First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-10
(Written for ages 9-13)
Comment: “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy… Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you, do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you…” This text offers a wonderful reminder that children are important participants of God’s work in the world. So often we say to children, “when you grow up, you can…” but God is saying, “look what you can do right now. Don’t be afraid to act in the world, because I am with you.” Share stories with your congregation of kids who are making a difference in their communities, nations, and the world. Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change shares inspiring true stories of kids saving the environment, standing up for themselves, helping others, overcoming challenges, and using their talents and creativity. Use their example as a springboard to explore and discuss the courageous actions that are being done by kids in your community.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Love Twelve Miles Long by Glenda Armand
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Love is the foundation of our daily living, undergirding a meaningful life. In our culture we often lose sight of the power and depth of love. We “love” all kinds of things: candy, books, apps, photos; but the love expressed in this passage is deeper than a strong liking. It is the fuel of life, allowing people to endure. Frederick Douglass’s mother knows this kind of love. Love is the bedrock of her twelve mile journey to visit her son, and allows her to make the journey of forgetting, remembering, listening, looking up, wondering, praying, singing, smiling, giving thanks, hoping, and dreaming. Her journey, her life, and her relationship with God and her son are built upon love. This text and story invite us to reflect upon the ways love guides our lives.
Gospel Reading: Luke 4:21-30
The Way Meat Loves Salt by Nina Jaffe
(Written for ages 7-11)
Comment: “When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, [and]drove him out of the town…” The truth Jesus speaks angers the people of his hometown. They cannot accept who he is or what he has to say, and so they drive him away. In Jaffe’s tale, Mireleh is driven away when the truth she shares is not comprehended by her father. In his anger, he drives her away. Often it’s the people who have watched us grow from childhood to adulthood who struggle the most to understand the people we have become or the truth we have to share. In our own lives do we accept truths that may be difficult for us, or do we participate in driving prophetic voices away?
The Lectionary Links this week are written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.