Year C: September 8, 2013
First Reading: Jeremiah 18:1-11
Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” Reading a story such, such as Dave the Potter, can prepare your community to hear this passage in the context of a potter’s work. Through this story we learn that being a potter requires skill, strength, and a vision of what lumps of mud can become. In making us, God is like the potter. Sometimes the potter spots a flaw that could make the pot useless or even endanger its existence in the kiln. Through Jeremiah, God is warning the people that they too may require reshaping and repentance. As God’s creation, how do we rise, like the clay in Dave’s hands, to become the pots God envisions us to be?
Second Reading: Philemon 1:1-21
School Lunch by True Kelley
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “I am appealing to you…” writes Paul, as he seeks reconciliation and a change in relationship between Philemon and Onesimus. Paul writes persuasively, appealing to Philemon as a brother in Christ. His desire is that Philemon will voluntarily welcome Onesimus back into his home, no longer as a slave, but as a brother in Christ. In School Lunch, the children and principal of Lincoln school appeal to their lunch lady, Harriet, through persuasive letters with the hope that she will return from vacation. They finally succeed when they suggest her absence is causing poor health, as that is an important priority to Harriet. Although we don’t know what became of Philemon and Onesimus, this text and story invite us to wonder together whether Paul’s letter would have successfully persuaded Philemon.
Gospel Reading: Luke 14: 25-33
Tiptoe Joe by Ginger Foglesong Gibson
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: In this passage we hear that following Jesus requires sacrifice. To be his disciple could mean giving up comfort, possessions, even family. He encourages those who wish to follow him to consider the cost of discipleship. Young children can connect with this passage by thinking about the difficulty that sometimes comes with following the instructions of a parent, teacher, or leader. Tiptoe Joe calls animals in the forest to follow him. Each animal makes a very specific sound, to which Joe responds with a, “Shhhh….tiptoe.” Even these animals have to make some type of change to be a follower as they alter the way they move. Like the animals working to become quiet, discipleship is a process of work and practice. Some days it is easier to follow than others; Christian discipleship life is a life-long process of putting one foot in front of the other as we seek to follow Jesus.
The Lectionary Links this week were written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.