2nd Sunday after Epiphany
Year C: January 20, 2013
First Reading: Isaiah 62:1-5
Ellen’s Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give.” In his commentary on the text, Rick Nutt highlights the fact that God desires justice for people who have been marginalized and oppressed. “In anticipation of vindication, the oppressed must cling to the conviction that–contrary to what oppressors may say–they are valuable to God and do not deserve the treatment they receive.” (Feasting on the Word, Year C, Volume 1, p 244) The story of Ellen’s Broom is set shortly after the end of slavery. Ellen hears how her parents jumped the broom as slaves to symbolize their marriage. The broom travels with the family to the courthouse where Mama and Papa will be legally married. As we explore the story of the broom, we hear both the hope of an oppressed people and their experience of liberation.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Camille’s Team by Stuart J. Murphy
(Written for ages 3-5)
Comment: “To each of these is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” This text is a wonderful opportunity to talk about the ways we work together in the church as participants in God’s work in the world. The Spirit gives us different gifts and talents that help us work together. Camille and her friends find that building a sand fort works much better when they work with one another. They each fulfill different tasks, working as a team to build a great fort. Wonder together with the children in your church about the different tasks we do in order to be the church together. How do you see cooperation at work in your community of faith?
Note: Several young adult books highlight people with different gifts and talents working towards the same goal. If you’re interested in further exploring those, check out Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning, or The Mysterious Benedict Society.
Gospel Reading: John 2:1-11
The Wedding by Eve Bunting
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Robert M. Brearley calls weddings “accidents waiting to happen”. We all have stories of things that go wrong in the midst of wedding ceremonies and celebrations. This happens at Cana when the wine runs out. Brearley speaks of the way Jesus saves the celebration: “The servants know what has happened, the steward is amazed, and the disciples believe in Jesus. How is that for a happy ending?” (Feasting on the Word, Year C, Volume 1, p 260) Eve Bunting tells the story of a wedding that could potentially be disastrous, as all the participants have been delayed. Miss Brindle Cow saves the day, carrying everyone to the wedding on her back. The joyous celebration can continue and readers get the best surprise when they learn that Miss Brindle Cow is the bride!
The Lectionary Links this week were written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.