Jan 26

4th Sunday after Epiphany (Year C)

heartsJeremiah 1:4-10
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Where are the young prophets in our midst?  Are we listening to/for their voices?  What makes us think that we will like or agree with what they say?
  • If you are featuring this reading, you could design the service to celebrate and honor the young people in your congregation and community.  For example, you could honor any Scouts who are connected to your church.
  • This text is all about a young person who is called by God.  Why not call upon a young person to read the scripture lesson?
Psalm 71:1-6
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Do we turn to God for help and support?  I would imagine that most of us do.  But, it could be an interesting subject to explore.
  • Could Jeremiah have prayed this text?
  • Perhaps instead of using a Prayer of Confession, you could pray this text as a Prayer for Support and Guidance.
  • God is likened to being a “rock of refuge” and “a strong fortress”.  Construct a “fortress” in your worship space as part of your worship display.  Or, invite the children (or adults) to build one during the worship service while you talk with one another about how God provides a safe/secure place in your lives.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • If you have ever been to a wedding, you have probably heard/read this passage of scripture.  And, with Valentine’s Day just over a week away, “love” is certainly on the minds of many in our pews.
  • Due to the familiarity of the text, you may want to read it from a different translation.
  • Use this reading as inspiration for your congregation to create Valentines for homebound and hospitalized members and friends of the church.
  • Verse 11 seems to undermine the Jeremiah reading.  However, it is important for us to remember that it does not constitute some sort of “rule” about kids in church.  There is a difference between being a child and being childish…
  • Many craft stores have large cardboard cut-outs of words that you could use in a worship display.  In particular, you could use the words “faith”, “hope”, and “love” in your display this week.
Luke 4:21-30
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • This lesson begins were the Gospel reading ended last week.
  • This is a radical text – even though it seems pretty mundane.  Jesus’ examples include a widow, a leper, and a Syrian (outsider).  It is to these that Jesus brings his message: to those on the margins and those who have been otherwise rejected.
  • I love how Jesus gives the synagogue leaders the slip… Just saying…
  • You could use ancient-looking scrolls in your worship display.  Also, you could use pictures of people from the regions described by Christ (or, artist’s depictions) in your display.

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