Year C: January 6, 2013
First Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6
Three Wise Women by Mary Hoffman
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “Nations shall come to your light… they all gather together, they come to you…” In her commentary on the text, Kendra G. Hotz encourages interpreters to look at both the original context as well as the way we interpret the text in light of Christ’s coming. “Epiphany reveals that even in his infancy Jesus Christ is for all people… [he] is the very love of God incarnate, and that love cannot be confined to ethnic or national identity; it cannot be restricted by gender or claimed only by the powerful and privileged.” (Feasting on the Word, Year C, Volume 1, p 198) This revelation of Jesus for everyone is explored in Three Wise Women. Readers experience the way Christ’s light invites women from different nations to travel long roads in order to experience his love. Hoffman’s book is a beautiful illustration of the power of Christ’s welcoming light.
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: “[The] Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus…” In her reflections on this text, Carolyn Brown emphasizes worship options that focus on the mystery Paul discovered: that God loves people around the world. (http://bit.ly/RHwP3J) This experience of being loved is something we share with people who might be quite different from us. It is good to learn about our differences and diversity, but it is also good to remember that we all belong to God. Using Mem Fox’s Whoever You Are, you and your children can explore the things that are different and the same for people around the world.
The Last Straw by Fredrick H. Thury
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “[Wise] men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’“ On Epiphany we celebrate the wise men’s journey to honor Jesus. We are also invited to reflect upon our own spiritual journeys. “Everyone who happens to worship on Epiphany has their own idiosyncratic story to tell concerning their pathway to the manger… all are present due to the prompting of God, who initiates our asking, our seeking, and our finding.” (Feasting on the Word, Year C, Volume 1, p 216) In The Last Straw, we hear the unusual story of the camel Hoshmakaka’s journey to the manger and experience the ways he is changed by his experience of Christ. This Epiphany, consider the ways you invite the children and adults in your congregation to share the stories of their journeys to and experiences of Christ.
The Lectionary Links this week were written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.