Year B: January 15, 2012
First Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)
Apt. 3 by Ezra Jack Keats (Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: I have always appreciated the intergenerational relationship between Eli and Samuel. Richard Boyce comments on their need of one another to hear what God has to say. In a time “when words from the Lord are rare, this listening and hearing becomes a communal affair.” (Feasting on the Word, Year B, Volume 1, p 247) Through community we hear and see more fully. In Apt. 3, sights, sounds, and colors of the outside world come alive for Sam and Ben as they listen to the blind man play his harmonica. Their new friendship opens them up to a fuller experience of the world around them. In these present days, when the word of the Lord and visions are not widespread, we too need community to help us listen and see. When we open our hearts and minds to one another, despite differences of age or ability, we are able to experience God in new ways.
All of Me! A Book of Thanks by Molly Bang (Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: “Paul urges the Corinthians to remember that because their bodies are united to Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells in them, and their bodies are made sacred ‘temples’ by this indwelling. What they do in their bodies should therefore be oriented toward giving glory to God.” (Feasting on the Word, Year B, Volume 1, p 259) Ruthanna B. Hooke goes on to explain that this text has just as much to say to us today as it did for the Corinthians—what we do with our bodies matters! While we may not be ready to discuss sexuality with young children in our churches, it is never too early to help them learn to love and respect the bodies that God has given them. Molly Bang’s All of Me helps children celebrate their bodies with gratitude. As the book closes, children explore the idea that their bodies are a part of the universe and the universe is within them. This idea is a lovely opening to discuss what it is to be a part of the body of Christ and to carry to love of Jesus within our bodies. “What a wonder.”
Nicolas, Where Have You Been? by Leo Lionni Mitchell (Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Educator Carolyn C. Brown suggests focusing on the fact that Nathanael had to overcome his own prejudice before he could follow Jesus. (Worshiping with Children: Year B – 2nd Sunday After Epiphany, 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time) Philip encouraged Nathanael to “Come and see,” helping him to overcome prejudice and begin a new relationship with Jesus. Leoni illustrates this concept in Nicolas, where have you been? In the beginning of the story all of the mice hate the birds for taking the best berries. By accident, Nicolas comes to know a family of birds and changes his mind. When Nicolas returns home to the other mice, he stops them from making war on the birds by sharing his story. Like Philip, Nicolas helps his friends to build a new relationship. Although overcoming prejudice is difficult, we see through these stories that it can be accomplished with the help of our friends.
This week’s Lectionary Links posts were written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun and Union Presbyterian Seminary student Rachel Mastin.