Christ the King Sunday
Year A: November 23 2014
First Reading: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 2024
I Will Protect You from the Jungle Beasts by Martha Alexander
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: This passage from Ezekiel is one “I will” after another spoken by God. The ultimate feeling is one of protection, safety, and comfort. God will do all that God is able to do to bring all the people of God back together, to provide them with basic needs, and to protect them. This protection includes ridding the people of God from the ones who abuse their power, bully others, and are selfish. I’ll Protect you from the Jungle Beasts follows the path of a little boy who is protecting his teddy bear from all the noises in the jungle as they travel home. Once the boy determines he is lost, he begins to fear the noises himself. As the story continues, you can see the bear grow bigger and provide comfort and protection for the little boy. This image of the teddy bear growing when the little boy is scared reminds me of God. In moments where I am fearful or anxious, I can feel the presence of God growing bigger and bigger. When I stop and listen, I hear God saying,” I will be with you. I will lead you to the rich pasture. I will protect you.”
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:15-23
Grandpa Green By Lane Smith
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: As Paul acknowledges and praises the Ephesians’ honoring of the saints in the community, he is reminding them of the communal nature of their witnessing to Christ. The whole community is needed to witness fully to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. It is important to remember that Paul is referring to the elders of the community who are passing on the faith to others. These are the ones who have been in charge and making the decisions. A little boy in Grandpa Green reminisces about the life his Great-Grandpa led. It was a life filled with love, joy, and family. These memories Grandpa Green shared with his family will live on even after his memory fades and long after his death. The example set forth by the saints of the church will continue to direct and shape the future of the church as more people come to believe, and as more of the kingdom of God breaks into this world.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:31-46
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCLoud
(Written for ages 4 and up)
Comment: Carol McCloud is encouraging young children to pay attention to the world around them and offer small acts of kindness and love throughout the day in Have you Filled a Bucket Today?. She describes these people as bucket fillers. McCloud provides specific suggestions for being a bucket filler, such as writing thank you notes, inviting the new kid to play, and telling someone you care about them. These are simple ways that even the youngest child can participate in bucket filling. In these verses from Matthew, Jesus instead of asking, is telling us whether we have or have not been bucket fillers. When we help provide people with their basics needs we make the world a better place. We add value to people and God’s Kingdom. The goal of being a bucket filler according to Jesus is not to be happy as McCloud suggests; rather it is to bring about a little more of God’s Kingdom on earth. It is to receive God in our lives.
Storypath would like to thank Elizabeth Boulware Landes for writing the Lectionary Links for the past 13 weeks. Elizabeth, Director of Children’s Ministries at Faith Presbyterian Church, Aledo, TX, is a frequent contributor here and we look forward to having her write for us again in 2015!