4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Year A: January 30
First Reading: Micah 6: 1-8
The Beggar’s Magic retold by Margaret & Raymond Chang (Written for Grades K-3)
Comment: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” A priest, perceived by many as an old beggar, befriends a young boy. Fu Nan learns that the beggar’s magic comes through justice, kindness, and humility. As the story ends, Fu Nan contemplates his own future; he knows that one day he will leave his home, give up his possessions, and follow the path of the priest.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau (Written for Grades K-3)
Comment: “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise…” Often the wisdom of the world suggests that success comes from what we have and the power to take more for ourselves. Through Jesus, we learn that God’s wisdom is tied up in how we live and what we give. In the beginning of the story, the King exemplifies the wisdom of the world. Over time, the King discovers the joy of giving. When the Quiltmaker finds him sitting in tatters, he joyfully tells her, “I may look poor, but in truth my heart is full to bursting, filled with memories of all the happiness I’ve given and received. I’m the richest man I know.”
Third Reading: Matthew 5:1-12
The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights by Carole Boston Weatherford (Written for Grades 4-6)
Comment: Fans of illustrator Tim Ladwig will be excited to share the imagery of this book with children. The scripture passage runs along the bottom of the book’s pages while Weatherford masterfully explores the Beatitudes through the story of African Americans in the United States. She describes God’s continued presence in their lives, throughout their persecution and their struggle for freedom from oppression. The promise of the Beatitudes is that God has always been and will continue to be “with the downtrodden and with those who seek to uplift. [God is] the holy water in the stream of humanity. Drink, bathe, and be free.”
This Lectionary Links post today is written by Union Presbyterian Seminary graduate Noell Rathbun.