Year A: January 15, 2017
First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-7
Librarian on the Roof!: A True Story by M.G. King
(Written for ages 5-8)
Comment: Isaiah wants the people to pay attention and listen. He is called for this purpose. He wants them to pay attention to what the Lord is doing: shining a light, bringing salvation to the earth. Isaiah makes them pay attention and listen, so they can turn back to the Lord. In Librarian on the Roof!, RoseAleta Laurel discovers that the library she has taken over doesn’t have a children’s section. So, she decides to camp out on the roof and vows to stay there until people pay attention and listen, and they raise the money to build a children’s section. Both the librarian and Isaiah wanted people to listen and pay attention, but not to them, to a higher purpose. The librarian wanted people to know what the library had to offer; Isaiah wanted the people to know all the Lord was doing. We, like Isaiah, are called to make people pay attention and listen. But, not to ourselves, to what God is doing. This is our purpose, and the work to which God has called us.
Second Reading: I Corinthians 1:1-9
Parachute by Danny Parker
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: In Parachute, Toby fears heights, so he carries a parachute with him everywhere, certain this is the only way he will feel safe and brave. One day his cat climbs a tree and gets stuck, and in rescuing it, Toby gives up his parachute to the cat. Now Toby is stuck in the tree, afraid without his parachute. But then he discovers that the strength and courage he thought only came from the parachute actually exists inside of him, and he is able to climb down, and eventually doesn’t even need his parachute. Paul writes to the Corinthians, a group of Christians, who, as we know from the whole of the letter, were prone to focusing on status symbols as evidence of Christ’s grace, strength, and spiritual gifts. Paul reminds them here that this strength, enrichment, and spiritual giftedness don’t come from status symbols, or anything else. They come from Jesus Christ, and their relationship with him. These things live inside of them, so they already have what they need for a faithful life. Like Toby, like the Corinthians, we might be prone to thinking our strength and gifts come from somewhere else. But those things already live inside us, through our relationship with Jesus Christ. We don’t need to look for other sources because we have everything we need to live with strength and faith.
Gospel Reading: John 1:29-42
When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Baptism is preparation for a life of faith and reveals that we are part of Christ’s family. In this passage, John prepares the people for Jesus, and his baptism reveals him as God’s son. In When Spring Comes, winter leaves the trees bare and the earth empty, but everyone is preparing for spring. When spring comes, the trees blossom, birds return, the earth comes alive. The buds on the tree, eggs in nests, prepare everyone for the season about to be revealed. We are preparing for Jesus’ return, and in our baptisms and our lives, we reveal him, and our relationship with him. Like John, we are all called to prepare people for the Lord, and like our Lord Jesus, we are part of God’s family.
We welcome back Sara Anne Berger, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Nachitoches, LA, as our Lectionary Links writer for the next four weeks.