for Sunday, February 9, 2014
5th Sunday after Epiphany
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
lectionary focus: Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)
prop: a Valentine for each child
When I was a kid, one of my chores was to bring in the mail from the mailbox. It was a nice chore, not too hard and a good excuse to get outside and see what was going on. But…none of the mail was ever for me! Yes, there were some catalogs I could look at, but my mom got lots of letters; and I got none. One day I pouted, “I don’t EVER get any letters!” My mom very casually replied, “You have to write letters to get letters.” I decided that I really wanted to receive letters and since I wanted letters, maybe other people did, too. And if I wrote to other people, maybe they would write back to me…and then we’d both get something we liked! Sure enough, I wrote to my grandmother and to my cousin and to a friend who had moved away…and they each wrote me back! So I wrote them back. And I also started writing to others; some never wrote back but told me they loved receiving a letter from me; a few joined my list of pen-pals. For awhile I had 6 different people I was regularly sending and receiving letters with! To get what I wanted…I just had to give it to someone else!
In our Bible story today from Isaiah, the people of God are whining. They are complaining to God that here they are going to church and all of that, but they are not getting anything for themselves. Oops. I think I can kind of hear God sigh and then chuckle. God tells the people that if they want something for themselves, they must give it to someone else. ‘If you take care of others, your light will rise in the darkness and your gloom will be gone!’ To get what they wanted…they just had to give it to someone else who also needed it. Sounds a lot like, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
This coming week we celebrate Valentine’s Day. It is always fun to receive Valentines but…I wonder if you see the connection today. To get Valentines, we might need to give them. While we may not receive as many as we give, we will be filled with warm happies knowing that we have made others feel warm and happy. To help you get started, I have a Valentine for each of you. But this is not me giving a Valentine to you…though you are each a special Valentine to me…this Valentine is so you will have one to give to someone else.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I wonder if this works with things other than letters or Valentines?
Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)
for loving me.
to share with others
that I may then
receive from others.
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.
Thanks for all that you share with me!!