Year A: January 16th, 2011
First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-7
The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights by Carole Boston Weatherford (Written for Grades 1 – 6)
The Beatitudes, from the Sermon on the Mount, serves as the foundation for this powerful free-verse poem that traces the African American journey from slavery to the civil rights, to the inauguration of the first African American President. Like the sentiments reflected in Isaiah’s “Servant’s Song” passage, the journey for African American, to gain honor and dignity, has often been long and difficult. But, because they have always trusted in God and believed without a shadow of a doubt that God was always with them, they were always able to press on regardless of the struggle or the hardship. And like the Jews, African Americans believed that they too were the people of God and that God would deliver them and lift them above their oppressors.
Second Reading: 1Corinthians 1:1-9
God’s Dream by Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Written for Grades Pre K – 3)
Just as Paul wrote, “I give thanks to my God always for you,” to the church at Corinth, thanking God for God’s people. God’s dream is about a world in which all of God’s children join hands in peace, reconciliation and unity. Even though we come from different lands, have different eyes and skin, and talk to God in different ways, we are still brothers and sisters. By “sharing, loving, caring” and “knowing we are family” we can “make God’s dream come true.” We can learn to live sanctified lives in the midst of an unsanctified culture because we have been “called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord”.
Third Reading: John 1:29-42
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes (Written for Grades 1 – 3)
Chrysanthemum feels that her name is absolutely perfect. She likes how it looks and she likes how it sounds and she likes that it is her name alone. Everything’s going great until Chrysanthemum starts school. Suddenly everyone’s making fun of her name. She has a class full of Sam’s and Eve’s and Victoria’s. There doesn’t seem to be a place for a girl with as wildly original a name as Chrysanthemum. One student in particular, Victoria, makes it her goal to continually ridicule poor little Chrysanthemum day in and day out. Talking about it with her parents helps a little, but the next day the same thing occurs. It seems that Chrysanthemum is doomed to be unhappy until she meets the music teacher Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly everything in Chrysanthemum’s life is a whole lot better. Like Chrysanthemum, a chance encounter with a teacher, Jesus, makes Simon Peter’s life a whole lot better and he also gets a name change in the process.
This Lectionary Links post was written by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Donna Fair.