God's Word, My Voice: A Lectionary for Children

God's Word, My Voice: A Lectionary for Children

by Lyn Zill Briggs

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Overview

• For congregations who are trying to engage their kids in God’s Word in worship • For clergy who don’t have a knack for creative children’s liturgy, but the deep desire to connect with kids • For use in additional settings, including Christian day schools, children’s chapels, family liturgies Want the children in your congregation to leave with God’s Word on their lips and in their hearts? This collection of The Revised Common Lectionary readings (Old Testament, Psalm, New Testament, and Gospel), are paraphrased for children to be read aloud in Sunday morning worship, will help kids easily read and understand the word God has for their lives. This collection of lectionary paraphrases is written in a child’s speaking voice, NOT as an adult telling a story to the children. The psalms include a refrain for the entire congregation that closely parallels to the Book of Common Prayer’s version.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780898699302
Publisher: Church Publishing Inc.
Publication date: 02/01/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 528
File size: 348 KB

About the Author

"Lyn Zill Briggs has been a mother for thirty years and a parish priest for seven years. She delights in connecting kids of all ages to God in their lives. She was inspired when hearing a child lead the paraphrased psalm one Sunday in worship and said to herself, “If I were talking to God, that’s exactly what I would say.” She is active in the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, where she serves as the Education for Ministry Coordinator. She serves as vicar of the Church of the Resurrection in Centerville, Utah, and lives in Salt Lake City."

Read an Excerpt

God's Word, My Voice

A Lectionary for Children


By Lyn Zill Briggs

Church Publishing

Copyright © 2015 Lyn Zill Briggs
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-89869-930-2



CHAPTER 1

Year A


The First Sunday of Advent

A Reading from Isaiah [2:1–5]

Here's what Isaiah sees for the future of Judah and Jerusalem:

God's house will be on the highest mountain of them all. And everyone will see it and want to come to it. Because they'll say to themselves, "Let's go see what good things God has to teach us so that we can become better people and follow the good path God has for us."

That's where you'll find some good ideas about living and loving—in God's house. God's ways to live are good ways to live.

In the future, when things go God's way, people who are different from each other will get along. Countries won't fight each other. They'll use their weapons as garden tools to grow good things to eat instead of using them to hurt each other. Let's walk on God's path together.

The Word of the Lord.


Psalm 122

It made me so happy when someone suggested we go to God's house!

Because my feet always want to take me there, to Jerusalem, where all the people praise God.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

May good things happen to those who love God's house.

That's where decisions have been made, and kings have been crowned, and people thank God.

I think we should all pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.

May there be peace be within your walls, and security within your towers.

Let's do everything we can to make sure there is peace in Jerusalem, and see that those who live there are safe and happy.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

May good things happen to those who love God's house.


A Reading from Romans [13:11–14]

The time has come. We need to wake up! Wipe the sleep from your eyes, because we are closer than ever to God's salvation. The rough times are almost over, and the sun is about to come up. We should put aside our dark thinking, and instead put on the armor made of light. We should act like we act when people are watching us, because they are. Don't do the things that would bring us shame: being drunk, messing around with people we shouldn't be messing with, being jealous, and sniping at each other. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and don't even bother trying to make yourselves happy with other things.


The Word of the Lord.

* The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew [24:36–44]

Nobody knows when the last day will come. Not the angels in heaven, or Jesus himself—only the Father knows. It will come all of a sudden. People go about their everyday lives, like at the time of the Flood, and then all of a sudden they're floating in water. The end will be sudden, just like that. Two men will be standing together, and one is taken, and the other is not. Surprise! So pay attention, because you don't know when that day will be. Just know you need to be ready for anything, because Jesus will return when you least expect it.

The Gospel of the Lord.


The Second Sunday of Advent

A Reading from Isaiah [11:1–10]

In an old stump of a tree, like the family tree of Jesse, there will be a new green shoot, and the shoot will grow into a branch. The branch will be the Messiah, and the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him. He will be wise and understanding. He will be strong and confident and know and love the ways of God. He won't judge a person by what he hears about them or by what they look like. He will see poor people through God's eyes, and will always be on the side of the powerless people. The wicked people had better watch out when he's around. He'll wear goodness and faithfulness like we wear coats and hats. Amazing things will happen—wolves will be friends with little lambs. Leopards will get along with the goats. Calves and lions will play together. And a little child will be in charge of them all. Cows and bears will share the pasture. And their babies will take naps side by side. Lions will eat hay like oxen do. Babies will play with snakes and the snakes won't bite them. There won't be any pain anymore, and all the earth will be covered with knowing God, just like the waters of the sea cover the earth. And that branch from Jesse's family tree will be a hero to all the people of the earth. Kings will wonder who he is, and wherever the Messiah is, that place will be beautiful.

The Word of the Lord.


Psalm 72:1–7, 18–19

Share your justice and goodness with the people in charge and with their children, God.

So that they may treat people right, and take care of poor people.

We say, Amen. And again we say, Amen.

So that the mountains can give people all good things and the little hills be examples of goodness.

Let the king be on the side of poor people, and rescue them from anyone who wants to hurt them even more.

We say, Amen. And again we say, Amen.

May good kings always be with us, as long as there is a sun and a moon.

A good king is like rain when rain is needed; a shower for the whole thirsty world.

We say, Amen. And again we say, Amen.

When there is a good king, there are plenty of good people, and peace will be on earth for as long as there is a moon in the sky.

We bless you, God; you are the only one who can make these good things happen. We will always bless your name. May all the earth be filled with your glory.

We say, Amen. And again we say, Amen.


A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans [15:4–13]

The words written by people long ago were written to keep our spirits up. I pray that God who gives us encouragement can help you live peacefully with each other, like Jesus would want you to. I pray that all of us can someday sing one happy song to God, who is Jesus' father and father of us all. Be kind and welcome each other, just as Jesus welcomed you. Jesus became a servant of all of us, so that each of us could see who he is. Not all of us were born into the faith, but all of us are welcomed into it. Everyone is welcome—people who have believed a long time, as well as you newcomers. I pray that God fills you full of joy and peace as you believe more andmore, so that you are drenched in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


The Word of the Lord.

* The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew [3:1–12]

A long time ago, John the Baptist, Jesus' cousin, showed up in the desert, shouting, "You had better change your ways, people. For God is very near." The prophet Isaiah wrote about John when he said, "There is someone out in the desert telling people to make way for the Lord because he's coming." John was a funny kind of guy. He wore camel skins with a leather belt, and he ate bugs and wild honey. He attracted a lot of attention and people came from the cities to check him out. They asked him to baptize them, knowing they needed to change. John saw people he thought were hypocrites because they thought they were God's special people who did no wrong. When he saw them he yelled at them, "You are a big pile of snakes. You'd better change your ways too. Don't think just because Abraham was your ancestor that you're going to get by with things. God could make all of these rocks here children of Abraham just like you if he wanted to. If you don't listen to God now, deep in your heart, you might as well be a chopped down tree that's thrown into the fire. I'll baptize you with water, but someone much, much greater than me is coming soon, and he will pour the Holy Spirit on you and light your souls on fire for God. He is ready to make everything new for God."

The Gospel of the Lord.


The Third Sunday of Advent

A Reading from the Book of Isaiah [35:1–10]

Someday, the desert will be so happy that it will break out in flowers! There will be yellow and purple and white crocuses all over and they'll be singing! The wilderness will look like the most beautiful part of Lebanon. Someday, we'll be so excited because we will see God in all God's glory. And those whose hands don't work will be strengthened, and if your knees creak and ache, they'll be like they're brand new. If you're scared, let me say to you, "Be strong. Don't be afraid. God has everything under control. God will come and save you." And then, blind people will be able to see and deaf people will hear. People who had trouble walking will jump around just like deer, and if you couldn't talk before, you won't be able to stop singing for joy. Water will rush through the wilderness and streams up from the desert. Instead of burning sand, there will be a swimming pool. The desert sands won't be thirsty anymore.

And there will be a highway running right through the desert, in the middle of nowhere, and we'll call it God's Highway. It will be for the people of God to walk. And no one who walks on it will get lost. You won't have to worry about dangerous animals coming after you when you're on God's Highway. Everyone who has walked away from God can come back singing. And nothing will make them sad anymore.

The Word of the Lord.


Canticle 15

My soul is so happy. I can't stop singing about God's kindness to me, a lowly servant.

From now on, everyone will know that I have been blessed.

God has done great things for me and God's name is holy.

God's heart goes out to those who walk the right way, in every generation, young and old.

God is strong enough to scatter proud people in every direction.

God picks up those who think they're better than anyone else, and flings them off their fancy chairs, but he picks up those who are sad and lifts up their chins so they can hold their heads high again.

God has done great things for me and God's name is holy.

God feeds hungry people the best food they've ever eaten. And when people with too much get in line, God says, "Enough already."

God remembers his promise of mercy and has come to help out the people in Israel.

God promised mercy to our ancestors, to all of Father Abraham's children forever.

God has done great things for me and God's name is holy.


A Reading from the Letter of James [5:7–10]

I know it's hard to wait, my friends, until the Lord comes again. Just like the farmer has to wait for his seeds to grow. He can't hurry them up. He has to be patient too, and wait for the rain. So be patient like the farmer. Make your hearts strong, for the Lord is coming again. Soon. Friends, please don't grumble about each other or to each other. When people hear you grumble, it's hard for them to believe that you follow Jesus. Believe me, I know it's tough to wait. The prophets before us who spoke in the Lord's name when no one would listen to them, they got discouraged in their waiting too. Look to them and their example when you get tired of waiting.

The Word of the Lord.


* The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew [11:2–11]

John the Baptist, Jesus' cousin, was in prison. Somehow he heard about what Jesus was doing, so he sent Jesus a message with some of his friends. "Tell me, Jesus, are you the one we've been waiting for? Or should we keep waiting for the right one to come?"

Jesus thought about this question. And he said, "Go tell John about what you see and hear: that blind people can see again, that people who couldn't walk are now jumping up and down, that people with diseases are healed, that people whose ears didn't work can hear, and that dead people are alive. And that poor people are hearing good news for the first time in their lives. Blessed are people who find nothing wrong with these things I'm doing in God's name."

So the disciples took that message to John. While they were gone, Jesus began to talk to the crowds of people about his cousin John.

"John's not quite what you expected, is he?" Jesus said. "Who did you think he'd be, someone in fancy, soft clothing? People who dress like that live in palaces, not in the desert like John. Did you expect him to be a prophet? Yes, John is a prophet because he tells the truth, even if it's difficult to hear. He is the one the prophets wrote about: 'A messenger will come ahead of you, and make the people ready for you.' John is closer to God and the truth than anyone ever has been; yet he is no better than anyone else in God's kingdom."

The Gospel of the Lord.


The Fourth Sunday of Advent

A Reading from the Book of Isaiah [7:10–16]

God spoke to Ahaz again. This time God said, "Ask me to do anything you want as a sign; anything as high as the highest heaven or as deep as the deepest sea. Go ahead ask me for a sign so I can prove myself to you."

But Ahaz didn't feel good about that. "I'm not going to ask you to prove yourself, God. I won't give you a test."

Isaiah said, "Listen to me, people of the house of David. Is it not enough for you to wear out human beings, do you have to pester God as well? God will give you a sign. Here's what it will be: A young girl will have a baby, and she will name him Immanuel. By the time he starts walking he'll have figured out the right way to live, and how to turn away from bad choices. And by the time that happens, the land ruled by the two kings you are scared of will be empty."

The Word of the Lord.


Psalm 80:1–7, 16–18

You are like the Shepherd of Israel, and we are like your sheep.

Glow brightly, because the angels are surrounding you on your throne.

As you stand before your people, stir up your strength and come to help us.

Make us whole again, O God of all the angels in heaven.

Just show us your shining face and we will be saved.

God, we cry out our prayers to you day and night. How long will you be angry with us?

You give us bread made of tears, and bowls filled with tears to drink.

All our neighbors make fun of us.

Make us whole again, O God of all the angels in heaven.

Just show us your shining face and we will be saved.

Rest your hand on the shoulder of your helper, the one you picked to lead us back to you.

And we will never turn away from you again. Give us life, so that we can come before you and speak your name.

Make us whole again, O God of all the angels in heaven.

Just show us your shining face and we will be saved.


A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans [1:1–7]

We got a letter from Paul, and this is what it says:

I'm Paul, and I serve Jesus Christ himself. I was called to be an apostle and God gave me special instructions to spread the Good News. The prophets have been talking about this for centuries, the Good News about Jesus, God's son. King David was one of Jesus' great-great-grandfathers. Jesus was also proclaimed Son of God by his holiness, through his resurrection. Through Jesus we all have been given a second chance, and have been sent out to tell people the Good News about God's love for them. I send this letter in Jesus' name, and along with this letter, I send you grace and peace from God and God's Son Jesus.

The Word of the Lord.


* The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew [1:18–25]

Here's the story of when Jesus was born. Mary, his mother, was engaged to Joseph. But before they were married, Mary found out she was going to have a baby. The Holy Spirit made that happen! Joseph knew people would talk about Mary behind her back because she wasn't married, and he didn't want that to happen to her. So he planned to stop the engagement quietly and no one need know about this baby. That sounded like a good plan to Joseph. But then one night a messenger from God came to him while he was sleeping and said, "Joseph, don't worry about taking Mary as your wife, even though that baby isn't yours. This baby is very special and the Holy Spirit is the reason he will be born. When the baby is born, name him Jesus; he's the one who will save his people from their sin. Don't be afraid, Joseph."

This is what Isaiah was talking about when he said—a young woman will have a baby who will be named Immanuel, which means God is here with us.

When Joseph woke up from that dream, he decided to do just what the messenger from God told him to do. He married Mary, and when her baby was born, he named him Jesus.

The Gospel of the Lord.


The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ: Christmas Day

A Reading from the Book of Isaiah [9:2–7]

The people who have been walking in the dark for so long have finally seen a great light. You have pumped them up and expanded their joy. They are as happy as people who have harvested a fabulous crop and won't go hungry this year, as happy as people are opening birthday presents, or dividing up found money. They no longer feel like they're pulling someone else's wagon. It's time to throw the boots of the soldiers and their bloody clothes in the fire.

A baby boy has been born for us. He will be someone whom we respect and look up to. And his name is Mighty God, Prince of Peace. His influence will keep growing until there is no end of peace for the family of King David and all who followed him. This baby boy will develop a nation held together with justice and goodness now and always.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from God's Word, My Voice by Lyn Zill Briggs. Copyright © 2015 Lyn Zill Briggs. Excerpted by permission of Church Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction,
Year A,
Year B,
Year C,
Scripture Index,

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