25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Year C: September 22, 2013
Bluebird by Bob Staake (Written for all ages)
Comment: “For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.” Throughout the Old Testament we explore the relationship between the people and God, and in this reading from Jeremiah, we see that God is with the suffering and grieves for the slain. Through this text we can explore what it is for us and for God to grieve the pain and injustices experienced by others. Bluebird is a picture book that follows the relationship between a boy and a bird. As we follow the images, we experience the boy’s grief when the bird is killed by a group of bullies. Use this story to help children to connect visually with the mourning and grief expressed in the words of the prophet.
Nutmeg and Barley by Janie Bynum
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone…” In the church we are often found to work alongside, pray for, or give thanks for people who are in many ways like us. We want to chose the people we care and pray for, and maybe even the people God cares for. This text reminds us that our work, our prayers, and our ministry are meant to serve everyone. Sometimes being in relationship with God’s children means looking past our differences, and finding the thing that connects us. In Nutmeg and Barley, two very different rodents overcome misunderstandings an differences to develop a deep friendship. Like Nutmeg and Barley, we might be surprised by the relationships that grow when we are able to see past that which divides us. Through this text and story we are invited to change the way we pray for and act towards others by looking through the lens of Christ’s love, rather than focusing on the differences that divide.
The Turnip by Walter de la Mare
(Written for ages 7-11)
Comment: This parable is confusing for adults, let alone children. What does it mean for Jesus to praise the dishonest behavior of the manager? Perhaps we are to understand that desire for wealth in and of itself leads to shrewdness. As long as wealth is one’s master, one cannot live a life serving God. The Turnip is a tale originally from the Brothers Grimm that explores service to wealth versus service to love. One brother is motivated by a giving heart, and in turn is faithfully rewarded for it. The other brother is motivated by greed and selfishness, and in turn suffers for it. With this text and story reflect together on the differing consequences that arise with service to wealth versus service to God.
The Lectionary Links were written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.