Year A: November 9, 2014
First Reading: Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25
Crouching Tiger by Ying Chang Compestine
(Written for ages 6 – 9)
Comment: The Israelites have only been in the Promised Land for a short period of time, and they are already struggling with worshiping only the God who brought them out of Egypt. Joshua very directly says you must choose to worship God, or the gods of those around you. The decision of that moment will be a far reaching decision. In Crouchign Tiger, Compestine explores the need to choose who you will be by looking at a young boy’s visit from his Grandfather. Ming Da’s grandfather traveled all the way from China to train the martial artist for the Chinese New Year. Ming Da is confronted with balancing the history of his family and the life he is living in America. In one exchange, Ming Da tells his grandfather that his name is Anthony and his father reminds him that he is also Chinese. Like the Israelites and MingDa, we have the opportunity to choose the culture or the faith in the God of Abraham.
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Remebering Crystal By Sebastian Loth
(Written for ages 3 – 9 )
Comment: What happens to our friends and family after they die is a question that almost everyone asks multiple times in their life. Paul reminds the early Christians that those who die before Jesus Christ’s return will still be included. Those who have died will live on in our memories until the day comes for Jesus Christ to return, and they will be raised to be with Christ in the same way all the living are raised to be with Christ. In Remembering Crystal, Zelda learns that Crystal will live on in Zelda’s memory. Zelda is a young goose who befriends Crystal, an old turtle. When Crystal dies Zelda refuses to believe it. She goes looking for Zelda, and along the way begins to accept that Crystal has died. As she accepts this truth, she remembers the fun they had together and the things she learned.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:1-13
When the World was Waiting for You by Gillian Shields
(Written for ages 1-3)
Comment: In our passage from Matthew, Jesus encourages us to be ready for his coming, despite not knowing when it will be. It is difficult to prepare for something and be ready when we don’t know when it will happen. The birth of a baby might be the event with which we can more closely connect than the wedding metaphor. Weddings have a set date and time, but the birth date of a baby is one that we cannot know for certain. We can anticipate a general time frame but those little babies come into the world when they choose, whether we are ready or not. So in our waiting, we prepare as best we can. When the World Was Waiting for You describes some of the things that need to be done in preparation for a new baby. The children wait with energy and excitement for their new baby sibling. Their waiting, like the waiting of the bridesmaids in the parable, is one of action and expectation. As we wait for Jesus to return, we can choose to wait passively or to wait actively.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by regular contributor Elizabeth Boulware Landes.