Year A: October 12, 2014
First Reading: Exodus 32:1-14
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
(Written for ages 3-8)
Comment: The passage this morning finds the Israelites scared in the wilderness, without contact with their leader. At a time when the Israelites need a leader more than anything else, Moses has gone up the mountain to be with God. He leaves Aaron in charge, but Aaron lacks leadership. When the Israelites c0me to him with a command to build gods, he goes with it, without hesitation. Leaders are necessary to help guide people along as we each strive to follow God. Without a leader we might try to hide in a seemingly safe place, or we might think we are invincible. Leaders challenge the way things are and thing about the way things could be. One day Swimmy finds himself alone after a bigger fish eats the rest of his school of fish. He swims and swims until he finds a school that looks just like his, only to find them scared to come out of the dark places. Unlike Aaron, Swimmy challenges the fish on this plan, and creates a new one. He offers a solution that allows the fish to feel safe as they come out of hiding.
Second Reading: Philippians 4:1-9
Olympig! By Victoria Jamieson
(Written for ages 5-8)
Comment: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice.” (4:4) These words from Paul are words we should all live by. Living a life marked by joy is a challenging one. We encounter challenges and hardships in our lives, and sometimes it might be difficult to see the joy and rejoice, but that is what Paul is calling us to do. We are to find joy in the midst of sorrow, but not in place of it. A life filled with joy is not dependent upon what we encounter everyday. Joy is rooted deeper in our soul. Boomer learns how to be joyful in the midst of sorrow in Olympig!. Boomer is a pig competing in the Olympics. He has trained hard, but in each event he seems to come in last. As he continues to compete he lets the results dictate how he is feeling. He decides to quit, until he hears his mother say she loves him and is proud of him. In that moment, he decides to continue to compete and finds the joy that lead him to the Olympics. Paul wants us to find the joy we have rooted in God. When we have this joy, we can remember that we are children of God and that God loves us.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 22:1-14
A Single Pearl by Donna Jo Napoli
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: God seeks us out, even when we do not want to be found. God has an open invitation for us to be in relationship with God. Once we accept this invitation, transformation begins. Like the guest at the wedding feast, we have to put in effort. The guest for an unknown reason did not change into the appropriate wedding attire and was kicked out of banquet. Luckily for us, God will not give up on us that quickly. We are transformed little by little as long as we continue to accept God’s invitation. In A Single Pearl, Donna Jo Napoli explores the theme of transformation through the natural making of a pearl. As the book ends, the one tiny piece of sand has transformed into a pearl, and found its place around the neck of a young girl. Like the piece of sand, when we accept God’s invitation we learn we are important and feel God’s love.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by Elizabeth Boulware Landes, Director of Children’s Ministry at Faith Presbyterian Church, Aledo, TX.