Leccionario en Español, Leccionario Común Revisado: Consulta Sobre Textos Comunes.
Lectionnaire en français, Le Lectionnaire Œcuménique Révisé
Third Sunday after Pentecost: Weaning
The color from now until Advent is green, with two exceptions: All Saints Day or Sunday (November 1 or 5) and Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday (November 26).
For Your Planning Team: FROM CHAOS TO COMMUNITY: Weaning
During the season after Epiphany, we described the middle weeks of the series as climbing up to a plateau and walking around to take in the vista.
In this series, this week and next are more like walking down into a deep valley and beginning to grapple with serious and even potentially deadly challenges. We emerge from the valley at the conclusion of the series.
So today’s service picks up on some of the joy and hope of last week’s conclusion at the entrance, but almost immediately (especially in the modern worship song choice) makes the turn to sense of bleakness that dominates in today’s reading.
The reading of the Scripture this week, as throughout this series, is scripted in paraphrase, and put into the voice of the readers. To help build continuity from week to week, consider asking the same older-adult woman who read at the conclusion of last week’s service to be the first reader in today’s service. The result may be readers from three generations, older adult, middle adult, and late teenager.
Logistics for this Service:
Prepare the Stagescape:
For this week, if it’s possible for you to shift your stagescape to remove or cover part of the blue fabric representing the sea level with a sand-colored fabric, then move the large jug from the first week and place it in the center of the new “desert” level. This places your stagescape in the desert, and the jug will represent the well presented to Hagar, God’s presence and salvation. During the opening song, have someone carry in or uncover an empty “skin of water” and place it still on the desert level, at a slight distance from the water jug. (You may have campers in your congregation who have a water pouch.)
Rehearse the Reading:
The reading today is charged with emotion. There is great joy at Sarah’s weaning (Reading 1). There is some shock and disbelief at Sarah’s response to Ishmael playing with Isaac (Reading 2). There is profound sorrow and loss as Hagar pushes Ishmael away and heads her own way, weeping (Reading 3). And there is determination through some tears as Hagar and Ishmael make their way toward a new life in a distant land (Reading 4).
Because there is such deep emotion in these readings, rehearsal is imperative. The goal is for the readers to meet and reflect, not ignore or over-act, the emotion. This will take time and patience. Do not rush this. Strongly consider holding rehearsal time the night before and having at least two full rehearsals the morning of the service to ensure all can hit their emotional cues just right.
Ecumenical Prayer Cycle: Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay