Year C: August 25, 2019
First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-10
Never Too Young! 50 Unstoppable Kids Who Made a Difference by Aileen Weintraub
(Written for ages 8-12)
Comment: Jeremiah says to God, “How can I be a prophet? I am only a boy!” God is not concerned with Jeremiah’s age, God can call us to do God’s work at any age. So often when we talk to children we focus on what they might do when they grow up. This text reminds us that people don’t have to be adults to do amazing things and follow their callings. Aileen Weintraub has compiled the stories of 50 children and teenagers who have done and are doing remarkable things with their lives. In her closing, she encourages young readers to work with their friends and families to consider the following questions: “What are you interested in? What are you good at? Where do you see a need in your community?” This text and story challenge us to encourage and support the young people in our congregations as they seek to discern God’s call and work to make a difference in the world.
Second Reading: Hebrews 12:18-29
Wordy Birdy by Tammi Sauer
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: This text leaves us questioning what happens if we do not listen to God’s warnings. Readers worry, will something terrible happen? Wordy Birdy is so busy talking, she hardly ever hears anyone else, and misses all of her friends’ warnings when she is walking toward danger. Readers worry, will something terrible happen? Wordy Birdy’s friends rescue her because they love her. Likewise, professor Erik Heen suggests this text is not about potential doom and destruction, but love. He suggests “the Word that God speaks from the cross is such that it is truly heard only when it responds to human need.” This text and story invite us to pay attention and listen to God and one another to build love and connection, strengthening our relationships.
Gospel Reading: Luke 13:10-17
Ally-saurus & the Very Bossy Monster by Richard Torrey
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: The leader of the synagogue calls Jesus out for breaking the rules of the Sabbath day by healing a woman. Jesus and the leader had different interpretations of the Sabbath rules. This text serves as a reminder that rules are meant for the good of the community, and if they are not serving that purpose, we may need to reconsider our interpretation. Ally’s neighbor Maddie is full of rules that serve her, but no one else in the neighborhood. After Ally challenges Maddie’s rules, the children’s friendships are changed for the better. This text and story call us to consider the rules of our churches, families, and friendships, and how they can be interpreted and used for the love and care of others.
Thanks to regular contributor and Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Noell Rathbun for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links this week.