Year A: November 26, 2017
First Reading: Ezekiel 34:11-16
The Dumpster Diver by Janet S. Wong
(Written for ages 5-8)
Comment: The reading from Ezekiel is about transformation and reversals. What is viewed as poor and powerless becomes rich and powerful ,and what is viewed as rich and powerful becomes poor and powerless. God is seeking out all those who are lost and bringing them back into the community, while also providing justice to those who need it. The Dumpster Diver is a story about transformation. The transformation happens with things tossed into the trash as well as with people. Steve, along with three kids from an apartment building, dig through the dumpsters each week in search of treasures. Steve sees the potential for something new in what others have thrown out. He is teaching the children who help him how to see the potential in something tossed aside too. During one dumpster diving trip, an accident happens which leads the children to rethink how they dig for trash. The children begin going to all their neighbors and collecting the potential treasures before they even hit the dumpster. Through his actions Steve has transformed trash, children, and an entire apartment building (except one). God sees what can come when God’s people are gathered together for worship and growing together. God is in charge and has the final say on what is good and what needs to be thrown out.
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:15-23
Luke and the Little Seed By Giuliano Ferri
(Written for ages 3-5)
Comment: This prayer for the church found in Ephesians calls us to action. These words remind us of the gifts we have been given and the call upon our lives. While we wait for the coming of Christ, we are expected to be the body of Christ in the world. This means we are expected to tend to the world and help it grow in every possible way. The day is Luke’s birthday and he gets many different presents. One stands out not because of his joy, but because of his disappointment. In Luke and the Little Seed, Luke cares for the seeds at the urging of his grandfather, and learns the power that hard work, commitment, and love can have in transforming the world. Luke begins putting the needs of the plant ahead of his desires, and finds himself sick. All he can think about is taking care of his plant, but his mother doesn’t let him go. His friends step up to the plate and provide for the plant. As the plant grows, transformation happens for the plant, Luke, and Luke’s friends. In the end the best gift was the bag of seeds. Christ is the best gift we have received and we honor him as we participate in his saving work in the world.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:31-46
A Song for Lena By Hilary Horder Hippely
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Every year while making strudel, Lena’s grandmother hums a tune that she heard as child during strudel season. A Song for Lena recalls the moment this song became part of her life. Lena’s grandmother tells a story of compassion and care for the stranger. This story illustrates exactly what Jesus is calling us to do in this passage from Matthew. As we take care of God’s children, we honor God. These words from Jesus show us the consequence of caring for one another, and the consequences for not caring for one another. Even those these words are harsh it is important to hear them. A Song for Lena shows us the impact a simple act of sharing food with a stranger can have for years to come. This story shows us that even children can make a big impact when it comes to caring for God’s people.
Thanks to Elizabeth Boulware Landes, Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna, for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links this week.