Year A: July 20, 2014
First Reading: Genesis 28:10-19a
The Magic Pillow by Demi
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: When Jacob lays his head on the stone, God comes to him in a dream revealing the future for he and his offspring. Through the dream he also receives the knowledge that God is with him. This dream is so powerful that Jacob takes the time to acknowledge through the process of anointing his stone pillow, that he has had a holy experience. In The Magic Pillow, Ping also has a dream that shows the future for he and his offspring if he chooses a life of power, money, and fame. Through his dream he realizes that he is satisfied with the life he has already been given. Through these stories we can explore the idea that our dreams reveal something about who we are and who we are becoming.
Second Reading: Romans 8:12-25
Wild About You! by Judy Sierra
(Written for ages 3-6)
Comment: “…but we ourselves… groan inwardly while we wait for adoption…” When discussing this text with children, explore the idea that it helps us to understand and talk about having a sense of belonging. In Wild About You, we hear the groaning from the perspective of someone wishing for children. All the animals in the zoo have babies except for the kangaroos and pandas, who find themselves to be very blue. Eventually these animals do become adoptive parents, and joyfully raise their children with the help of other friends at the zoo. By pairing this story with the text, we can explore the ways that we care for one another as children of God.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John “Appleseed” Chapman by Esmé Raji Codell
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “…it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree…” I love sharing stories with children that show the way a small something (or someone) can become (or do) something large. In Codell’s story, children hear “that by doing the same small act of planting seeds every day, Johnny Appleseed changed the landscape of our nation. Seed by seed, deed by deed.” As the story ends, children are challenged to consider what seeds they might plant in the world. Wonder together with the children of your church about the ways we sow the seeds of God’s kingdom.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.