Year C: November 29, 2015
First Reading: Jeremiah 33:14-16
Hero of the Rails (Thomas and Friends) by Rev. W. Awdry, Little Golden Books
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: As we start a new church year, these words from Jeremiah remind us that God’s justice and righteousness will come. We are reminded of the promise God made with David, and God will fulfill it. Justice is an abstract idea for many and especially difficult for children to wrap their heads around. What does God’s justice look like? It is filled with grace and judgment and often shows up in unexpected ways. In Hero of the Rails, Thomas finds a missing train engine. He makes the decision to secretly fix him up to be sure Hiro does not end up in the scrap yard. Another engine named Spencer thinks he is faster and stronger than everyone else, and is trying to figure out what Thomas is doing. Wen he learns his secret, Thomas and Spencer must race to reach Sir Topman Hatt first. Along the way, the bridge Spencer crosses breaks and he falls into the muddy water below. Justice comes to Spencer as Hiro is the only one who is strong enough to pull him back to the station. The one Spencer was planning to send to the scrap yard is the one who is able to rescue him.
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
My Brave Year of Firsts: Tries, Sighs, and High Fives By Jamie Lee Cirtis
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Many in worship this morning will be fresh off a weekend full of family and reflecting and these words in 1 Thessalonians call us to reflection too. Paul reminds the community that he continually prays for their growth in faith and love. This growth is not something that magically happen to us. We must work to grow in faith and love. My Brave Year of Firsts follows Frankie as she encounters many new situations and how she reacts to them. Sometimes she falls. Sometimes she excels. Sometimes she is scared or afraid, but in each situation she tries her best and learns something from it. The beginning of a church year is the perfect time for us to think about all the new things we want to try in the upcoming year to strengthen our faith and grow in love. After spending time reflecting on the things and experiences we are blessed to have in our life, this Sunday lends itself well to a time to reflect on the future and set hopes for our spiritual growth.
Gospel Reading: Luke 21:25-36
Waiting by Keith Henkes
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Sitting on the windowsill, five toys are each waiting for something different. They all sit and wait and when what they are waiting for comes along, they are happy. As they are waiting, unexpected things happen. New toys join the windowsill and then leave. The story ends with a new toy cat joining the windowsill and all the other toys are waiting to find out what she was waiting for. The answer is something unexpected. If we are not prepared for what we are waiting for, we can be caught off guard like the toys are caught off guard with the new cat. The gospel reading this morning reminds us to be prepared and watch for the coming of Jesus. This is a helpful way to begin Advent. We are surround by images of the secular celebration of Christmas. Children tend to be completely focused on the coming of baby Jesus and Santa. Sometimes if we are not careful we can allow the waiting for Santa to overshadow the waiting for Christ. As we move towards the celebration of The Nativity, we need to keep our eyes and ears open to Christ already at work in the world so that when we encounter it, we are not caught off guard.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Elizabeth Boulware Landes for writing the Lectionary Links for the past four weeks.