Year C: August 11, 2019
First Reading: Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
Princess Pulverizer: Grilled Cheese and Dragons by Nancy Krulik
(Written for ages 6-8)
Comment: Princess Serena is not interested in learning how to become a lady. She claims a new name, Princess Pulverizer, and explains to her father her intent to become a knight. Much as the prophet explains what actions are truly required for the people of God to be in right relationship with God, the king must explain to Princess Pulverizer what it takes to become a knight. In chapter two, as he prepares to send her on a Quest of Kindness he tells her, “there’s a lot more to being a knight than riding off on exciting adventures… It takes great honor, kindness, and sacrifice.” Similarly, in Isaiah’s vision, we are reminded that there’s a lot more to being the people of God than empty rituals and offerings… it takes doing good, seeking justice, rescuing the oppressed, defending the orphan, and pleading for the widow. This text and story invite us to consider what drives our actions in worship and in the world.
Second Reading: Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story by Lesléa Newman
(Written for ages 8-12)
Comment: The Epistle speaks of the faith required to step away from everything you know to journey towards an unknown future, holding on to little but the promises of God. Millions of people around the world move courageously into the unknown, leaving all they have ever known because they have faith and hope in the promise of a better life. When Gittel’s mama is not allowed on the boat to America, she pushes her daughter to go alone, trusting that it will lead to a better life for Gittel. “This is God’s plan,” mama says, “God will take care of you.” This text and story invite us to consider the experience of stepping forward in faith and can help children understand that faithfulness can exist in the midst of all experiences, such as the joy, sorrow, and grief we witness in Gittel’s journey to a new home.
Gospel Reading: Luke 12:32-40
William Wakes Up by Linda Ashman
(Written for ages 4-7)
Comment: “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit… be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” Luke speaks of the importance of being alert and ready for action so that we are ready for the Son of Man whenever he arrives. William wakes up at the end of Winter to prepare for the arrival of his friend bluebird, but finding help requires waking up his snoozing friends. “Wake up! It’s spring! Today’s the day—a special guest is on the way. Rise and shine! No time to lose!” Using this text and story, invite the children of your congregation to consider the ways they prepare for special guests and what it might look like to be alert and ready to welcome Jesus at any time.
We welcome back Noell Rathbun, Union Presbyterian Seminary graduate and now a full-time nursing student. Noell was our first Lectionary Links writer and wrote for us for several years before taking a break last year for her studies. We are happy to have her writing again for the next 4 weeks.