21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Year B, August 26, 2012
First Reading: 1 Kings 8: (1-6; 10-11) 22-30; 41-43
How Big is God? by Lisa Tawn Bergren
(Written for ages 3 and up)
Comment: Most children (and adults) at some point will ask questions about God’s being in the world. In How Big is God?, a young boy seeks to understand where God lives. As he and his mom explore the world around them, he learns that God is everywhere at all times, and with everyone. In the dedication of the temple King Solomon prays “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built!” (v 27) As King Solomon marks this as a place where God’s presence will be known and acknowledged, he also recognizes that God cannot be limited to only being present in the temple and God’s grace is not reserved only for the Israelites. King Solomon’s dedication prayer continues and asks God to hear the prayers of the foreigners.
Second Reading: Ephesians 6:10-20
Monkey with a Tool Belt by Chris Monroe
(Written for ages 5 and up)
Comment: Paul continues to encourage and give suggestions for how the Christians in Ephesus can live in tension with the world around them. Ephesians 6:10-20 lays out the tools we need to stand firm in our faith against the world. Paul draws on a familiar imagery of the armor soldiers wear in battle. This imagery places the tools in the context of a battle. Monkey with a Tool Belt moves away from the context of battle, but continues to show that we have the tools to make it through what ever is happening in our life. Chico Bon Bon wears his tool belt everywhere and enjoys fixing and creating things for his community. One day he finds himself in a trap, and is able to use his tools to escape and return home. Like Chico and the Christians in Ephesus we are given the tools we need to stand firm in our faith.
Gospel Reading: John 6: 56-69
Ginger Finds a Home by Charlotte Voake
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: Ginger is a stray cat who doesn’t know what he has been missing. Beside enough to eat each day, he is missing love and companionship. When he finds both of these things as well as a new home, he is scared of what this means. Despite being scared, Ginger is willing to take a chance and build a relationship with the little girl who offers him a new home with her. In John’s Gospel we hear the end of Jesus’ speech on the bread of heaven. Many of the disciples that have been listening to Jesus throughout his ministry have been seeking something Jesus has been able to provide. Yet, now with this new idea that Jesus is the bread of heaven and we must eat his flesh and drink his blood to have eternal life, many of the disciples return home to the comfort and safety of what they knew before following Jesus. The twelve that remain most likely had some fear about what this means, but like Ginger they chose to trust the one offering them a new life.
This week’s Lectionary Links were written by Union Presbyterian Seminary graduate Elizabeth Boulware Landes.