Year A: October 23rd, 2011
First Reading: Deuteronomy 34: 1-12
Harriet and the Promised Land by Jacob Lawrence
(Written for ages 8-11)
Comment: The ending chapter of Deuteronomy is also the final chapter of Moses’ life. God takes him to the top of Mount Nebo to view the whole promised land. He has led his people here, and though he himself will never enter it, he can die knowing that he did as God commanded and led the people to the promised land, flowing with milk and honey. In Harriet Tubman and the Promised Land, the striking artwork by Jacob Lawrence shows us another Moses who led her people to the promised land. Both trusted in God and followed God’s leadings, took risks, and bravely led their people where they needed to go.
Second Reading: I Thessalonians 2: 1-8
My Book of Thanks by B.G. Hennessey
(Written for ages 4-7)
Comment: “So we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God”, writes Paul to the Thessalonians. Paul’s goal is not wealth or attention or status, but to spread God’s message and give praise and attention and thanks to God at all times. My Book of Thanks gives us the words to do as Paul did—give praise, attention and thanks to God, with heartfelt prayers that remind us that God cares deeply about us (“Dear God, Help me remember that you are with me wherever I go”), just as Paul cared about the Thessalonians, “like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children.”
Gospel Reading: Matthew 22: 34-46
All The Places to Love by Patricia Machlachlan
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Jesus tells the Pharisees that the greatest commandment is “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”, and that the second is “to love your neighbor as yourself”. For Jesus, the laws of loving God and neighbor encompass all other laws and teachings and therefore, love is above all things in our lives in Christ. The book, All the Places to Love, shows a rural family pointing out all the places they most love on their farm—and reaffirming their deep love for each other in the process. They truly show love for one another and love for God and the world God created—therefore embodying the greatest commandments: love God and love neighbor.
This Lectionary Links post was written by Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Sara Anne Berger.