YEAR B: December 21, 2014
First Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-11,16
Good Luck Baby Owls by Giles Milton
(Written for ages 2-5)
Comment: Both King David, now at rest from his enemies, and his prophet, Nathan, are ready to build a house for the Lord. King David believes it is not right for him to live in a grand palace without a house for God. Nathan hears his idea and encourages him. They both have good intentions, but the Lord tells them ‘not yet’. While a house of cedar would be a magnificent tribute, it is not yet time for the Lord’s house. The answer isn’t “no”, but the answer is “not yet”. In Good Luck Baby Owls, the baby owls are so very eager to begin flying—but their father says that they are too small, too young, not ready to fly. His answer is not “no”, but “not yet”. Just as God promised David that a powerful kingdom and house was indeed being built, and as a house of cedar was indeed constructed, eventually the baby owls follow their father, spread their wings, and fly.
Second Reading: Romans 16:25-27
Let the Whole Earth Sing Praise by Tomie dePaola
(Written for ages 3-5)
Comment: At the end of Romans, Paul sums up how all things are able to give glory to God: the gospel he proclaims, the word of Jesus Christ, the mysteries revealed, the prophecies which revealed them, the faithful obedience that springs from these things—all of it gives glory to God. Everything in the life of faith comes from God, and also everything in the life of faith returns and gives glory to God. In Tomie de Paola’s book Let the Whole Earth Sing Praise, that idea is beautifully expressed. Every part of creation in this book gives praise to God: people and animals, sun and moon, all the world. For Paul, the strength and obedience which the Romans are given through Jesus Christ, the preaching and teaching they’ve heard, all of it is to be used by them for giving glory to God forever.
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38
Anything is Possible by Giulia Belloni
(Written for ages 4-7)
Comment: In Anything is Possible, two friends, a sheep and a wolf, decide to build a machine so that they can fly. The sheep is convinced that they will succeed, even through trial and error, but the wolf is sure that it won’t work. However, after they begin to build and improve their flying machine the wolf starts to believe, and at the end, when they are flying through their air on their improved contraption, both the wolf and the sheep realize that anything is possible! So, too, the angel Gabriel affirms that despite the remarkable, and seemingly impossible news he brings to Mary, nothing is impossible with God. For her part, Mary, too, believes this, accepting God’s amazing miracle as a favored servant. Nothing is impossible with God, and this fact is visibly demonstrated in the lives of Mary and her unborn child.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Sara Anne Berger.