Year A: November 5, 2017
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Revelation 7:9-17
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
(Written for 5-9)
Comment: Believers always sing, it’s in our DNA. Singing brings hope to the world and keeps hope alive in our hearts, as we see in Whoville. Despite the devastation the Grinch brings to the town, Cindy Lou Who begins singing and the familiar song ripples through town, restoring the hope and joy of the Christmas season. For All Saints it’s appropriate that we recognize the importance of singing to the congregation, for it engages the senses in worship and recalls the Good News. We notice this with the multitudes in Revelation; they gather in a number too large to count and they fall down singing the goodness and blessing of God. Those gathered around the throne (Revelation), those gathered in the town center in Whoville, and those gathered in our pews are taken back to the hope of the Gospel, where we live and breathe and have our being.
Second Reading: I John 3:1-3
Where’s Mommy? by Beverly Donofrio
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: This passage to us from 1 John for All Saints Sunday reminds us that we are to bear one another’s burdens, remember that we are God’s children, and that we will soon know what it means to be like God. William Penn says: “Those who love beyond this world are never separated.” Because we love those who have come before and those who are yet to come, we are able to be loyal witnesses to our life now. Being a child of God means living a legacy of all the Saints. Maria and Mouse Mouse are friends, living parallel lives in the same house. Maria feel23s that she should tell her parents about her friend, but she fears they will exterminate Mouse Mouse’s family. As Maria searches for her mom one evening, Mouse Mouse is searching for her mom, too. When they both find their mothers, they are happily surprised at what they find. Maria’s and Mouse Mouse’s friendship, like that of their mothers’, is a generation-crossing story, which helps to illustrate to children that God’s love is boundless, timeless, beyond this time and space, and inseparable.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:1-12
(This is the Gospel reading for All Saint’s Day which is celebrated in some churches on the first Sunday in November. If you want to use Matthew 23:1-12, you can find other suggestions from other years for that text by clicking HERE.)
Bravo: Poems About Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle
(Written for ages 8-12)
Comment: In Feasting on the Word, Allen Hilton states, “we sometimes hold the saints, like the beatitudes, at a harmless remove from our lives.” We are guilty of reading this scripture message and thinking that it’s a lovely list of blessings that God has intended for us because we are God’s beloved children. In fact, it’s a list of expectations we should have for what our lives will look like when we make the choice to follow Christ and be a disciple in the world today. Our responsibly is to tell stories, bring people back to life, and live a life learning from them. This is what Jesus warns us in these verses from Matthew 5. Bravo is a collection of biographic poems about noteworthy Hispanics from varied locations across the world. As we read the poems, may we be reminded of the stories of these saints. May we not rest in familiarity or hide from unfamiliarity as we read their biographies. Rather, may we be moved by them that we may recognize the demands Christ places on us for our lives in Matthew 5.
Thanks to Rev. Katie Barrett Todd, Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna, for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links this week.