CHILDREN & PARENTS (PreK thru 5th grade only) please meet IN THE CHURCH for a children’s chapel led by Rob Stevens at 9:30AM.
This week’s gospel (Matthew 21:23-32) affirms our ability and our opportunity to grow by changing our minds. is is an important skill for young children, who more frequently practice saying, “No!” while the adults in their lives insist, “Yes!”
We help younger children develop this skill when we provide opportunities for them to make free choices in a stable environment. Older children are learning how to change their minds and their behaviors every day. We support this growth by giving them room to freely choose between healthy alternatives.
More about Today’s Scriptures:
Today’s readings encourage us to a more committed obedience. In Exodus (Track 1), God commands Moses to strike the rock at Horeb, from which water flows. In Ezekiel (Track 2), the prophet describes the Lord’s justice, which urges us to turn from sin and persist in righteousness. Paul invites the Philippians to imitate Christ, who humbled himself, freely becoming a servant of God. Jesus’ parable in today’s gospel illustrates repentance, a change of heart with a corresponding faithful action.
– Exodus 17:1-7
– Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
– Philippians 2:1-13
– Matthew 21:23-32 (The Parable of the Two Sons)
This piece of fine art (pictured here), by artist Marcella Paliekara, is titled Suffering Servant, a term which appears in the Old Testament as a reference to God’s People, who, through their suffering, brought God to the world. In the New Testament, Jesus becomes the Suffering Servant, who, through his life, death and resurrection brings new life to the world.
Share books with children on themes related to the day’s stories. Today’s story about a boy who says, “No!” suggests books that deal tenderly with the children’s own feelings of recalcitrance. In Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Williams (New York: Hyperion, 2003) a bus driver tells the children (to whom you are reading the book) not to let an irresponsible pigeon drive the bus. The pigeon becomes more and more outrageous as he tries to get the children to go along with his bad behavior. Children love being the reasonable, responsible caretakers shouting out “No!” to a bird whose behavior is far more outlandish than theirs!