We have had many requests to move our posting dates for Lectionary Links to provide our readers – particularly those who don’t live in the United States – a little more time to secure books they think they might use on future Sundays. We will post the Links for December 1 today, and the Links for December 8 will be posted this Friday, Nov. 1. We will then be working 5 weeks ahead and hope that enables everyone to get a head start on their worship planning! We are also moving the Links postings back to Friday (we have been doing them on Mondays) and will be posting book reviews/faith questions on Tuesdays.
Year A: December 1, 2013
First Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5
Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace by Shelley Moore Thomas
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: In this familiar passage, the words of the prophet Isaiah ring out: “nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more”. Instead, the passage tells us, the nations will learn from God’s instruction upon a holy mountain, and from that teaching, they will walk in the light of the Lord. The ways of God, which the nations will study instead of war, are ways of peace—ways that we are called to learn, and walk in during our daily lives. Shelley Moore’s book Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace, provides photographs and examples of people walking in the light of the Lord through the simple, peaceful actions of our ordinary lives. The instruction of the Lord which goes out is shown concretely in images of people just like you and me, no longer studying war, but studying God’s ways of peace.
Second Reading: Romans 13:11-14
Hey! Wake Up! By Sandra Boynton
(Written for ages 2 and up)
Comment: “You know what time it is”, Paul writes, “it is now the moment for you to wake up from sleep”. Cynthia M. Campbell writes, “This is a time of anticipation, and Paul urges his audience to action. It is time to get up and get dressed!” (Feasting on the Word ,Year A, Volume 1, pg.16) In Sandra Boynton’s book, Hey! Wake Up!, six little animals are roused to the work and excitement of a new day—they have a lot to do! Paul tells us that we, too, are roused in Christ for the things we have to do: to put on the armor of light, to live honorably, and to put on the Lord Jesus. Just as Boynton’s characters are filled with anticipation, looking forward to the morning ahead, we are filled with anticipation at the joy of Christ’s return.
Third Reading: Matthew 24:36-44
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
(Written for ages 2-8)
Comment: Often what sticks about this text are the frightening images of being “taken” and “left”, and of thieves breaking into houses. The coming of the Son of Man can, therefore, seem like something to dread. But if we live in “sure and certain hope of the resurrection”, as the Prayer Book states, as well as certainty of the renewal of all things that accompanies the Son of Man’s coming, then what we “stay awake” for is not something that we fear or dread, but something to which we will look forward and welcome. At this time of year, though we know the day and the time, we still ask: “how many days ‘til Christmas?”, because we look forward to it and welcome that day of hope. In Bear Stays Up For Christmas, Bear’s friends try and help keep him awake, instead of hibernating, so that he can celebrate Christmas Day. The challenge proves harder for his friends than for Bear, because he is so excited about all of the preparation for Christmas! In the same way, we are called to “stay awake”, though we do not know the hour or day, living each day with the same excitement and preparation for that unknown day to come.
We are delighted to welcome back Sara Anne Berger, pastor of the Whitmire Presbyterian Church in Whitmire, SC, as our Lectionary Links writer for the next thirteen weeks. Sara Anne wrote for us when she was a student at Union Presbyterian Seminary and we are happy to have her writing for us again!