Year C: January 27, 2013
First Reading: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
When Zaydeh Danced on Eldridge Street by Elsa Okon Rael
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine…” In response to hearing God’s word, Ezra and Nehemiah invite the people to celebrate. Valerie Bridgeman Davie suggests that Christians sometimes forget the holiness in celebration. She reflects on the way this passage connects holiness and merriment:“Life in God should produce gladness, especially in the context of listening for and living out God’s word… After hearing the word and understanding it, what more is there to holiness but to enjoy the life God has given?” (Feasting on the Word, Year C, Volume 1, p 271) In Rael’s story, Zeesie goes with her grandfather to the synagogue and experiences the joy and merriment that comes from hearing God’s word.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
(Written for ages 2-5)
Comment: “God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?” To understand the value of different members of the body of Christ, it’s helpful to be reminded of the value of our different body parts. This text invites wondering with young children about our bodies and the roles played by our various body parts. Here Are My Hands is a celebration of the different things we can accomplish with different parts of our body. Use this story to spark conversation with the children in your church about the things we can do with different body parts and why we need the variety for our bodies to function well.
**My absolute favorite book for this text was highlighted in an earlier Lectionary Links post. Check out the story Head, Body, Legs if you have not already used it in your church. (http://storypath.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/lectionary-links-sunday-june-12-2011/)**
Gospel Reading: Luke 4:14-21
Joseph and the Sabbath Fish by Eric A. Kimmel
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.” This Sabbath lesson is read by Jesus in the synagogue. The words he reads parallel the actions he fulfills in his life. We are invited to hear, experience, and be changed by Jesus’ teachings and actions. Joseph teaches his neighbor Judah a sabbath lesson in the way he opens his door and his heart to others. Wonder together with the children of your church about the ways our own lives might reflect the love found in both Jesus’ and Joseph’s sabbath teachings.
The Lectionary Links this week were written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.