationship with her parents is more of a friendship than a parent-child relationship. And she’s coming to terms with her parents being pregnant with another baby who they see as a chance to get the parenting thing “right” this time. High school is not going well for Tabitha. Just when she’s about to break, she discovers an online community called “Life By Committee.” In LBC, she’s anonymous but has many friends who help her make life decisions. The rules require posting a secret and completing an assignment given by the Committee, where the idea is to help members live life to the fullest. Tabitha finds a community through LBC, both online and eventually in real life, too. No one in LBC is able to think of him or herself as better than the rest, and everyone plays a part in helping each member to grow. “For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members of one another.” (v.4)
**Note, this book is for mature teenagers. While it is set in high school, some of the subject matter and language may not be appropriate for all teenagers. Advise parents and students accordingly, and advance reading prior to use in a worship setting is suggested. **
The Streak: How Joe DiMaggio Became America’s Hero by Barb Rosenstock
(Written for ages 8 & up)
Comment: When Peter confesses his faith in Jesus as Messiah, he is affirmed and blessed as the foundation of the church, the cornerstone. This is the first time that the church and the kingdom of heaven have been linked together. Matthew notes that the community of the church, here, is tasked with the mission to forgive in the name of God where sin is concerned. Peter’s faith earns the blessing of being the leader in the church, against whom no evil should prevail. Joe DiMaggio is considered one of the best baseball players of all time, carrying the longest game-hitting streak in major league baseball. Joe didn’t set out to be the best, like Peter didn’t set out to be the cornerstone of the church, but Joe had determination and talent and used them to better his team and the game of baseball. In the story we learn of Joe’s commitment to himself and his sport, but also the scare of his failure without his beloved bat. Joe became the cornerstone of his team and the game of baseball, particularly during wartime in World War II. Like Peter learning the importance of his role as the cornerstone of the church, Joe learned his role as the cornerstone of “the most perfect summer in baseball” and the history of the game, which he wore very seriously and humbly.
Thanks to Katie Todd for her contributions to Lectionary Links the past four weeks. We’ll look forward to her ideas again later this year!