for Sunday, August 25, 2013
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
14th Sunday after Pentecost
lectionary focus: Jeremiah 1:4-10
prop: a globe
note: a good pop song to share with this lesson is Jack Johnson’s “Upside Down”
Be sure to watch the post for September 15 and the 50th Anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama…resources are being added…
Here we are…the end of August; the end of summer; the start of school; the start of Fall! Soon we will be going to football games, and getting out sweaters, and picking apples, and watching leaves change color and drop to the ground, and raking the yard, and all of those Fall kind of things we do when the weather gets cool, then cold, then colder. This change in seasons happens now because we live here (show globe) in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Earth’s trip around the sun, the Northern Hemisphere is entering the Fall Season.
But down there is the Southern Hemisphere. And for countries down there like Australia, their seasons are the opposite of ours. This means the Southern Hemisphere is now entering the Spring Season. We here are finishing summer; they there are finishing winter. We here are starting Fall; they there are starting Spring! They are packing up their coats and sweaters; they are looking for daffodils; they are watching the trees sprout little green leaves; they are planting gardens…
It’s weird to think of the seasons upside down like this! Yet this is what it is. And it certainly keeps things interesting and exciting.
In our Bible story today, God turns the world upside down for a young man named Jeremiah. Instead of calling on a wise, experienced grownup to do some important work, God calls young Jeremiah. At first, Jeremiah does not understand flipping things around…Jeremiah says he is just a boy, how can he do God’s work? Jeremiah thinks this is impossible. But God lets Jeremiah know that nothing is impossible with God. God tells Jeremiah that He has known him since before he was born…and has called him from the beginning to do God’s work. And God promises to be with Jeremiah while he does the work.
Like the opposite seasons on Earth, the story of God calling Jeremiah reminds us that just when we think we have everything figured out, God likes to turn things upside down and flip them around. This keeps our world interesting and exciting…and reminds us not to be fearful because God is always with us.
As we start the Fall season and you start back to school, remember that God is with you. And even though you are young kids, you can do work for God. You may surprise some people by sharing God’s love, but God likes that. Whether you are upside down or not, anything is possible with God.
Will you say a prayer with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)
for the different seasons.
for liking surprises.
to share Your love
and upside down.
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.
Happy Spring to those of you in Australia
and other Southern Hemisphere countries!