Year C: November 21
First Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6
A Young Shepherd by Cat Urbigkit (Written for Grades PreK-1)
Comment: A Young Shepherd explores the experience of a 12-year-old boy Cass in Wyoming. Like God gathers the remnant of God’s flock to be fruitful and multiple, Cass gathers orphaned lambs to build his own herd. The story ends with Cass’s lambs becoming mothers. “It makes Cass happy that his orphan lambs grew up to be such good mothers. It also means that his herd continues to grow, as more lambs are born to his flock.”
Second Reading: Colossians 1:11-20
At Break of Day by Nikki Grimes (Written for Grades K-3)
Comment: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created…all things have been created through him and for him.” At Break of Day is a colorfully illustrated retelling of the creation story. It follows the theme of the passage from Colossians by telling the story of creation being accomplished through the work of the Father and Son. They share in the work and imagination of creation, and together call it good.
Shiny Touchy Smelly: Creation Story by Joanna Bicknell (Written for Grades PreK-1)
Comment: This is an excellent book for toddlers and preschoolers exploring creation. It includes bright photographs, smells, and a variety of textures.
Third Reading: Luke 23:33-43
At Jerusalem’s Gate: Poems of Easter by Nikki Grimes (Written for Grades 5-8)
Comment: Grimes’s poem The Highwayman explores the feelings of the criminal crucified who asks Jesus to remember him. The poem is brief, but explores the feelings that lead him to a change of heart. He asks, “Can’t they see the royalty in his eyes?” Clearly he, a common criminal, know the truth we celebrate this Sunday—Jesus is King.
Love One Another: The Last Days of Jesus by Lauren Thompson
Comment: Although Thompson’s Easter story does not include the criminals mentioned in Luke’s gospel, it focuses on the role of love in Jesus’ life and ours. The reign of Christ is very different from the reign of earthly kings and queens. His rule is one of forgiveness and love. “They new their wrongs we forgiven and that love was greater than hate, greater even than death. In his love, Jesus lived on.” We know that Christ is King because we see his love at work in the world.