Year A: October 5, 2014
First Reading: Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Sadie and the Big Mountain by Jamie Korngold
(Written for ages 3-6)
Comment: Sadie is dreading Friday. All week her class is preparing for Friday, and she is thinking of ways she can stay home sick. The preschool class is going to celebrate Moses receiving the Ten Commandments by climbing a mountain, just like Moses. Sadie is afraid that she wont be able to climb a mountain as big as Mt. Sinai, but when Friday comes she wakes up healthy. Before heading up the mountain (which is actually the big hill the kids play on), the rabbi leading the class pulls Sadie aside and calms her fears when she reminds Sadie that Mt. Sinai was not the tallest mountain around. God chose a mountain to meet Moses on to show the Israelites that we can all climb high enough to reach God. That is what the Ten Commandments do for us. They help us climb to meet God. The Ten Commandments provide us with the path on how to interact with God and others.
Second Reading: Philippians 3:4b-14
The Secret Lives of Men and Women: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren
(Written for ages 15 and up)
Comment: Here we find Paul writing about his transformation from Judaism to Christianity. He is providing us with a personal testimony of becoming a Christian. In one sense, personal testimony is at odds with the humble life Paul is urging Christians to have, but in another sense, personal testimony is necessary to share the faith and help new people come to know and follow Jesus. This text provides a starting point to work with older youth on sharing testimonies. What we hold inside of us defines who we are. Whether we share them or not the thoughts, hopes, and faith shape how we live each moment of our lives. There are multiple ways to share testimonies. Paul gives us an example of one way, and The Secret Lives of Men and Women: A PostSecret Book complied by Frank Warren provides another. Warren’s compilation of people’s secrets creates a community for people to share a bit of themselves in a safe way. A few of these alongside Paul’s testimony can help encourage youth to begin thinking about their own testimony. A word of caution: The subjects of the secrets shared cover everything under the sun. When using this text, you will want to pick out the ones that will work the best in your context.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 21:33-46
The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson
(Written for ages 6 and up)
Comment: The Gospel reading for this morning is a violent text. It is involves multiple killings. If you chose to explore this text with children, I would quickly move to Jesus’ comments on the parable. Rejection is a central theme in the passage. Jesus says “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” This is an amazing transformation that is becoming easier for children to understand. The one who has been bullied and left out, becomes the prom king. The one picked last for sports teams, becomes the team captain. Hans Christian Anderson’s story The Ugly Duckling explores this theme. The ugly duckling is rejected even before he hatches, but at the story ends the Ugly Duckling is now respected.
Today is World Communion Sunday in many faith traditions. Take a look at these past posts to get ideas for books that highlight this part of worship.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Elizabeth Boulware Landes.