Year C: September 1, 2019
First Reading: Jeremiah 2:4-13
I Just Ate My Friend by Heidi McKinnon
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: “…for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.” When discussing this text with children, consider exploring together what it means to forsake someone. The monster in McKinnon’s story basically forsakes their friend by eating him. In the monster’s search for a new friend, things don’t turn out well. This text and story invite us to consider how forsaking relationships with God and those we love doesn’t lead to anything good.
Second Reading: Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: Doing good and sharing what you have is a pleasing sacrifice to God and act of praise. Building his word collection gives Jerome joy because he loves words but Jerome discovers even greater happiness when he shares his beloved words with the world. As you read this text and story, consider how the sacrifice of sharing what we love may make our own lives richer, fuller, and joy-filled. Invite your congregation to reflect upon the times they have found joy in sharing what they love with others.
Gospel Reading: Luke 14:1, 7-14
Night Out by Daniel Miyares
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: As he shares a meal with the Pharisees Jesus encourages his host to invite not the powerful but the marginalized to his banquets. With sparse words and rich illustrations, Miyares’ tells the story of an outcast child whose life is changed by being given the place of honor at a celebration. This text and story encourage us to open our hearts and our tables in order to create banquets overflowing with God’s hospitality. Invite your congregants to share their own stories of welcoming and being welcomed at tables and celebrations.
Thanks to Noell Rathbun, a frequent contributor and Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna, for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links the past four weeks.