Year B: November 15, 2015
First Reading: 1 Samuel 1:4-20
The Summer Sands by Sherry Garland
(Written for ages 4-7)
Comment: Hannah is feeling incomplete. She is missing something in her life that she craves. More than anything Hannah would like to conceive a child. She lays her heart out to God. Nothing will be able to fill the hole in Hannah except a child, but in laying it out to God, she is able to let go of some of the pain. Hannah is able to find peace, and then something amazing happens. Hannah conceives a child. A brother and a sister in The Summer Sands spend their summer playing and learning about the Sand Dunes with their grandfather, until a late summer storm takes the dunes back into the ocean. As they explore the damage from the storm, the children are swept over with a loss for the sand dunes. Summer turns into fall and winter, and the children return home, but nothing compares to the sand dunes. After Christmas and New Years, the children’s parents take them and their Christmas tree to the beach. The community pulls together Christmas trees, which help the ocean and beach rebuild the sand dunes. Like Hannah it takes action to change our situations. Hannah could have chosen to wallow or to hide her true feelings, but she chose to pray to God. The community, especially the children, could have chosen to remember what life was like with the sand dunes, but instead they chose to take action.
Second Reading: Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25
Let the Celebrations Begin: A Story of Hope for the Liberation By Margaret Wild
(Written for ages 7-10)
Comment: “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering” (Verse 23). This passage from Hebrews reminds us of our need to have hope. True hope is imbedded in you, and is something you can hold onto in the midst of everything. This kind of hope calls you to look beyond yourself and to take care of those around you. This is the kind of hope Miriam has in Let the Celebrations begin. Miriam, along with the other women, is planning a party for the day they are liberated. Wild tells a story of hope during World War II through the actions of Miriam and the other women. They are creating toys for the young children who have no memories of toys. All the women come together; even cranky old Jacoba contributes. The women’s hope for liberation from their current state is seen in the way they all come together to create the toys and care for one another. This is like the hope to which we are being called to cling. We are to allow hope to come over us in such a way that we care for one another and continue to be together, as we look for the day Christ will return.
Gospel Reading: Mark 13:1-8
Waiting for Gregory by Kimberly Willis Holt
(Written for ages 4-7)
Comment: Jesus tells the disciples about the day the temple will be destroyed and they ask for a time and a sign warning them of the destruction. It is difficult to wait for a big event. The way we wait for a child is similar to the way Jesus is expecting the disciples to wait for the foretold destruction. They are both something we wait for without knowing the exact date. They are both something that have false signs and it is our job to determine what is the true sign. In Waiting for Gregory, a little girl is trying to understand when her new cousin Gregory will be born. She asks different members of her family “When will Gregory be here?” Each family member offers her a different answer. It is the little girl’s mom who reminds her that we have to wait and see. No one knows exactly when Gregory will be born, and no one knows exactly when the temple will be destroyed.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by Elizabeth Boulware Landes, who serves as Director of Children’s Ministry at Faith Presbyterian Church, Aledo, TX.