Year A: November 16, 2014
First Reading: Judges 4:1-7
Back to Front and Upside Down by Claire Alexander
(Written for ages 4-7)
Comment: Here we find the Israelites in an overwhelming position. It looks as if there is nothing they can do to survive the coming battle. But in their moment of weakness, they call out for help to God. After asking for help, Deborah has a plan for how they will survive and thrive in this potential battle. This is an important lesson for children to learn. No matter what is in front of them, they can always ask for help. Stan learns this lesson in Back to Front and Upside Down, when he and the rest of his class create birthday cards for the principal. Stan is struggling to write the letters and notices all of his friends’ letters look perfect like the teacher’s. He is so sad over not being able to write and scared he will be laughed at that he doesn’t even want to play at recess. One of his friends notices him, and encourages Stan to ask the teacher for help. In asking for help, Stan learns he is not the only one who is struggling, and gets the help he needs to work through this overwhelming challenge. Children and adults alike will face challenges in life that feel overwhelming, but if we can remember the examples of the Israelites and Stan, to ask for help, we will make it through.
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Big Rain Coming By Katrina Germein
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Sometimes we prepare for a big event, and then it does not happen when we expect it to. The early Christians expected Christ to return sooner rather than later. Each day that went by and Christ had not returned, they began to grow weary. In Big Rain Coming, the community notices dark clouds in the distance and begins to anticipate the coming rain. Day after day they wait for the rain. When the rain finally does come, they are excited and ready for it. The community began to prepare for the rain as soon as the clouds were visible. Paul is reminding the Thessalonians that Christ will return, and even though they have no expectation of when it will be, they will be ready. They are living as children of the light. They are living in a state of constant readiness. They are prepared and can live in the comfort knowing that Christ will return.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:14-30
Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: We take risks every day. Some of the risks we take are so small that we don’t have to think much about them. Other times the risk is so big, we fret over it for days. Roller Coaster depicts the emotions and steps it takes for someone to ride their very first roller coaster, with both the story and the illustrations. This is one of those risksw hich leaves you with ample time to think it through. There are many opportunities for someone to change their mind and see the risk as too much for them. In the Gospel reading today we find three men that have been trusted with masters’ money. Each servant must choose how much risk they are willing to take. Two of them choose to risk it all to double it, and one chooses to risk very little and keep it safe. When we choose the risk we are rewarded in some way. The men who risked it all are rewarded by their master, and the little girl who rode the roller coaster for the first time is rewarded with enjoyment. When we don’t take the risk we miss out on something, like the servant who hid his money.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by regular contributor Elizabeth Boulware Landes.